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St. Jude Childcare Centres – Bringing In A Sense Of Community Among Childhood Cancer Patients And Their Families

More than 50,000 children in India suffer from cancer. It is important that the number of health support groups and NGOs in the country too should grow at an equivalent rate and people should be made more aware of cancer as a disease.

Although most childhood cancers are curable with medication, radiation and chemotherapy, only 15 to 45 percent of children survive the disease in low and middle-income countries. Since India falls in this category of nations, it is important to support the underprivileged section of society.

A child with cancer needs healthy nutrition and holistic care to fight cancer. Physical strength plays an important role too. These children need to have the physical strength to get through radiation and chemotherapy which is a part of the cancer treatment. However, most childhood cancer patients are malnourished. This makes them more prone to secondary infections and side-effects.

In addition, these children and their families need to feel a sense of belonging and need support as a community, since living with cancer can be a time of great stress and anxiety for families.

Another important aspect of successful recovery is good hygiene. Since cancer treatment takes a considerable toll on the immune system, it is important that children battling cancer are given holistic care during treatment. Underprivileged families migrate from rural or semi-urban areas for treatment and find it difficult to seek shelter in the metropolitan or urban areas. As they come from lower income groups, a large proportion of their income is spent on treatment and they have to compromise on the basic necessities of life – a healthy diet, good hygiene and social security. Due to lack of housing, these families often have to live on the sidewalks adjoining the hospital during treatment, exposing their child’s immune compromised bodies to secondary infections making them more vulnerable.


This is where St. Jude India ChildCare Centres steps in.

1. Provides Accommodation:

St. Judes India provides a home away from home for children with cancer and their families during treatment. These centres are well-equipped with facilities for children to live with their parents. Each family is provided with a room that has a bed and storage space for the family. Moreover, every family is provided a kitchen space, along with common bathrooms with clean and hygienic toilets and bathing areas, as well as a place for the families to wash their clothes.

2. Provides Nutritional Support:

The centres believe that home-cooked meal by the parents is what children need when they are sick. The families are provided with all cooking essentials and ration to cook a healthy, wholesome meal. The ration is replenished every week.

3. Provides Transportation:

Most St. Judes centres are located away from the hospital areas where the children are treated for cancer. St. Judes provides transportation facilities whenever they have to go to the hospital.

4. Provides Counselling:

Since families migrate to bigger cities for cancer treatment, they don’t necessarily have friends or acquaintances or other support systems. St. Judes provides these families a friendly experience and environment through counselling. This helps the children and their families to cope with the confusion, fear and apprehensions about cancer and help them feel more positive and have a relaxed state of mind.

5. Provides Education And Recreation:

Since the children have to leave their hometown for treatment, their education is often interrupted, and they miss out on school. To address this issue, St. Judes conducts educational sessions within its centres. This helps the children remain in touch with their school work and also helps them to acquire new skills.

6. Provides Music-Based Therapy & Yoga:

Music therapy is known to improve the quality of life of cancer patients and help the children handle several issues like pain, anxiety, and fatigue. Yoga and exercise help them lead a stress-free life.

Childhood is the time to enjoy, have fun, and learn and experience new things, things that children living with cancer often miss out on.

Thanks to St Judes, and the comprehensive and holistic help, these children now have a place to live, make friends, and beat cancer!

Support Us In Our Initiative

Your support through donations can help us bridge the gap between what the hospitals provide and what every child with cancer needs to get a fighting chance to beat cancer.

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