Posts Tagged ‘Abiyyu’

On Sunday, 5 May, MCK organized an outing to Ragunan Zoo for children from Dharmais cancer hospital. As in previous years, the visit was timed to coincide with the annual 5 kilometer Jakarta Free Spirit (JFS)-Wintermar Run at the zoo. After the race, the children were welcomed by the race organisers, and two of the group – 13-year-old Ara (left) and 16-year-old Abiyyu (right) were invited to say a few words on behalf of the children. Both boys were diagnosed with cancer in 2005 and have had to undergo long and difficult treatment. Ara is still undergoing treatment, and is due to have his 15th operation in June, while Abiyyu successfully completed his treatment a few years ago. Ara and Abiyyu, together with MCK volunteers Avi and Julie, then accepted a cheque for MCK from PT Wintermar Offshore Marine TbK, presented by PT Wintermar Director Lawrence Lee.

Ara and Abiyyu

Ara (left) and Abiyyu (right) with Julie

As well as Ara and Abiyyu, 21 other children and their families joined the MCK outing this year. Most of them are currently undergoing treatment at Dharmais, though also in the group were a few youngsters who have successfully completed their treatment, including 13-year-old Putri, 15-year-old Kartika, and Adhika Nauful.

After chatting to some of the JFS-Wintermar organizers and runners, MCK volunteers Julie and Tessa took the group to the Schmutzer Primate Centre. The children particularly enjoyed watching the owa jawa and macaques swinging around in their enclosures, and some of the group also got a close up view of a large male gorilla who wandered over to the water’s edge near where we were standing.


Ara and Abiyyu, together with MCK volunteers Avi and Julie, then accepted a cheque for MCK from PT Wintermar Offshore Marine TbK, presented by PT Wintermar Director Lawrence Lee.

After a pleasant hour or so walking through the primate centre, it was time to head back to the hospital and on the way home the children had some lunch and most of them (and their parents!) fell asleep til we reached our destination.


We ended the outing by giving a stuffed animal and a goodie bag to each of the children, as well as providing animals and goodie bags for all the children in the cancer wards who had been unable to join us this year.


As always, it was a very special day, and MCK is very grateful to everyone who makes our zoo outings possible. This year we would like to say a special thank you to PT Wintermar Offshore Marine TbK Managing Director Sugiman Layanto and Director Nely Layanto, and Riena Blokvoort, JFSs Race Director.

We would also like to thank Dharmais nurses Ria, Ica, Titi (pictured below, with MCK volunteers Tessa and Julie) and Taufik for giving up their free time to come with us this year to ensure that medical help was on hand in case any of the children fell ill, though happily their medical skills were not needed. Our sincere thanks, too, to Pita Kuning volunteers Erwin and Tini who also joined the outing and who did a wonderful job of coordinating with the families before, during and after the outing.


Dharmais nurses Ria, Ica, Titi with MCK volunteers Tessa and Julie

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On Sunday, 8 May, 2011, MCK once again organized what is now an annual outing to Ragunan Zoo for children receiving treatment for cancer at Dharmais Hospital, along with their families. As in previous years, the outing was timed to coincide with the Jakarta Free Spirit (JFS) running club’s Zoo 5k and Family Fun Run and this year, as previously, JFS very generously covered the costs of logistics for the day out. JFS volunteers also did a great job of making sure we were all made very welcome on arrival, and ensuring that our time at the zoo went according to plan.

This year, MCKs group totalled 59 people, made up of 24 young patients ranging from 2-13 years old, along with their parents, three volunteers from Yayasan Pita Kuning (Erwin, Rani and Tias), two nurses from the hospital (Yuni and Umi), and MCK volunteers Tessa, Inge and Sara. We were delighted that the mother of Valentinus, a young boy who had previously been treated at Dharmais but who sadly passed away last year, and his younger brother, Gilberto, were also able to join us.

MCK was very happy too that joining the group – as has become something of a tradition — was 14-year-old Abiyyu, his younger sister, Ines, and their parents. MCK supported Abiyyu to receive treatment for retinoblastoma (eye cancer) at Dharmais in 2005-2006, since when we are delighted to report that he has been confirmed cancer-free. He is currently in the second year of junior high school and is an ardent football player. Below you can see a photo of Abiyyu collecting on behalf of MCK the generous donation provided to us by Wintermar, which was also sponsoring the JFS run.

Abiyyu receiving a cheque from Wintermar on behalf of MCK

Fortunately, the rain that greeted us on arrival cleared after a while, and we were all able to enjoy a couple of hours wandering around and spotting the animals. Below is a photo of the group on the steps of the primate centre.

MCK zoo outing participants on the steps of the primate centre

By late morning some children were beginning to get a bit tired, so we all headed back onto our buses and back to the hospital, where cuddly toys (courtesy of JFS) were given to all the children who joined the outing as well as to each of the children on the children’s cancer ward who were sadly unable to come. The photo below shows some of the proud recipients.

All the children on the outing, and also the children from the hospital who could not join, received a cuddly toy courtesy of JFS

MCK sincerely thank everyone who made this outing possible and such a success!

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Greetings once again from Mary’s Cancer Kiddies volunteers! Six months have gone by since our last newsletter. Our work with children suffering from cancer continues, and we include in this newsletter a summary of the assistance we have provided during this period. In this newsletter, though, we have decided to focus primarily on the support MCK has been providing to the infectious ward at Cipto hospital in Jakarta.

Our assistance to the infectious ward at Cipto hospital began in June 2007 in response to requests from doctors there. Funding for this support has been specially earmarked by the sponsor to provide modest financial assistance to cover one-off costs for children suffering from infectious diseases and other ailments other then cancer.

Illnesses treated at the ward include tetanus, HIV, tuberculosis, acute diarrhea and malnutrition.  Costs per diagnoses or treatment are on average Rp 90.000 (€ 7). The illnesses from which the children are suffering have often been made worse as a result of reluctance on the part of poor families to seek treatment, for fear of the high cost of doing so. Even those who are eligible to have their children’s costs covered often have to pay for initial treatments before the insurance scheme comes into effect, and this can cause considerable difficulties for families living on or close to the poverty line. MCK therefore covers costs of treatment for these children pending completion of necessary paperwork for the government insurance scheme.

Among those MCK has assisted is Andrian, a three- month-old boy, who was brought into the hospital in late December with acute diarrhoea and prolonged fever due to a suspected urinary tract infection. He was also undernourished. During Andrian’s hospital stay, his father was unable to work — he is a motorcycle taxi driver – as he stayed with his son in the hospital while his wife stayed at home with their other child. The picture shows Andrian’s father keeping his son’s spirits up with a New Year paper trumpet.


Nursiyifah, a four- month-old girl, was admitted on the last day of the year with acute diarrhoea, encephalitis due to suspected HIV, and a suspected urinary tract infection. MCK helped by covering the cost of several lab examinations as well as medication for this little girl.


Raditya, a one-month-old baby girl came to the ward at the beginning of the year with anemia due to suspected iron deficiency. She also lacked immunization.  Due to the long holiday break, her family were unable to get the costs covered by Askeskin insurance, so the necessary lab examinations and vaccinations were paid for by MCK.


Good news for Jabal (eight years old) who recovered from a high fever due to sepsis and typhoid and was able to go home in January. MCK paid for his blood test and medicine.


Valencia, a ten-month-old girl, came into the hospital with broncho-pneumonia and was also undernourished. While being treated, she had acute diarrhoea be-cause her mother was not using safe hygiene methods. The hospital therefore arranged for Valencia’s mother to receive advice on how to avoid this happening in future.


Tia, 14, was in Cipto Hospital for two weeks for treatment of typhoid fever and a urinary tract infection in early January. MCK covered the cost of several lab examinations.


MCK volunteer Astrid says goodbye and thank you to Dr. Elina, who prepared the donation reviews for the infectious ward during this period.

Dr. Elina and Astrid

Cancer treatment over the past six months

During the period October 2007-February 2008, MCK assisted in covering cancer treatments for 84 children, aged between 1 and 17 years old.

Among the children MCK helped were Ferdiansyah from Lampung who is suffering from malignant lymphoma. Most of Ferdi’s treatment is covered by the government’s Askeskin insurance scheme but some medicine prescribed by his doctor was not.

MCK also paid for an MRI for 3-year-old Nurhidayah who suffers from embriyono carcinoma, and chemotherapy medicine for 16-year-old Farbianca who has malign lymphoma and whose government insurance scheme does not cover the medicine required.

JIS group visits Dharmais Hospital

In February, seven children from JIS visited the children’s cancer ward at Dharmais Hospital to spend some time with the children there. They did a wonderful job of bringing smiles and laughter to the ward and the visit was a highlight for the sick children and their families. One of those who particularly enjoyed their visit was 14-year-old Anggun who was suffering from osteosarcoma (bone cancer) which had spread to her lungs. Sadly, Anggun passed away not long after their visit, but the JIS children helped make her final hours a little easier to bear.

Childhood cancer featured on Metro TV

In January, the popular Kick Andy television program on Metro TV was recorded at Dharmais Hospital. The program discussed childhood cancer, including interviews with survivors of the illness including 11-year-old Abiyyu, whose treatment was supported by MCK.

Premature babies unit at Cipto Hospital

MCK has provided funding over the past five months to assist with treatment costs for 160 babies in the unit whose parents were unable to pay their bills.

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Greetings from Mary’s Cancer Kiddies volunteers! In the year since our last newsletter we have continued to cover costs of treatment for children with cancer whose families are too poor to pay and where government insurance schemes are not filling the gap. Here we provide an update on developments and our plans. We hope you find this useful and welcome your comments.

Changes to government health insurance

There have been major changes in the assistance available to poor families with children suffering from cancer over the past year.

For a period, the vast majority of treatments and medicines for these children were covered by a government health insurance scheme, Askeskin. As a result, MCK focused on paying for one-off expenses that were not included in the scheme, such as MRIs, emergency treatments (blood transfusions, emergency operations, etc) and palliative care (primarily provision of pain relief).

Unfortunately, government miscalculations regarding the high level of demand for Askeskin, coupled with recent revelations of corruption in it implementation, have caused the system to break down. Hospital claims are outstanding, an increasing number of patient claims are not being covered, and the resolution to the problem is unclear.

Impact on families and MCK

The consequence of this is that poor families are once again facing enormous financial burdens in order to cover the cost of their children’s cancer treatment. Not surprisingly, the demand for MCK assistance has grown substantially and we are now covering a broader range of costs, including chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments.

This demand is set to continue unless or until the problems related to the government insurance scheme is resolved. In the short term, this does not seem likely. Even if it were to happen, there would remain aspects of childhood cancer treatment uncovered by the scheme and the need among very poor families will remain for an alternative source of funding to meet the shortfall.

In response to requests from doctors at Cipto hospital, since June 2007 MCK has secured a sponsor who has been providing modest financial assistance to cover one-off costs of children suffering from infectious diseases and other ailments other then cancer. This includes illnesses such as tetanus, HIV, tuberculosis, acute diarrhea and malnutrition.  Costs per diagnoses or treatment are on average Rp 90.000 (€ 7). These patients are usually eligible for some government assistance but MCK covers costs pending completion of necessary paperwork.

One such patient for whom the prognosis of a full recovery is excellent is eight-year-old Feni who has typhoid.


Rumah Singgah Anak (Children’s Drop-In Centre)

Rumah Singgah Anak

MCK has also rented, renovated and furnished a house near to one of the hospitals for use by the families of children who are receiving treatment.

Changing lives

We realize that MCK’s assistance is only a tiny initiative that can help just a very limited number of children. However, for the families concerned the impact can be enormous.

One of the children of whom we are most proud is 12-year-old Abiyyu, He was diagnosed three years ago with Retinoblastoma (eye cancer), since when he has successfully completed his treatment and his cancer is in remission. It is not an exaggeration to say that without MCK his story would have been very different. In June 2004, halfway through Abiyyu’s treatment, his family had sold everything they owned and borrowed heavily to pay for his medical bills, and were preparing to take Abiyyu home because they could no longer cover the costs.

Hero, Abiyyu (centre) and Mum

MCK was able to step in and help to cover his treatment costs and MCK donations paid for a temporary glass eye that Abiyyu will use until he can have a permanent prosthetic eye implanted.

Today Abiyyu leads a normal life like other boys his age. He goes to school, is a keen football player, and loves Play Station. The photo, left, taken in July, shows the enormous progress Abiyyu has made as he stands proudly with his brother and mother.

Dharmais and Cipto Hospital, Jakarta

MCK has continued over the past year to concentrate our assistance in Jakarta where most cancer specialists and cancer hospitals are located, primarily in Dharmais Hospital, which houses the only special ward in the country for treating children with cancer, and Cipto Hospital.

Since January, MCK has provided funds to assist approximately 30 children. They include children as young as 18 months, through to children in their early teens. Many of the children live in the Greater Jakarta area, although others are referred to hospitals in the capital from all over Indonesia.


One of them is four-year old Jela, an only child from Tangerang whose father is a minibus driver. She has stage 4 reitinoblastoma cancer and was successfully operated on in early October to remove a tumor the size of a soccer ball. Just one day later she was able to play at the computer which previously was impossible due to the weight of the tumor on her face.  MCK has been assisting with the cost of her monthly chemotherapy treatment as well as costs of wound dressing to cover the tumor.

Eleven-year-old Ahmad Jaelani has advanced rhabdomyosarcoma, a soft tissue cancer. The eldest of three chldren, his father is a motorbike taxi driver and his mother is a housewife. Ahmad has been having chemotherapy treatment for the past year and this has successfully reduced the size of the tumour on his right eye. MCK has been assisting with the costs of his treatment since August.

Ahmad Jaelani

Jakarta Free Spirit Zoo Run

MCK arranged for forty-three patients and parents to join the fun at the annual Zoo Run in May. Our thanks to all those who helped make it such a memorable day.

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