We are needed because children with cancer should not have to die of the disease, and because they deserve the best life they can have.
We are needed because their families, whose lives have been shattered, need to be able to survive, to get through their days with all the pain that is caused by having a child with cancer.
We are needed because life cannot always go back to normal once the cancer is gone. Just because the cancer is gone does not mean that life can go on as before. 70 per cent of all children diagnosed with cancer experience late complications after their recovery. That means problems and suffering that in many cases can be avoided. But that requires knowledge and motivation of the people surrounding the child – the schools, the health care system and the community at large. This is one area where we will press even harder to achieve change.
We are needed because we finance the majority of all research conducted in Sweden on childhood cancer, and that means that we are a necessity for paediatric cancer care to improve, so that no child in the future needs to die of cancer.
We are needed because, while childhood cancer research and care have made great progress, they still have not reached the goal – cancer is still the most common cause of death among children aged 1 to 14. To make even greater progress, we must focus more on the most important aspects. We need to hone our research efforts even more, especially in areas where breakthroughs have proven difficult. One fruitful way to get the best possible effect of the funds we control may be international partnerships between sister organisations and research projects in Sweden and other countries. For reasons of solidarity, we should also consider in the long term how we can support countries with limited resources to care for children with cancer.
We are needed because people must gain an understanding of childhood cancer, so we can influence and develop public opinion that will improve the situation for children with cancer and their families. And all this means that we plan to step up our political lobbying. If we succeed, it will not only benefit those affected by childhood cancer, but all children with severe chronic diseases, and their families.
We are needed not least to serve as a catalyst to ensure that all the incredible dedication that a quarter of a million people show will have the best possible effect; to gather all the positive forces in a popular movement consisting of the regional associations with a total of 20,000 members, 60,000 Child Supporters and 250,000 generous donors.