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Posts Tagged ‘Hidung Merah Circus’

As the holiday season and year end approaches, Mary’s Cancer Kiddies (MCK) volunteers would like to say a special thank you to our generous supporters and to wish you and your families all the very best for 2009. Thanks to your help, we have been able to continue our work with children suffering from cancer and infectious diseases, and prematurely born babies.

Children’s cancer ward, Dharmais Hospital

Working with children with cancer in any country is very grueling and in Indonesia, where children generally come in for treatment only after their cancer is well advanced and the prognosis is often consequently bleak, this is all the more true.

Sometimes, though, the least hopeful cases can surprise even the most experienced cancer specialists, as the case of six-year-old Siskawati demonstrates. When her family brought her in for treatment for a tumor on her retina a year ago her cancer was already stage IV, as the cancer had already spread to her brain, and her prognosis was very poor. Fortunately, even though her chances of survival were very slim, Siskawati’s family went ahead with the recommended treatment, including the removal of her eye and, after several cycles of chemotherapy, the cancer cells in her brain died.  Today, little Siskawati is doing well and she is in the process of being fitted with a prosthetic eye funded by MCK, thanks to two of our generous supporters.

Siskawati

MCK has also provided financial assistance to dozens of other children at Dharmais hospital. They include 14-year-old Rico, who was diagnosed with a brain tumour. Rico’s family had applied for financial assistance from the government insurance scheme for low income families, Askeskin, to cover the cost of his treatment, but the severe nature of his illness meant that treatment could not wait until the insurance cover  was  in  place.   The family sold their modest house in order to cover some of the treatment costs and MCK also provided assistance by paying for medicine and an MRI.

The onerous cost of treatment not only causes families to go into chronic debt, it can also lead them to decide not to continue with treatment, with usually devastating consequences. One family whose son, Alfonsus, was diagnosed with cancer nearly did just that. Having struggled to pay for six chemotherapy treatments they had no funds left to cover the cost of the four remaining cycles of chemotherapy needed, and staff at the hospital feared that they may give up and decide to stop the treatment as a result. Fortunately, MCK was able to step in and offer support and Alfonsus went on to complete his treatment.

Children’s cancer ward, Cipto Hospital

At Cipto hospital many families face the same dilemma as those at Dharmais and MCK therefore works closely with the doctors and nurses to provide assistance to those most in need. Among the children who have received MCK support at Cipto hospital in recent months are 6-year-old Zaenab and 15-month-old Zaki, both suffering from Leukaemia, and 6-year-old Vina, who has a tumor on her retina.

Zaenab

Zaki

Vina

Neonatal unit, Cipto hospital

In recent months, MCK has provided support for hundreds of premature babies being treated in the neonatal ward at Cipto hospital. For the poorest families the unanticipated costs associated with the medical care needed for a premature baby are often overwhelming. In the most desperate cases, parents abandon their newly born infants at the hospital because they are unable to pay the bills.

Infectious ward, Cipto hospital

MCK continues to provide financial assistance for children in the infectious ward, many of whom are also suffering from malnutrition. The photo below shows doctors and nurses from the ward.

Doctors and nurses at the infectious ward, Cipto Hospital

Hospital visits by MCK supporters

While MCK would not be able to do the work we do without the money generously provided by our donors, MCK is delighted that their kindness so often also extends to taking the time to visit the children and show their concern for them and their families.

JIS students

JIS students have continued to pay visits the children’s cancer ward at Dharmais to spend time with the children and, in April, two of them joined Dan Roberts of Clowns without Borders/ Hidung Merah Circus to entertain them.

British Women’s Association (BWA) volunteers have been regular visitors to Cipto hospital. The photo below shows two of them, Chris and Penny, preparing to give out to those undergoing treatment school bags, books and pencils donated by BIS students.

Chris and Penny

BWA volunteers

Izzi Pizza/Priscilla Hall Memorial Foundation

Don Hall (second from right), Julie (left)

For those of you who like pizza and would also like to contribute to the work of MCK, why not try a Priscilla pizza? For each one sold, Izzi Pizza donates Rp. 1,000 to the Priscilla Hall Memorial Foundation. The Foundation matches each Rp. 1,000 and the proceeds go to MCK. Don Hall, who runs the foundation set up in his daughter’s name, at the children’s cancer ward of Cipto, is pictured here with MCK volunteer, Julie, and two ward doctors.

In Memoriam

MCK volunteers were deeply saddened by the death in May of Nina, dedicated Dharmais hospital children’s cancer ward volunteer. She is much missed.

Nina

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