Target: Dr. Federico Antillon, Founder of the cancer-fighting foundation “Ayudame a Vivir”
Goal: Thank Dr. Antillon for bringing life-saving cancer treatment to Guatemala.
A Guatemalan doctor has set up a free clinic for child cancer patients in his home country with the help of St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. In Guatemala, chemotherapy has been hard to come by. Where it was available, parents often cannot afford it. Children would get diagnosed when their cancer was already at a late stage. According to a recent article in NPR, nearly half of children diagnosed with cancer in Guatemala would not even come in for treatment. Those who started might have had to drop out due to lack of funds. Tragically, as a result, most children with curable cancers died. Recognize Dr. Antillon for working to eliminate this health disparity, so that these sick children can have a second chance at life.
After three years of studying oncology and hematology at St. Jude’s Hospital in Tennessee, Dr. Antillon returned to Guatemala, only to see that many doctors in his home country did not want to treat patients with cancer. Believing that they were going to die anyway, they saw admitting these patients as a waste of what few resources they had. Dr. Antillon had witnessed firsthand the positive impact chemotherapy could have. St. Jude’s also wanted to help developing nations fight cancer, and so gave Dr. Antillon funds to train doctors, pay nurses and other staff, and get equipment for chemo.
With the support of additional donors, Dr. Antillon has been able to give the National Pediatric Oncology Unit in Guatemala City its own ICU, in addition to a 60-bed specialized cancer unit, a pain care program, psychological support, transportation and lodging for patients and their parents in the city. For the poorest families, there is even a food basket, so parents do not have to worry about missing work to be with their children.
Please sign the petition below, and give your support to Dr. Antillon as he continues to help children with cancer live with dignity and heal.
Dear Dr. Antillon,
I am writing in order to thank you for your dedication to providing children with cancer with the quality treatment and care they need and deserve. Where before a cancer diagnosis meant a death sentence for a child, these children can have access to vital resources that can save their lives.
I understand that your current goal is to get children diagnosed earlier so they can receive treatment and be cured of cancer. I want to express my sincere support for your mission and your work, and wish you the best of luck as you move forward with this goal.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: ZaydaC via Pixabay