Bonita Suckling founded Rainbows and Smiles when her only son, Jed, was diagnosed with a high grade brain tumour: anaplastic astrocytoma. Rainbows and Smiles Foundation is a charitable organization dedicated to providing assistance in the form of emotional, social and financial support to families and caregivers in need when a child or children of that family is/are diagnosed with cancer. This is achieved through coordination with the hospital facilities, social welfare and medical professionals. Bonita naturally has a special interest in brain tumours. Rainbows and Smiles is a team of nine passionate team members and a few volunteers who drive the fight against childhood cancer in South Africa. Four of the mothers who work with the Foundation have lost their children to cancer.
The assistance offered by Rainbows and Smiles is in the form of payment of medical bills, provision of toys, gifts and awareness items and grants directly to children, their families or caregivers. Rainbows and Smiles solicits funds through various events, from corporate companies and fundraising activities. The poverty rate in South Africa is heart breaking with many rural families sometimes skipping treatment due to a lack of funds for transportation to and from the hospital.
Rainbows and Smiles does not discriminate based on race, culture, religion, financial status or any other factor. We believe in providing hope and laughter as the family finds strength beyond the illness. We will strive to support children battling childhood cancer whilst advocating awareness initiatives through ongoing education of the early warning signs of childhood cancer. The organisation also promotes the Gold Ribbon (a symbol for childhood cancer) in order to raise the profile of childhood cancer throughout South Africa.