Unthinkable Journeys — Serving Families with Childhood Cancer

According to World Health Organization, over 1,000 children are diagnosed with cancer every day. While childhood cancer can be treatable, the outcome often depends on the child’s access to the proper resources and healthcare. Nonetheless, it is a devastating journey for families. 

Since cancer impacts many children and their families, Lions all over the world have found unique ways to support families facing this terrible journey. In Ribeirão Preto, Brazil, Lions decided to help expand the Children with Cancer Support Group (GACC), so they could serve even more people. The GACC is a nonprofit organization that provides a hostel for children receiving cancer treatment at Hospital Crianca. The Support House was able to accommodate up to 15 children at one time and serves an average of 250 children per year.  

The Lions of District LC6 are using a Childhood Cancer Grant of US$80,602 from Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) for this expansion project. Lions Clubs Ribeirão Campos Elisios and Ribeirão Preto Ipiranga were directly involved. Before the project started, only one member of a hospitalized child’s family could accompany them in the support home. Lions wanted the child to be able to have more support from additional members of their family while they are all struggling through this difficult time. In the instances where these could be the child’s final days, Lions recognized the importance of giving families the opportunity to live together and spend as much time sharing precious moments as possible. 

Lions are working to construct and furnish a common space that will include a balcony, living room, pantry, classroom and external bathroom for employees, as well as three suites with two beds each, and one bathroom per suite. The new space will increase the number of patients served to an additional 27 children with cancer and 27 companions per year. 

Beyond their work on the project, Lions used publicity techniques to raise awareness of childhood cancer, its impact on families, and how Lions' support is beneficial in these unfortunate circumstances. Their publicity through local media outlets and social media was a great way to inspire the community to help those in need by partnering with Lions, and they have additional plans for spreading even more awareness.  

Lions and Leos provide support for the needs of children and families affected by childhood cancer through impactful service activities like these and the help of LCIF grants. While the journey is difficult, not only for the child suffering from cancer but also for the family, Lions can offer hope and resources. With the expansion of the GACC, more families will be able to face cancer together.  

Learn more about how LCIF is helping fight the battle of childhood cancer and providing hope to families dealing with this heartbreaking disease.