Bulletin Spring‧Summer Autumn‧Winter 1999

Chi ldren's Cancer Fund for The Chinese University of Hong Kong The Children's Cancer Fund is a charity appeal set up under the patronage of The Chinese University of Hong Kong with the aim of helping child cancer patients presently receiving treatment at the Prince of Wales Hospital It is run by a team of specialist doctors from the Department of Paediatrics at the Prince of Wales Hospital together with a group of dedicated volunteers who care very much for these unfortunate children. In the fifties, infectious diseases and malnutrition were the major threats to children's health. Today the menace comes from childhood cancer —a potential killer that takes five to six young lives every month in Hong Kong. Cancer in children may not be as rampant as in adults; however, the diagnosis of the disease in a child affects the entire family concerned. Over long periods of treatment usually lasting one to three years, the sick child suffers physical and psychological pain and the side effects of different forms of therapy, and the rest of the family undergo tremendous emotiona l stress and strain, trying to adjust to changes, preparing for loss. At the Department of Paediatric s in the Prince of Wales Hospital (the teaching hospital of The Chinese University of Hong Kong), a team of experienced University lecturers, doctors and nurses dedicate themselves to treating children suffering from cancer and blood diseases. Thi s team handles about 200 patients, representing more than half the number of child cancer patients in Hong Kong. Because treatment of childhood cancer is not a high priority item in the overall medical service subsidized by the Hong Kong government, the Children's Cancer Fund has been established to supplement government efforts in the treatment of childhood cancer in the Prince of Wales Hospital. The fund was officially inaugurated in November 1989, with more than 20 committee members all presently working on a voluntary basis. They include nurses, doctors, parents of children w i t h cancer and others who care about these unfortunate young people. Since its inauguration, the committee has been actively engaged in fund raising, receiving tremendous support from the general public and the mass media. By mid-1990, over seven million dollars has been raised for the fund. To date, some o f the objectives of the Children's Cancer Fund have been realized. A permanent, full- time counselling service has been set up to help families cope with depression and crisis. This service also supervises treatment at home for children from problem families. A medical information service on childhood cancer has started operation to enable parents of all child cancer patients in Hong Kong to understand more about the disease and its treatment. From time to time seminars on relevant topics for parents are organized. A newsletter in Chinese recently published by the fund aims at bringing together patients' families, doctors and all those working for the fund. Lady Ford, Patron of CCF, was presented a bouquet by a young cancer survivor A Christmas tea party for child cancer patients C O M M U N I T Y L I N K 14