Liz and I (Ed!) are in the Philippines to learn more about the Mindanao Pediatric Cancer Care Network (MPCCN), a project supported in part by World Child Cancer. We are forming and developing friendships with the local childhood cancer teams, enabling us to learn first-hand about the challenges they face.
On our first full day in Davao (travel – including hefty delays – took over 24 hours) we visited House of Hope (HoH) and the childhood cancer ward at the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC). Dr Mae Dolendo showed us around HoH, which was alive with the music and games of a party (see the photos!).
It exists as a temporary home for children with cancer and up to two caregivers. Without it many families – which come from across the island of Mindanao – would have no place to stay during the child’s (often lengthy) treatment. The home is a project of the Rotary Club of Waling-Waling Davao. On our brief tour of the childhood cancer unit at SPMC we noticed how well-organised the team was. We will return to the ward on Monday to spend more time with the friendly staff.