An interview with Lara
Dear Lara, please introduce the initiative to our readers in a few sentences.
The initiative supports families of children with cancer before, during and after treatment. In our parents' house with 35 rooms, the affected families have a so-called "temporary home" within walking distance of Essen University Hospital. This allows parents and children to stay very close together during treatment.
In addition, our psychosocial team accompanies the family members through the ups and downs of this difficult time and provides advice. Contact with other affected families and numerous offers help to cope with the daily tasks in this extreme life situation. The association is run by a voluntary board and is financed by donations.
How did the idea of your project come about, how did it develop?
The initiative was founded in 1983 by parents who were affected themselves, in other words, by parents whose children had cancer and were being treated at Essen University Hospital. These parents themselves experienced first-hand the multitude of problems the family is confronted with - in addition to the main concern for the child's life.
The aim was and is to provide the best possible support to currently affected families in this extreme situation. The accommodation of the family, whose actual centre of life is often many hundreds of kilometres away, very quickly turned out to be one of the biggest problems at that time, because who can afford a hotel room in a big city for months or years? All the other services, such as a group for orphaned parents for grief counselling, music therapy or leisure activities, were added step by step over the years.
What drives you every day, what are you passionate about?
Whoever works here in the Parents' House, no matter in which field, has daily contact with the families and the children, because the association's rooms are in the middle of the parents' house. Experiencing the sick children, their siblings and parents every day in their euphoric as well as desperate moments and witnessing how grateful they are for our help and how bravely and courageously they stand up again every day for the fight against cancer, drives us all incredibly. It also makes us very humble and puts our own seemingly insignificant "little problems" into perspective.
If you had to name in 3 to 4 key words, in which areas you change the world for the better, what would these three words be?
HELPING CHILDREN WITH CANCER
Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?
The often-read slogan "Every donation counts" sometimes seems trivial, but it is not! The majority of the donations that fund our work are generated from 2-digit private donations, amazing, isn't it? If you feel like it, be a part of it, because ... every donation counts! 😉
Thank you for these exciting insights. We are happy that we can support you together with the staff! If you want to know more, you can find detailed information here on the website of Essener Elterninitiative zur Unterstützung krebskranker Kinder e.V..