photo by dabawenya.net
Childhood cancer is curable. However, treatment spans a number of months and even years. Therefore a major stumbling block in treatment and cure among Filipino children is lack of access to HealthCare Institutions that can provide multispecialty care. Southern Philippines Medical Center (SMDC) is the largest public hospital in Mindanao. Currently, it has a Children’s Cancer and Blood Diseases Unit with a dedicated multidisciplinary team which caters to the care of children with cancer. Every year, almost 150 new patients come to seek treatment from all over Mindanao. Majority of these patients are indigent with no place or family to stay within Davao whilst ongoing treatment.
An old dorm within the SPMC compound was renovated to serve as a transient home for children with cancer. More than 2700 patients and 4000 caregivers have benefited from its clean and wholesome environment since 2007. Patients are allowed two caregivers who help keep HoH and its environment clean in exchange for a free stay.
HoH has created a significant impact in the improved survival of most and cure for some children with cancer by promoting compliance to therapy and decreasing treatment abandonment. It has enhanced the quality of life of many children afflicted with this unfortunate disease.
House of Hope is a unique and impressive project which has revolutionized the care of child cancer in Mindanao. HoH is a project of the Rotary Club of Waling-Waling Davao and Davao Children’s Cancer Fund Inc.
House of Hope – Bangkal
A home was donated by an anonymous donor to be converted as a transient home for patients undergoing treatment at SPMC through FrPonPon Vasquez of IWatch. Two patients under our care are currently in this facility.
House of Hope – Margarita Village
In 2011, Vice Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and friends converted a three-room home at Margarita Village to house two survivors who are now High School scholars of the Vice Mayor. One of the rooms is used by teenage patients who are on active cancer treatment.
House of Hope – Tagum
The most recent facility to accommodate children with cancer was inaugurated in August 2012. It is located at Bermudez Subdivision in Apokon, Tagum, Davao del Norte- a short walk or tricycle ride to Davao Regional Hospital (DRH). House of Hope –Tagum has provided a place to stay for patients from SPMC CCBDU who undergo radiotherapy at DRH and for patients in the surrounding provinces.
The concept of a transient home for children with cancer has inspired and touched the hearts of many- patients and communities alike. These sanctuaries bring hope and healing environments for our children with cancer in Mindanao. In partnership with crowdfunding platform, Gava (Gavagives.com, giving a financial support to these cancer patients is now within your reach.
Let’s help these kids get cancer treatment for a chance to celebrate a longer life. Visit their Gava campaign site here.