In Italy and in the world there are over 3,000 children with cancer that we help every year. Among them is also David, who lives in Ukraine and who found himself facing the disease shortly after his sixth birthday, in full pandemic.
When they admitted him they thought it was pneumonia. Soon, however, the doctors realized that it was a pleuropulmonary blastoma…
The only hospital in Ukraine that can offer radiation therapy is the Kyiv Oncology Hospital Institute: for David and his family the only chance was to find a stable place to stay during treatment.
This is what we have been able to give them, thanks to the Dacha our shelter home that since 2009 has been active and hosts free of charge the families of small cancer patients, offering them a shelter and also food.
Problems related to COVID-19
As if the tumor wasn’t enough, the pandemic has come to complicate David’s treatment path. To access the oncology institute it is now mandatory to take a swab. One day, David arrived at the Institute for Screening and was unable to enter the hospital because he did not have the results of the COVID test.
The tampon in Ukraine is not free, on the contrary: it has a high cost that families cannot afford, especially not every time their children have to go for therapy and checks. Our Foundation, in addition to the chemotherapy that in turn cost greatly, is helping families financially by paying for tampons, where possible.
In addition, waiting times for results are long and so some children fail to treat themselves according to the right timing. Many examinations and therapies are postponed, endangering the lives of children.
The Dacha is thus a safe haven for families and children like David, who can wait there for the results of the tampons, in an environment where they are welcomed and follow activities and games. Because of the COVID-19, however, the reception house also had to halve attendance to ensure social distance and so many children do not even have this possibility.
Travels for treatment aere also suspended
The COVID is not only slowing down care in Ukraine, but has also suspended many “trips of hope” for some children who came to our country for some care not present in Kiev.
Unfortunately, with the onset of the pandemic, there are at least 20 small cancer patients that we have not been able to accompany here in Italy to carry out tests and therapy not available in Ukraine.
These are travel that surely cost, but that in the face of a possible death sentence, any parent is ready to face for their child.
Some little patients whose only hope is our country.
Help us to overcome these difficulties for David and other children in his condition. Care is expensive, as is accommodation in the host house, but
the future is a right for them too.