Friends of Cancer Patients help over 5,000 people - GulfToday

Friends of Cancer Patients help over 5,000 people


FOCP engages cancer patients, their families, survivors and the UAE community at large in awareness and advocacy programmes.

The UAE-based non-profit, Friends of Cancer Patients (FOCP), has announced its half-yearly performance statistics for 2019. The numbers reveal they have been going strong in continuing their cancer awareness advocacy and treatment support efforts. Having accumulated over 5,000 beneficiaries since their inception, FOCP has already brought 215 new patients and their families within their support radius in 2019.   

In keeping with its focus on ensuring mental well-being of cancer patients and their families to cope with the demands of the disease, FOCP has rolled out 17 different activities to boost the morale of cancer patients. These included enabling them to perform the Umrah rituals. It also continued their Iftar gathering tradition for the 11th year in a row, for it is a great opportunity for patients and their families to meet and connect with others in a similar situation.

FOCP’s popular child-support initiative, Joy Cart, has made eight visits to children cancer wards in UAE hospitals, bringing smiles to the faces of numerous children undergoing treatment and taking their minds off their arduous journeys through a multitude of fun activities.

‘Colour my World’, on the other hand, has already been organised by FOCP seven times this year. The patient-focused activations featured in this programme included leisure trips, sports activities and skill-enhancing workshops.

FOCP has set in motion a total of six advocacy efforts during this period. It organised a Cervical Cancer Forum titled ‘Turning the tide on HPV and Cervical Cancer’ .The forum aimed to turn the attention of the region’s stakeholders towards the importance of concerted action to introduce the HPV vaccine and screenings for cervical cancer, which would prevent thousands of future cases in the MENA region where it’s one of the leading causes of cancer mortality among women.

In March, FOCP signed a partnership agreement with the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) to increase the global impact of their activities to combat cancer in 2019–20.

It won the prestigious ‘Global Good Governance (3G) Service Excellence Award for Social Sector and Philanthropy’ for the second year consecutively, and in March, hosted the first edition of the Global Forum on Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) for Children in collaboration with the Global NCD Child.

The non-profit also participated in the International Society of Paediatric Oncology’s conference, 12th SIOP Asia 2019, held in Abu Dhabi in April in addition to hosting the Childhood Cancer International.

Community engagement

FOCP has continued to engage cancer patients, their families, survivors and the UAE community at large in awareness and advocacy programmes in the first half of the year. The popular Pink Caravan Ride mapped the UAE once again in 2019, offering free screenings and clinical examinations to about 7,200 women and men. This has resulted in multiple cases of breast cancer being diagnosed, who are all currently receiving treatment support from FOCP.

The second edition of Ana-vation School Championship, a one-of-a-kind youth initiative to educate children about the importance of early detection of paediatric cancers, resulted in tremendous success. A total of 180 students from 15 schools across the UAE participated and submitted excellent projects containing details of simple inventions to detect the most common signs of paediatric cancer, using their STEM knowledge.

The cancer charity established a presence at the popular Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival 2019 for a sixth consecutive year. It considers it a great platform to heighten the knowledge and awareness of the thousands of children and youth who visit the festival, about paediatric cancers.

It also organised a mini Relay For Life this year in collaboration with Chalhoub Group, a team fundraising event to raise awareness of cancer and spread the importance of a healthy lifestyle in addition to supporting those who are battling cancer.

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