FOCP Bringing Childhood Cancer Awareness to Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival 2019

FOCP Bringing Childhood Cancer Awareness to Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival 2019 Including activities to highlight its pediatric cancer initiative, ‘Ana’

Sharjah April 23, 2019:For the sixth year in a row, Friends of Cancer Patients (FOCP) is participating at the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival (SCRF), to draw the UAE community’s attention towards childhood cancer, and particularly, highlight the early signs of paediatric cancer to the thousands of children and young adults visiting the festival.

The goals of FOCP’s ‘Ana’ initiative – dedicated to educating people about childhood cancer with a focus on the importance of early detection – are under focus at the FOCP booth at SCRF 2019. Their team is distributing information booklets that list the common symptoms of pediatric cancer, including paleness, unexplained weight loss, vomiting, increased swelling and excessive bleeding.

According to World Health Organization (WHO), childhood cancer is the fourth most common cause of death in children under 15 years of age in industrialised countries.

Dr Sawsan Al Madhi, Director General of FOCP, said: “SCRF brings together school students from all over UAE, and is a great platform to promote awareness among them and their families about pediatric cancers. It also gives us the opportunity to highlight our recent efforts in our fight against the 12 childhood cancers. The ‘Ana-vation’ initiative is one of them, which has been shedding light on the importance of early detection of childhood cancer to school students through fun-filled and educational activities. The Ana-vation School Championship is offering children the opportunity to use their knowledge in S.T.E.A.M. concepts (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths) to build simple devices based on DIY robotics, which can detect the early symptoms of cancer.”

The Rose Nectar, a book featuring the story of Imran, a pediatric cancer patient, by author Salha Obaid Ghabesh and released by the Royal Publishing House, is available at the FOCP booth at SCRF 2019. It aims to encourage children diagnosed with cancer to better understand and respond positively to therapy sessions.

Goodbye Cancer, Welcome Pumpkin, another FOCP release in collaboration with Kalimat Publishing, is written by Jenna Mathias and translated by Fatima Sharaf Eldine. The book tells the story of a mother diagnosed with cancer, whose husband and children decide to grow pumpkin trees to show their love to her. As the plants grow, the mother’s health condition gets better, until she is fully recovered.

FOCP’s booth is also hosting activities to introduce to visitors ‘Heroes Bag’, an international initiative launched by HH Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Founder and Patron of FOCP, International Ambassador for Childhood Cancer for UICC in 2014. The Heroes Bag contains books, toys, colouring pencils, a tablet, a hat and other gifts, which are being sold to public. The sales proceeds will support their ‘Ana’ initiative. Heroes Bag has been created to bring hope and joy to pediatric cancer patients.

FOCP is also offering a detailed showcase of the ‘Ana-vation’ School Championship, which is currently in its second edition. By training school goers above the age of 11 years to create simple devices that will help detect cancer symptoms, the project is making them more cancer aware. The second edition of the initiative has seen the participation of 10 schools who have all submitted their prototypes. Winners will be announced on May 2, 2019.


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