St Judes, a Comforting Abode
Just pause for a moment and try to imagine leaving your home to battle one of the most dreadful diseases in a strange place, in the face of an unknown future.
This may seem far-fetched, but it is a reality for the many afflicted with childhood cancer. Being affected by this terrifying disease at such a tender age takes a huge toll on the minds and bodies of these young cancer patients, and being deprived of a safe environment only compounds their suffering. Having to travel from rural, semi-urban areas to big cities to get access to the best cancer treatment, underprivileged children and their families invariably face challenges in meeting their daily needs, especially that of proper nutrition and a safe, hygienic environment.
They end up staying in unsanitary, hazardous living conditions on footpaths, railway stations, and pavements outside the treating hospitals. The environment and lack of support can be disheartening, and often, they resort to abandoning treatment and returning to their homes, thereby increasing the likelihood of their child succumbing to cancer.
St Judes, A Comforting Abode
St Judes offers such families a ray of hope. Childhood cancers have a high cure rate if medical treatment is supported by an infection-free, nourishing and cheerful environment. St. Judes provides just this. Its vision is to give every cancer-ridden child a ‘clean, safe, comfortable, caring, and cost-free place to stay’.
St. Judes has become synonymous with ‘home away from home’- a place of care and comfort.
St Judes Care – 3 Circles of Comfort
St. Jude views cancer care for children as three distinct areas or circles.
- The first circle: medical treatment
- The second circle: physical space
- The third circle: mental space
To this end, St Judes delivers on its promise of providing a ‘home away from home’ to children battling cancer by giving them:
- A free, clean, and hygienic place to stay
- Cooking facilities and nutritious rations
- Free transport to the hospitals
- Value-based education
- Recreational facilities
- Counselling sessions
The patient’s perception of St. Judes as a place of comfort in their darkest hour is evident by the fact that they consider it their home and the St Judes’ community of staff and other residents as family. This was documented in the recent paper ‘Impact of Holistic housing care’ at St. Jude India Child Care Centers’ and reveals the extent to which St Judes has won a place in the hearts of these young cancer warriors.
Passionately and tirelessly, St. Judes continues to work for the well-being of childhood cancer patients and their families. They remain steadfast in their mission to make these little warriors’ and their families’ battle to beat cancer a more comforting journey. And, it continues to remain so, long after they complete their treatment and won their fight against cancer. This is evident in their latest project – St. Judes for Life. It is a programme that provides assistance to children who have recovered from cancer, known as Judians, in areas such as higher education and career counselling, creating a complete circle of care.