NEW YORK: Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Founder and Royal Patron of the Friends of Cancer Patients Society (FoCP), International Ambassador of the World Cancer Declaration for Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) and International Ambassador for Childhood Cancer for UICC, and Wife of His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, visited the paediatric ward at New York–Presbyterian Cancer Hospital, a Columbia University Medical Centre Hospital.
The hospital is one of the oldest and most experienced hospitals in the US, with a paediatric ward that is unique in its application of the “Child Life” programme. According to this programme, the ward uses toys and drawings in disease management, and children rooms and most of the hospital’s facilities are painted with children favoured characters and colours, to help them cope with treatment.
During her presence at the hospital, Sheikh Jawaher launched a new international initiative under the title “Heroes Bag”. The initiative would present special bags of books, toys, and other gifts to children with cancer, helping them cope with the treatment and easing their suffering.
Sheikha Jawaher toured the hospital, accompanied by Dr Lee Goldman, Dean of the Faculties of Health Sciences and Medicine, and Dr Michael Weiner, Deputy Head of Paediatrics, in addition to a number of hospital officials and directors.
She also listened to an overview of services offered to children in general, and to children with cancer in particular, in addition to facilities and techniques used in the treatment of cancer patients. Al Qasimi also met a number of oncology consultants and specialists, and discussed types of cancer patients they admit and how they deal with them.
Sheikha Jawaher also visited a number of paediatric cancer patients, wishing them well recovery and expressing her compassion with their suffering. She also read stories with children and painted with them, before surprising them with “Heroes Bag” with books and toys at the end of her visit.
The bags also included a personal message from Sheikha Jawaher in English and Arabic, saying: “You are the hero of your story – so be brave and remember you are always in my heart.”
She promised the children to continue supporting them in their fight against this disease until they achieve recovery.
On the role of the surrounding environment in the management of cancer patients, Sheikha Jawaher emphasised the importance of this environment, especially with the long treatment duration, and the hard investigations and management procedures.
She also emphasised the importance of collaboration between medical institutions in the West with their counterparts in developing countries, which do not enjoy the same level of funding, adding that treating children with cancer is high in her personal agenda.
Sheikha Jawaher’s delegation met the management team at New York–Presbyterian Hospital, where they listened to an overview of hospital processes and procedures, and proposed future collaboration to import the hospital’s great experience to benefit cancer patients in the UAE and other parts of the world.