Last year, the PCRF organised 60 medical missions to Palestine and helped save the lives of hundreds of children
The Palestine’s Children’s Relief Fund under the patronage of the Red Crescent is holding a gala dinner to celebrate twenty years of humanitarian work in the West Bank, Gaza strip and neighbouring countries like Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Syria. The event will take place on Thursday, 5th May 2011 at 8.00 pm, The Address Hotel – Dubai Marina.
Hundreds of children in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) are diagnosed with various forms of chronic and acute cancer every year. Due to the socio-political circumstances in Palestine, most notably the military siege in Gaza and denial of access for West Bankers to Palestinian medical institutions in East Jerusalem; many local children do not have direct access to the specialized medical or surgical care they need.
The Gala for Life is therefore an initiative towards establishing a specialised paediatric cancer department within the existing Al Hussein Hospital, Beit Jala (Bethlehem), Palestine. The purpose is to provide medical and surgical care for children requiring long-term treatment and support in the area of oncology and haematology. 2.5 million (UAE) Dirhams is the estimated cost for this project and the PCRF hopes with confidence that this goal will be achieved though the ongoing assistance of its committed supporters both locally and globally.
Our efforts in the UAE are not possible without the support of local foundations and sponsorships by businesses. On this occasion, leading companies like Drake & Scull International, Bayt.com, GolinHarris, NSCC and Porcelain International have come forward as generous sponsors for the event. Proceeds from the evening will go towards the realization of the Paediatric Cancer Department at the Hussein Hospital, Beit Jala.
The department will be dedicated to the memory of Huda Al Masri, who co-founded the charity in 1991, and herself suffered from cancer. Huda passed away in 2008. Her relentless efforts in improving the health of sick children in Palestine are now continued by her husband Steve Sosebee, CEO, and Founder of PCRF. The new medical unit will be inaugurated by Steve and Huda’s two daughters, 14 year old Deema and 4 year old Jenna.
Steve Sosebee, CEO, and Founder of the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund, says “A quality paediatric oncology department at Al Hussein Hospital, as well as a social support network to assist families, will not only save the lives of sick children and improve the quality of health care in Palestine; but will also save the Palestinian Authority millions of dollars annually, which can be used to better provide care for patients locally. We hope the true value of this project is understood in this medical and humanitarian context.”
Rabea Ataya, Chairman and CEO of Bayt.com states “Bayt.com is delighted to be sponsors of the PCRF, whose work is clearly making an impact on young patients and their families. It is an inspiring organization and we look forward to continuing to support its work as part of the Middle East business community”
Other major supporters of the PCRF, include Sheikh Khalifa Medical City (SKMC) Abu Dhabi, AL Noor Hospital (AL Ain) , Emirates Hospital, Medcare, Moorfields Eye Hospital, (Dubai) and Sharjah School of Dentistry.
Dr Chris Canning, CEO and Medical Director of Moorfields Eye Hospital Dubai, comments: "Moorfields Dubai has had the privilege of working with the PCRF for the last two years and through their efforts, we have been able to provide vital medical help and treatment for several young patients with serious eye related conditions, offering specialist assistance when local facilities may be difficult to access.”
Medical missions at the rate of one per week are facilitated by the PCRF headquarters. Last year, the PCRF organised 60 medical missions to Palestine and helped save the lives of hundreds of children.
Dr. Jesus Diaz Guijarro Hayes, Emergency Medicine specialist and Dr Lucia Heras Garcia, Hand and Orthopaedic Surgery specialist, at Sheikh Khalifa Medical City Abu Dhbi, long time supporters of the PCRF state “It is often difficult for us to get to the territories, but the work that we do there is amply rewarding in terms of results and the ability to help the patients that need our expertise on the ground”.
Iman Odeh, Patient Affairs volunteer says “We realise the impact of philanthropy on our work and history speaks for itself: PCRF’s Paediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Unit in Makassed Hospital, Jerusalem, is a ten year old facility that helped save the lives of hundreds of children with serious heart problems and continues to do so until this day. It is the most modern facility available for our young patients. Volunteer doctors travel from all over the globe and are able to operate on children as young as one week, thanks to the philanthropy of our supporters and volunteers, their contributions that have helped finance this facility.”