Christmas gala for children battling cancer at Ruby Hall Clinic

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Close to a hundred children experience the festivities of the season

Pune: The season of Christmas brings with it a wave of hope, magic and happiness for everyone – but to those who spend sleepless nights, have countless hospital visits and watch their children battle cancer, the seasons festivities are a far call. However, close to a hundred children battling cancer, along with their families, celebrated Christmas at
the Kamalnayan Bajaj Cancer Centre in Ruby Hall Clinic early on Saturday taking respite from the everyday struggles they face in fighting the disease.

A visit from Santa Claus, a magic show, party games, sand art, music and dance and lots of food formed the perfect environment for children and their families to revel in the fun and forget their struggles. In fact, the tattoo booth saw children painting on pictures of their superheroes and the photo booth too was swarming with kids strutting their best poses. It is social events such as this address critical areas faced by children and their families that are
often missed—such as the emotional, social, and physical issues brought on by treatment.

Research highlights that the percentage of cancer affecting children has more than doubled from over a decade ago. 1.6 to 4.8 per cent of all cancers in India are seen in children below 15 years of age, and the overall incidence is 38 to 124 per million children per year, making a total of about 40,000 children each year being diagnosed with cancer in this country. Sadly, outcomes in childhood cancer in our country are abysmal. Lack of access to care, stigma of
cancer and financial constraints have been the main reasons for only average outcomes over last several decades.

Says one parent, “Since my daughter was diagnosed with cancer, we have had to travel to the hospital at least once a month for treatment. We are thankful for the amount of warmth and support we receive each time we visit. It just makes us feel like there’s always hope, there’s always going to be a cure. The hospital’s backing has made us stronger through this ordeal.”

Right from providing the highest quality resources designed for children and families, to coordinating local assistance to families in need, to leading national advocacy campaigns for greater awareness, the Kamalnayan Bajaj Cancer Centre at Ruby Hall Clinic is dedicated to giving every child facing childhood cancer a fighting chance at a healthy, happy future.

On this occasion, Dr. Ashok Bhanage, Consultant Neurosurgeon, Chairman, Kamalnayan Bajaj Cancer Centre, Ruby Hall Clinic said, “Caring for a child who has cancer can put a huge strain on families, making the emotional and financial demands of holiday time especially hard. Events like this ensure these brave children remember how to
‘just be kids’ and their families experience more joy and less worry for the holidays. As an

organisation, however, our mission has always been to let these children and their families know that we are here for them, ready to provide nothing but the best in compassionate care and emotional support through their journey of cancer.”
Mr. Bomi Bhote, CEO, Ruby Hall Clinic adds, “For many of us, Christmas is a wonderful time of the year. But for those with cancer, it is a milestone. Hearing of their child’s diagnosis means not knowing whether they could spend another Christmas together as a family. At Ruby Hall Clinic, we believe that children should be waiting for Santa, not the doctors and this is exactly why we organise such a party every year. Expanding our breadth of services and giving hope to countless more children and adults, we are proud to have very recently laid the foundation stone of the second cancer building in the premises.”