For a child, bedtime is nothing but a well-deserved rest from an intense day of school, games and walks. For a child battling cancer on the other hand, bedtime arrives after a stressful day of medical treatment and drugs which help him to fight for his own life. On the 28th of last November, some members of the Government and the local council, accompanied by two important and well-known Cuban artists – Joel, guitarist of the popular band ‘Buena Fe’ and Ana Karla Suárez, dancer from the video ‘Bailando’ – paid a visit to sick children at the paediatric ward of the Oncological institute in the locality of Plaza (an area of Vedado,in the city of Havana).
The visit was very straightforward; yet full of love and affection. The children (Laura, Lorena, Jonathan and Mario Alejandro) who are only two years of age and suffer from a terrible, deadly disease greeted us with smiles. We brought them some books. The happiness on their faces was a little ray of light amid the darkness. What stood out was the dedication and commitment of the medical staff: psychologist, trauma specialist, educators; always ready to tend to every little need that the children had.
The expensive treatments are given free of charge, as is the teaching program which has been specially designed for children who have to spend most of their time in hospital. Thanks to this system, the little ones receive the education required to continue their studies when they get better.
Children, medical staff, family members and support staff are all a happy family with one common goal: to do everything possible to heal.