”Imagine being 10 years old. In the past couple of weeks you had repeating colds, felt tired and exhausted. After various check-ups you are told that you are suffering from leukaemia. Just like you about 1800 children in Germany are diagnosed with cancer – every year. The diagnosis is usually followed by months you spent mostly at the hospital undergoing strenuous and painful treatment: surgery, chemotherapy, radiation. During this time your only focus is to fight to survive. Hopefully you belong to the 80% of children who can be cured from cancer and you intend to get back to everyday life as soon as possible. But soon you have to figure out that even though your cancer is cured, you are faced with fights.”
In the past years multiple of studies concluded, that the disease and its therapy most likely have long-term effects on the patients. Scars remain – externally as well as internally. After long phases of hospitalization, many patients struggle to find back into their previous social surroundings. As survivors of a life-threatening disease, they often feel excluded since none of their peers went through a similar experience and is able to relate to their worries and fears. Luise Küpper, psychologist at the cancer ward of the paediatric university hospital Leipzig concludes: “Fighting cancer means fighting two battles: the therapy and life after.”
The “Elternhilfe für krebskranke Kinder Leipzig e.V.
” aspires to see patients and their families through all stages of the disease. A vital field to be involved in is the post-rehabilitation support. A relatively new project is an annual overnight camp, where former patients between the ages of 7 and 13 years have the opportunity to get in touch and exchange experiences. Using a variety of methods originated in adventure therapy, art therapy, theatre pedagogy, as well as exercises training mindfulness and relaxation, the group as a whole but also the individual participants get to focus on their resources and strengths. In this safe environment everyone is invited to push their personal limits but also just enjoy themselves and have fun! After the last camp one patient summed her experience up: “I am more than my cancer!
This project is solely based on donations. Therefore, we rely on your donations to make the next camp happen. With your support our young patients can take part in a 5-day camp, including travels, accommodation, food, competent care, activities and work materials. Even the smallest contribution makes a difference.
Additionally, we are very pleased if you tell your family, friends and acquaintances about our project.