Hope of Life: Center For Children with Cancer Celebrated in Honduras
COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (March 14, 2022) A Food For The Poor team led by President/CEO Ed Raine recently traveled to Honduras to celebrate the grand opening and blessing of the Medical Center for Children with Cancer.
The medical center, which opened its doors on March 4, aims to improve the quality of life of children with cancer by adopting cutting-edge methods to complement cancer therapy, such as pediatric palliative care through pain management. Most importantly, it will provide cancer care to Honduran children who previously had no access to that kind of care.
“This is a wonderful project of extraordinary value to all those children who don’t have anything like this available,” Raine said.
Raine was joined by FFTP Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer Mark Khouri; Partnerships Director Cesar Guevara; Senior Director of Procurement and Fulfillment Javier Ramirez; Director of Projects Marcus Frisch, Project Manager for Honduras Sabrina Diz, and Andrea Slipek from FFTP Canada.
The ceremony was facilitated by Nubia Zuniga, President of the Honduran Foundation for Children with Cancer, and CEPUDO’s President Linda Coello. The celebration included a tour of the center, blessings and prayers, and speeches from the foundation leaders.
Yeny Hernandez, a child cancer survivor, and patient, expressed her gratitude to FFTP and its donor by performing a song about her faith in God and her fight against cancer.
In a tour of the hospital, Zuniga explained that because of the country’s economic situation, buildings in Honduras are not as joyful and bright as the newly opened center.
“This one was intended to serve God and allow children to be in a happy place. This building was designed for palliative care, and it is very important that children with cancer can distinguish day and night,” Zuniga said, pointing at the skylight that floods the structure with light. “That will give children hope for life.”
The center’s capacity will allow 29 children to receive chemotherapy daily, an increase of 55 percent.
A specialized team of professionals will be dedicated to the children’s unique medical, psychological, and developmental needs, from diagnosis to treatment. The center will also offer instruction to parents and relatives on how to care for their children at home, based on the idea that children can return home and rejoin the family.
“Through this project, we will be able to include an innovative program in palliative care, as well as to improve the quality of life of patients who, although not having a long-term prognosis, deserve our dedication and delivery,” Pediatric Oncologist Dr. Gerardo Castro said.
Raine expressed his gratitude to Bobby Taglich, a New York businessman who was inspired by the project to help. “Bobby, here’s what your gift has accomplished through us as your proxies, and your incredible donation. Walking around this building is a very breathtaking experience,” Raine said, as he walked and taped a thank you for Taglich. Nubia Zuniga also conveyed her appreciation to Taglich.
“On behalf of the children and their families, the Honduran people, the board, volunteers, and all the professionals here, we thank you for pulling off a miracle,” Zuniga said.
For the past 24 years, Taglich has supported the development of houses and schools, as well as agriculture and beekeeping projects in the countries served by FFTP.
Food For The Poor, one of the largest international relief and development organizations in the nation, does much more than feed millions of hungry children and families living in poverty primarily in 17 countries of the Caribbean and Latin America. This interdenominational Christian ministry provides emergency relief assistance, clean water, medicine, educational materials, homes, support for vulnerable children, care for the aged, skills training and micro-enterprise development assistance. For more information, please visit www.FoodForThePoor.org.