70% to 90% Childhood Cancers are Curable! Children battling cancer and without access to proper accommodation and nutrition are 5 times more likely not to survive due to secondary infections, chemotherapy intolerance and treatment abandonment. Families coming to various cancer hospitals from different parts of the country for treatment usually do not have relatives or shelter here. Access Life offers them a hygienic shelter, coupled with a stress-free environment and nutritional support that gives our bravehearts an upper hand in their fight against cancer. Access Life shelters the lives of more than 297 individuals every year.
Our bravehearts have low immunity levels and using public transport exposes them to risk of infection that can hamper their progress in recovery. Given that each family makes an average of four trips to hospital per week during the course of the treatment, stress free transportation is a critical element of supportive care. We have four donated vehicles to facilitate their free transportation comfortably, as they go to the hospital for investigations, chemotherapy treatment/ surgery and follow-up, while their stay at Access Life.
Good Nutrition is especially important in cancer treatment because both the illness and its treatment can affect the patient’s appetite and nutritional status. At our centres, we provide food grains and nutritional supplements required for the children; as well as promote community cooking facilities at the housing accommodation.
EMOTIONAL & PSYCHOLOGICAL SUPPORT
Access Life is also about Emotional and Psychological Support (EPS) programmes that facilitate healing and equip the children and their families with practical ways to deal with the distress created by the disease. It’s about keeping the children engaged with educational sessions so that they don’t miss out on school; and teaching the parents new skills that could be a source of livelihood when they return to their respective hometowns after their child’s long treatment. From yoga, nutrition and counseling sessions, to storytelling, craft, and recreational activities, over 3300 events were conducted across our centres.
ACCESS LIFE HYGIENE KIT
Distribution of the Access Life Hygiene Kit is our initiative towards promoting hygienic living amongst families with children fighting cancer. We identified the lack of hygiene as one of the biggest challenges to fast and safe recovery, and more than just a small nuisance to treatment. In collaboration with Wadia hospital, each child is provided with a bag containing 24 items, packaged together as a ‘hygiene kit’. We hope to promote hygiene, to keep the road to recovery smooth; and that these habits carry forward onto other stages of their lives.