Few words cause us to chill with fear as “cancer”. Many avoid giving voice to this fear-filled term. When we visit hospital oncology departments, we can easily understand why.
For decades now cancer has been a worldwide concern. Its scope, horrific symptoms, and high mortality rates position it as one of humanity’s greatest threats. Laboratories and research continue attempting to find the wonder drug that will cure this dreadful illness. Physicians seek ways of treating their patients. And the diagnosed individuals search for any and every way possible to be rid of the curse of cancer.
Cancer is not one single disease but a group of diseases comprising more than 200 types. Cancer is characterized by speedy, uncontrolled multiplying of cells in the body.
Until the treatment is found that will cure or prevent cancer, there is no choice but to treat the body with exhausting, painful chemotherapy. Old and young, children and adults, cancer patients are hospitalized in dedicated wards where they receive treatments that cause indescribable suffering.
And the suffering is not limited to the physical body. The psyche is directly impacted by cancer. It’s not easy to survive this disease, which is really a war of existence, a battle for each moment of life, and remain sound of mind. If this is true for adults, how much truer for children.
Israel’s hospitals are dedicated to its cancer patients in the most amazing way, from department heads, to physicians, and nurses, those angels in white, all of whom are doing their maximum night and day to fight the patient’s fight and conquer the disease. Shift after shift, the hospital staff do their utmost to win the fight. But that’s not enough.
Each patient copes differently with the disease, but the common denominator to all patients is the need for vast psychological support towards raising morale, bringing a little color to patients’ cheeks, and overcoming the disease.
When the patient is a young child, the situation becomes even more problematic. It’s heartbreaking to see a small child, innocent and fresh, with clenched fists fighting back at the cancer that wants to kill. Who can bear to look at a child with shaven head, smiling among the tubes and pipes, declaring, “I will survive!”
A child is never a lone patient. A child has family who ceases its normal daily life, puts everything aside, and devotes itself to conveying the message to the patient: “We’re all in it with you.”
But others are also involved, and are often forgotten along the journey. Sometimes a parent needs to leave her or his job, often with serious detrimental effect on the family’s home life and income.Sometimes other children in the family will receive less attention than they had, and will begin showing signs of stress. An entire family can be ruined this way.
When a family member is hospitalized with cancer, children often begin to break with discipline, their schoolwork is negatively affected, and for parents spending hours caring for the ill family member, that translates into a new battlefront needing to be handled.
Into this vacuum step the wonderful volunteers of the LatetTikva (Giving Hope) organization. Saving patients, encouraging siblings and parents, and assisting with immediate needs are just some of the central activities provided by LatetTikva throughout the year.
LatetTikva volunteers’ massive backup all year helps save souls, rehabilitates families and provided hope to many people who, until the cancer diagnosis of a family member, had lived regular lives but lost that state of normalcy in an instant.
LatetTikva volunteers encompass the family of the hospitalized patient, providing assistance and backup of broad scope. The sweet, young hospitalized child receives constant supervision and assistance in all spheres, her or his siblings receive homework help, and a supportive hand in retaining as much normalcy as possible. Parents discover wonderful people whose help includes the complexities of bureaucracy, from completing forms, to questionnaires and any other requirements. LatetTikva volunteers are a ray of light in a vast sea of darkness.
LatetTikva covers Israeli hospitals and homes in on the oncological departments, identifying the needs of the patients and their families. Everyone receives that ray of hope together with a great deal of practical assistance.
At LatetTikva, we believe in incentives. An ill child will be allocated a volunteer who raises morale with prizes and gifts. After each treatment, the child receives a special item which she or he chooses in advance. And the child’s healthy siblings also receive gifts for their academic achievements. LatetTikva knows that the most important thing is to preserve family cohesiveness despite all the difficulties.
Children with cancer are taken every so often to LatetTikva vacation camps. Every hospitalized child has heard of these wonderful camps. For good reason every single camp is bombarded by willing participants!
To continue with this amazing work, we need you and your contribution. Adopt an ill child, adopt a family that longs for the return of normalcy. It goes without saying that the entire astronomical cost of our fun filled camps comes from donations and the participation of wonderful citizens who care about others in their society.
Join them! Join us! Open your hearts and give hope!