An early stage cancer support programme, Gift of Smiles, for children has been devised by the Rotary Cancer and Research Foundation (RCRF) with the help of a global grant worth $40,000, in partnership with RC Madras Midtown, RID 3232, and RC Melawati from Kuala Lumpur, RID 3300, Malaysia.
Under this project, 25 children from low-income families, diagnosed with early stages of leukaemia and lymphoma, the most common forms of paediatric cancer, will be supported with financial assistance of up to ₹1 lakh. “The Cancer Institute, Adyar, will provide complete treatment for these children till they are discharged. If there is a need for more funds, other philanthropic support will be availed by the institute,” said Shankar Duraiswami, managing trustee, RCRF. Post-treatment support for medicines and nutrition would be continued for the children, and wherever needed RCRF would extend help.
The objective of Gift of Smiles is not only to seek funding on a larger scale for early cancer detection and treatment of children, but to “inform the Rotary world about this programme and create a support base as we carry this to a large number of beneficiaries and increase financial support to children with other types of cancer,” said Duraiswami. The Gift of Smiles is just a beginning of a major plan of RCRF to create awareness, extend counselling/support and train people in taking care of cancer-affected people in their communities.