Friends of Cancer Patients (FoCP) is utilising the ninth edition of Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival (SCRF 2017) to raise awareness about the issue of childhood cancer. The not-for-profit organisation, which works to support cancer patients and their families, has a stand at the fair which is currently underway at Expo Centre Sharjah.
FoCP’s participation at SCRF 2017 aims to educate individuals and families on the efforts of ‘ANA’ (‘I’) Childhood Cancer Initiative, a childhood cancer campaign that falls under its ‘Kashf’ initiative for the early detection of cancer and for promoting awareness of the disease in those under the age of 18 years.
FoCP is showcasing a number of books and publications at its SCRF 2017 stand, most notably author Saleha Ghabesh’s book titled Raheeq Al Ward (Nectar Rose), illustrated by Ruth Boroz, published by the Royal Publishing House in collaboration with ‘Wanna Read’ initiative and funded by the FoCP.
“The book tells the story of Omran, a boy with cancer, and his friend Raheeq Al Ward, which symbolises the chemotherapy doses that Omran regularly undergoes. It is aimed at reducing the fear around this form of treatment, dispelling myths and encouraging young cancer patients and their parents to accept and engage with chemotherapy,” said Saleha Obaid .
Dr. Sawsan Al Madhi, Director General of FoCP, called on families to instil values of selflessness in youngsters and to encourage them to participate in humanitarian initiatives that seek to achieve noble objectives. She underlined that buying a copy from the book contributes towards meeting childhood cancer treatment costs and helps young sufferers realise that they have their community’s support in their fight against the disease.
“At FoCP, we are keen to take part at SCRF each year because it is gives us an invaluable opportunity to communicate directly with children and their families. It enables us to educate households on our efforts to fight all types of cancer and childhood cancer in particular. It also provides us with an environment where we can encourage visitors to contribute to covering the treatment costs for childhood cancer patients,” said Al Madhi.
Also on display at FoCP’s stand is the ‘Ana Heroes Bag,’ the product of an initiative launched in 2014 by Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah, Founder and Royal Patron of FoCP and International Ambassador of the World Cancer Declaration for Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) and International Ambassador for Childhood Cancer for UICC. Each bag includes books, crayons, a toy, a tablet, a hat and other gifts, allowing visitors to purchase the bag to childhood cancer patients of the ANA initiative. FoCP’s team is also using its stand to distribute childhood cancer awareness pamphlets to visitors to SCRF, with the leaflets including information about the signs and symptoms of childhood cancer.
FoCP is a non-profit organisation founded in 1999 to promote awareness about the early detectable cancers; breast cancer, cervical cancer, prostate cancer, childhood cancer, skin cancer, testicular cancer and colorectal cancer. The organisation is dedicated to providing moral and financial support to thousands of patients and their families, irrespective of their gender, race and age. FoCP has so far succeeded in providing support to more than 3,700 cancer patients and their families in the UAE.
Attached picture for FoCP’s participating stand
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