Today, international day of children with cancer, the Spanish Federation of parents of children with cancer proposes us to participate in a virtual solidarity balloon lift. Come on, I invite you to throw a balloon for these children and to encourage your friends and acquaintances to do so.
Although around 1,000 new cases of cancer are diagnosed in Spanish children annually, it is possible to live with and cure it in approximately 80 percent of cases. Of course, the ideal is that children or anyone else had cancer. In order to sensitize and raise awareness in society regarding childhood cancer and the need for all children in the world to have access to a rapid diagnosis and appropriate treatment, February 15 has been declared as the International Childhood Cancer Day, in Luxembourg, in 2001. Apart from this awareness-raising work that seems essential to me in every way, there are many other advocacy efforts in different countries, with the aim of improving the quality of life of children with cancer. With this year's manifesto, "I am here", they focus on the need to create oncology units aimed at adolescents who are currently being cared for in children's or adult units. Follow the manifest:
The light in the room is off. I do not know how I got here, the reason is the least ... a discomfort, fever, bruises ... What difference does it make? The important thing is that I am here ... I AM HERE !!!!!! I am no longer a child, but I am not an adult anymore ... I am what they call a "teenager" in short, someone "undefined?" One thing seems to be clear "I'm sick" so the medical tests say ... and my discomfort. I am not the only one, I have been told, that like me there are many more. Little by little I hope to get to know them and thus be able to share with them fears, concerns and achievements, but from this dark solitude of my room, I wonder if my "companions in this hard battle" will be in a hospital for children or for adults. It is curious, so much and so much is written about this "indefinite" stage of life and has it ever occurred to anyone that faced with a situation as tough as the diagnosis of cancer, we have special needs? Anyone there? Can you hear my request? Two days ago I was with my friends, I went to high school, I practiced sports ... but now ... I'm here. Why did it touch me? Maybe if I could talk to someone my age, someone who understands me, who knows how important my friends, my music, my hobbies are ... What will people say when they see me? My image has changed, my hair has fallen out, I have lost a lot of weight. They say it will pass. When? This seems eternal. And in the meantime? Who listens to me? Perhaps if all the boys and girls who are in the same situation were treated in Cancer Units for Adolescents it would be different. The disease would continue to be hard, but we would receive more personalized and specialized attention, more in keeping with our age and the special needs of this stage called "adolescence." No longer would you have to decide whether this or that 16-year-old will treat you like an adult or a child ... it would just "have its place." While life goes on abroad, here in this room, I try to rebuild my world that has exploded almost before I started creating it and I think about how many more worlds are trying to rebuild right now in other cold rooms, far from mine. How many people will be thinking of me or of the other worlds in "reconstruction": parents, brothers, friends ... even perhaps, someone who has in his hands the possibility of making my request come true, is also thinking of me or others like I ... and reflect on our special needs, our shortcomings ... and from there, begin to imagine, think and perhaps believe that forming Oncology Units for Adolescents in Spain, in addition to being necessary, is possible. I'm here! And you? ... Are you there? Vilma Medina. Director of our site
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