More than 100 representatives from organizations around the world celebrated on Friday the twentieth anniversary of the establishment of the International Confederation of Parents of Children with Cancer (ICCCPO), event organized by the Federación Española de Padres de NIÑOS CON CÁNCER, and in its name , the Valencian Asociation of NIÑOS CON CÁNCER, ASPANION. A very special commemoration, as the Federation is a founding member of the ICCCPO, the only global voice of those affected by this disease, consisting of 171 organizations from 88 countries, which was established in Valencia in May 1994. Then, as it was 20 years ago, this weekend Valencia became the world capital of child and adolescent cancer
ICCCPO President, Kenneth Dollman, showed pride in the act as he could see the huge amoutn of things that the Confederation has reached: “Based on their personal experience, their needs, their real, raw and sincere emotion, a group of parents 20 years ago formed an organization that was, and still remains, unique and gave it as a gift for all children and families affected by cancer in the world. “Who was the first president of the ICCCPO, and also the first president of the FEderación Española de Padres de NIÑOS CON CÁNCER, Jesús M ª González, was also excited about the achievements: “None of us chose to have a child with cancer, but we have been free to choose our dreams and our hopes, and they were, and are, working to ensure that all children and adolescents with cancer have the best treatments and the best quality of life. To achieve this we formed in 1985, the Asociación de Padres de NIños con Cáncer of Valencia, ASPANION, in 1990 the Federación Española de NIÑOS CON CÁNCER, and 1,994 ICCCPO, and the three are now a wonderful reality. “
The president of Federación Española de Padres de NIÑOS CON CÁNCER, Pilar Ortega, welcomed the attendees and thanked his great work, because “today NIÑOS CON CÁNCER embraces the entire world and through ICCCPO we are able to reach things that we never imagined. Under its protection, child and adolescent cancer has an unimaginable weight internationally that we never thought it would have at moment we constitute it “.
The Secretary of State for Social Services and Equality, Susana Camarero, highlighted the close collaboration of the Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality with NIÑOS CON CÁNCER, and reiterated its “recognition and commitment to continue working to meet the needs and demands of your families and your sons and daughters”. The Secretary of State said that “only 20% of children receive an advanced health care, while the remaining 80% live in less developed countries.” More than 90,000 children and teenagers die each year from cancer worldwide, deaths that can be avoided by strengthening the Early Detection and Research in Pediatric Oncology, as said by the ICCCPO. By the regional government, the Regional Minister for Social Welfare, Asunción Sánchez Zaplana, insisted that “we cannot turn our backs, but we must do all in our power to alleviate the damage and help the family. Treatments, research and social support, these are the three pillars on which should be based intervention”.
Important role of parents
In this widespread recognition of the work of parents of NIÑOS CON CÁNCER, has not missed the voice of doctors: the former president of the International Society of Pediatric Oncology, Gabrielle Calaminus, counted how “parents who directly suffered the situation of their children, from the 70s, decided to actively fight to change this. That was when the first groups of parents in European countries and elsewhere in the world were formed. The commitment of parents made it possible for resources to be incorporated in many hospitals to create units of childhood cancer and to fund sufficient staff with the necessary equipment. From the beginning having the adequate psychosocial support for patients and families was a clear objective of the efforts of parents. Even today parent groups cover part of the costs required to maintain the necessary psychosocial care. “
Moreover, during the weekend the 5th Meeting of the European Organizations of the ICCCPO was held, involving 96 representatives of parents and young childhood cancer survivors of all European countries. The representative NIÑOS CON CÁNCER in ICCCPO, Luisa Basset, explained topics planned for these sessions: “discuss European projects on Pediatric Clinical Trials, the survivor’s passport, adolescent’s rights, the long-term monitoring of the treatment side effects… and other key issues, such as the analysis of the future of Pediatric Oncology. These sessions are highly rewarding for parents and survivors and to all European society. “