World Health Day: Children in Honduras Have New Hope at Cancer Center
COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (April 6, 2023) Children with cancer who previously had no access to advanced health care in Honduras are receiving loving treatment and a better quality of life, thanks to the new Medical Center for Children with Cancer.
The center, which opened in March 2022 in Tegucigalpa, is serving dozens of children every month, giving them and their families new hope.
As the world marks World Health Day on Friday, Food For The Poor (FFTP) salutes its donors, its in-country partner CEPUDO and the Honduran Foundation for Children with Cancer for making the center a reality for families in need.
World Health Day is celebrated every year on April 7 to commemorate the anniversary of the founding of the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1948 and to draw attention to a specific health topic of concern to people all over the world. This year, the theme is “Health for All.”
Erania said she is grateful for the medication and chemotherapy her 13-year-old daughter, Lali Edith, has received to treat her cancer at the center, the only one of its kind in the country.
On a recent Sunday, Lali Edith finished a four-day course of chemotherapy. Though she is still very ill, her mother said her daughter woke up feeling much better, thanks to the compassionate care of the center’s doctors and staff. Lali Edith is starting to make friends after three months at the center.
“It is a blessing that this medical center exists,” Erania said. “I want to thank very much the people who made this center, who considered the needs of us as parents and of the children.”
Carlos Sanchez, spokesman and program director for the Honduran Foundation for Children with Cancer, said the center removes obstacles to admission and treatment for patients and their families.
At least 1 in every 10,000 children born in Honduras is diagnosed with cancer, Sanchez said, so the probability that they will need a medical center equipped to meet their health care needs is quite high.
“For us, this means a lot of enthusiasm but at the same time a lot of commitment because it is necessary to be enabled day by day to be able to give them the best treatment through the best quality and efficient care,” Sanchez said.
Founded in 1982, the nonprofit Honduran Foundation for Children with Cancer’s main objective is to provide free cancer treatment to more than 6,000 children suffering from some type of cancer.
“As an organization, we always see the hand of God in all this because the volunteers of the institution, led by our president, have always been entrusted to divine providence considering that all these projects are of God and obviously with that, we have to thank Him as the source of all things,” Sanchez said.
Dr. Gerardo Castro said the Medical Center for Children with Cancer not only addresses the medical needs of children and their families but their emotional and spiritual needs as well.
“The treatment of cancer is expensive and cannot be stopped because if we stop, cancer progresses,” Castro said. “We trust in God, that God always supports us and gives us wisdom for the children to treat them well and give them the best treatments and that without Him we can do nothing.”
FFTP President/CEO Ed Raine, who toured the center shortly after it opened last year, said the center is a bright, airy, child-friendly place and welcoming to families.
“So many of us have children. For those who have to go through the agony of helping your child through cancer, I just can’t imagine,” Raine said. “This is a facility that is bringing joy and happiness to everybody.”
Donors can support healthcare-related projects at FFTP and make a difference in the lives of impoverished children who need critical medical care by visiting: www.foodforthepoor.org/medicalcare
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 in 17 countries of the Caribbean and Latin America. This interdenominational Christian ministry provides emergency relief assistance, 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.