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Paediatric cancer patients in Vietnam receive Lunar New Year love

Thursday, January 10, 2019, 19:22 GMT+7
Paediatric cancer patients in Vietnam receive Lunar New Year love
Cancer patients receive gifts during a event held by Tuoi Tre Newspaper and Eco Pharma. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Toi Dong Hanh, or ‘I accompany’, a fundraising campaign jointly held by Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper and Eco Pharma has made it their mission to deliver Lunar New Year gifts to needy Vietnamese children diagnosed with cancer.

Four-hundred gifts were delivered to young cancer patients at the Vietnam National Children’s Hospital, National Institute of Hematology and Blood Transfusion, and K Hospital in the hope of bringing joy to these sick youngsters ahead of the upcoming Tet holiday season.


Chicken soup for the soul

For the two whole days, from January 5 to 6, the pain of tolling cancer treatment sessions seemed to disappear from the young cancer patients at the three hospitals.

These were the two days these young children were able to take a break from the pain of daily life and experience a bit normalcy.

Tang Thi Thao, a long-time resident in the hospital, wept with happiness when she received a cake on her third birthday on January 1.

Similarly, five-year-old Minh Anh, was overwhelmed with happiness when she got the present on her wish list: a cooking utensil toy set.

“I love cooking very much! Now that my wish has come true, I am so grateful!” Anh said.

For a once jubilant schoolgirl who has been so gloomy since her hospital admission the gift does has done wonders.

“My friends also wished me quick recovery. I miss my school, and my classmates so much,” she shared.


Nguyen Thi Hoa, 8, was exhausted before the gifting session as she had just finished her treatment. But the fatigue seemed to fade the moment she was presented with the pair of shoes she had yearned for.

“Now I have what I need to enjoy Lunar New Year to the fullest!” Hoa cheerily commented.

Stake for a brighter future

Tran Thanh Luan, deputy head of Hope and Belief club, who has for years shared his life accompanying young cancer patients, revealed a permanent blanket of sadness seems cast over the hospital.

“Though their wishes amount to little, their parents have invested everything for them so small gifts are hard to come by,” Luan starkly admitted.


Many fathers and mothers could not hold back their tears, as their children simply wished for “a better health.”

But save for the children, anyone can comprehend that their path ahead is arduous and perilous to no end.

“That’s why catering to them, bringing back lost smiles on their hopeful faces, is the happiness of all us contributors,” Luan affirmed.


Realizing the dream for 400+ young cancer patients

Nguyen Xuan Cuong, representative of Eco Pharma, affirmed Toi Dong Hanh 2018 could not claim such success without endearing support from the country’s internet community.

The campaign held late last year encouraged people to draw sunflowers and posted on social media to support the fundraising call.

Though only 6,833 among the 300,000 submitted sunflower drawings were eligible, in light of the meaningful charity program, Eco Pharma decided to sponsor all doodling contributions, raking up VND5.5 billion (US$237,259) for the activities.

“Today, at the Vietnam National Children’s Hospital, National Institute of Hematology and Blood Transfusion, and K Hospital, some 400 young cancer patients have been gifted presents according to their new year’s wishes,” said Cuong.

“Those gifts are the testimony of affection netizens have brought forth for our dear children. In the future, I do hope many more shall put in an effort to alleviate the pain and suffering such young and bright patients have to endure,” he further commented.

For four years straight, Toi Dong Hanh has strived nonstop for the welfare of Vietnamese young cancer patients.

Standing firm to the conviction that no children deserves such a tragic start in life, the campaign has since attracted nationwide support as a collective effort for the suffering younglings.

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Duy Khoi / Tuoi Tre News Contributor

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