Childhood cancers have a high rate of cure but medical treatment needs to be supported by an infection free, cheerful environment and proper nourishment.
Underprivileged parents from rural India bring their children diagnosed with cancer to large cities where high quality treatment is available. While treatment may last as long as two years, the child may be an outpatient all through this long stretch, or may have brief periods where hospitalization is required.
Clean and safe accommodation is unaffordable for these families and often they end up living on the footpath next to the hospital where the child is being treated. The filth and squalor leaves the child vulnerable to secondary infections, the parents don’t have a place to prepare meals, and there are no toilet and bathing facilities they can use. The overall experience leaves the families dejected and demoralised to the point where they often abandon treatment and return to their home, increasing the likelihood of their child succumbing to cancer.
St. Judes is bridging this gap with its innovative model of holistic care. Our “home away from home” is a hygienic, protective, nurturing environment which gives the children the best chance of beating cancer. St. Jude creates a community for our families, who come from all over India, speak different languages and represent all communities, but share the common goal of getting their child treated for cancer.