Helloooo to the loyalist reader,
When you have cancer, and you can afford it, what do you do? Get a visa and leave to another country to get your treatment, and pray God will give you a second chance to live. When you can’t afford it, you sell your house, land, car and travel to get treatment. Those who don’t have the land, car and the house, they stay and get treatment here, hoping it will somehow be the same as what they would get abroad.
Yesterday evening in my living room I was sitting with an amazing young girl. As we were discussing hospitals in Erbil treating cancer patients a river of tears flowed down her face as she spoke of the encounters she has while taking her mother, a cancer patient, to the Nanakali hospital to receive her treatment.
While I am grateful to the person who is sponsoring the hospital, according to my understanding it is funded by a private source? (Might be wrong) there are shortcomings from medication and drugs, to lack of beds and please don’t even get me started about the services and patient-doctor, patient-nurse relationship. (At one point my friend was told by one of the nurses, “Oh two months ago I was sure your mum will die, she is still alive???!!”) Imagine.
What hurts me, and most of those who are woking on a small campaign to fundraise to the Nankali hospital is that there are many cancer patients there who are young children.
The existing building is small. (At some points five child patients share one room and did you know some people get their chemotherapy administered in the garden on a chair because there aren’t enough beds inside?!?!?!?!?). The new building is completed but neglected, and they still haven’t moved in yet. The aim is to do the following:
- Paint and add lots of color to the new building
- Add TVs, and entertainment for the children, where possible
- Create a library for all the patients to have access to
- Ideally have some iPads with games and activities for the kids to keep busy with
- At some point provide psychological support for the parents there
- Have activities for the kids- whether games or reading sessions.
- Try to speed the move from the existing building to the new one (thought this is not in the hands of any volunteer, but let’s hope a little of pressure here and there can speed things up a little)
And these are few of the ways you can help:
- Donate your old books for the library
- Donate a used iPad or some toys for the kids
- Donate money so that the volunteers can purchase these needs
- Give your time once a week for the reading sessions, or do activities with the kids (clown- face painting, little tricks, balloon art, etc.
- Finally, but most importantly, if you know a company or an individual who can buy some of the drugs it will mean the world. There is a shortage of the medication needed to be administered to the patients as it is expensive… my friend’s mother was given expired chemotherapy drugs.
These are simple ways you can help patients who are living the toughest days of their lives without the right facilities, support or even care and love from the staff of the hospital, unfortunately. Our country is going through a lot of difficulties, it will take years before the government can prioritize working for cancer patients.
I dream of the day when no single person needs to leave his home, country and loved ones to get medical treatment abroad. However, we are decades away from such a day, but I hope from today we can start working towards it.
To help, contact or any of the following people.
Dastan Othman- Facebook
Or myself. Please, try to help.
Lots of love from
My Nest in Kurdistan