Nelson Mandela said, “History will judge us by the difference we make in the everyday lives of children, for they are the foundation for a better nation and world.”
Our beautiful T&T is plagued by its fair share of traumatising cases of cancer in children. Even a glancing review of the paediatric cancer cases in T&T reveals many missed chemotherapy appointments and missed follow-ups, leading to failed treatment and possible loss of life … a truly sad happenstance.
Many forms of paediatric cancers have gone from being a death sentence to a curable disease. Thanks to advances in treatments, the overall survival rate for paediatric cancers has increased from ten per cent a few decades ago to nearly 90 per cent today. For our children to benefit from these survival rates, we must be proactive in ensuring the completion of treatment and continued support for their affected families.
It is understandable within the family structure that commonly exists in the Caribbean that if there are multiple children, organising for one child to attend medical appointments while trying to care for other children can be challenging. Parents find their resources of time, energy and finances are so stretched, that often they delay or neglect medical follow-up.
Genesis of Promise House TT
For these reasons and the passion within the hearts of a committed group of people to improve the lives of innocent children afflicted by cancer, Promise House TT, a registered NGO, was birthed.
Starting with the renovations of a property in Santa Cruz, when completed this ‘home away from home’ will provide a comprehensive living environment conducive to successful patient recovery, keeping in mind the holistic needs of the child.
“We are currently renovating the building and grounds, with the next steps being furnishing the interior, equipping the facility, and raising funds to operate the home. This project will enhance the lives of paediatric cancer patients and their families unspeakably, as their stay at Promise House TT will not only ensure their attendance at clinic appointments, but will include services such as play therapy, tuition, and occupational therapy at no cost to the family. This facility will meet world-class standards. It will be a home that most of these children have never experienced,” the NGO stated.
By getting this project off the ground and into reality, the group will change the lives of these children and build a stronger foundation in this country.
“From the conceptualisation to where we have reached in the current renovation timeline, this project has seen many volunteers and created a wave of positivity in our T&T landscape. Donations such as cards of hope from a kindergarten class to part proceeds from a bingo fundraiser, we have been touched by the meaningful gestures of this project.
“We encourage everyone and anyone that wants to be involved, to do so, whether it’s time devoted, resources, physical labour, personal skill, or monetary donation, all are appreciated.”