D H M S
AN EZ LIVING & THEIR LIVES MATTER PARTNERSHIP
EZ Living first got involved with Dr Trish Scanlan and Their Lives Matter when we were invited to a charity ball in Galway back in 2019. It was here we first heard Dr Trish and Their Lives Matter’s incredible story. We were instantly blown away by the sacrifice and dedication Dr Trish and so many other medical professionals have given throughout their lives to help treat countless Tanzanian children who are battling childhood cancer. Birthdays, family gatherings and holidays have all been missed to devote their lives to this cause.
Our hearts felt the weight of these children, we knew we had to get involved in some way. We got our thinking caps on and soon found a way to make a small difference in the lives of these amazing children with the help of comfortable new mattresses. Unfortunately, the children were sleeping in beds that were far from favourable. Providing comfort for the children of Their Lives Matter was the main agenda to ensure they could rest easy and recover.
By that Monday, we used our knowledge and connections and arranged a full container of mattresses to make the long journey from the West Coast of Ireland to the Eastern Coast of Africa. After a lot of barriers and hardship, the mattresses finally made it to their rightful home where the children in Their Lives Matter can now rest a little easier.
This charity is extremely close to our hearts, and like many others, their funding has been greatly affected by Covid 19. We are constantly coming up with new ways to help Dr Trish and the rest of the team. Most recently, our warehouse was utilised as a base to send medical equipment from Ireland to Tanzania. We are now calling on our customers to donate something as little as a cup of coffee to help treat the children of Tanzania.
For the estimated 4,500 children who develop childhood cancer every year in Tanzania, the ability to afford the travel, medical and associated costs is a distant dream. Enter Dr Trish Scanlan, Paediatric Oncologist and Wicklow native who has been working in Tanzania for over 15 years, and whose NGO (Non-governmental organisation) Tumaini La Maisha (hope for life) will celebrate their 10 year Anniversary in October 2021.
Tumaini La Maisha funds, sources and provides everything from chemotherapy, medical training, play therapy, transport and so much more, entirely for free - for every child. Their Lives Matter Ireland and UK support Tumaini La Maisha’s mission to provide free and curative cancer treatment to every child in Tanzania - the three non-profit organisations are collectively known as ‘We Are TLM’.
Dr Trish Scanlan first came to Tanzania to conduct a needs assessment of childhood cancer services as part of her master’s dissertation. Inspired by the dedication of the skeleton team at the only ward in the country treating children with cancer, despite a chronic lack of resources, Dr Trish was determined to find some means to support these children.
When she arrived, all children’s cancer treatment was provided by one doctor (the wonderful Dr Jane Kaijage) and 3 nurses. Drugs were reliably available for only one condition: Burkitt’s Lymphoma (named after the Irish Surgeon Denis Burkitt who lived and worked in Uganda). Survival for the few children who presented for treatment was less than 10%. In 15 years, the survival rate for the >730 children treated annually has increased to over 50%.
Dr Trish’s Tanzanian NGO - Tumaini La Maisha, partners with a network of childhood cancer treatment centres across Tanzania and provides a range of support including free chemotherapy for all children being treated across this network. Sadly currently only 20% of the estimated 4500 children affected by cancer present for care.
TLM is determined to build this network until every single child who develops cancer every year in Tanzania is reached and treated, and the team needs your support to do so. Dr Trish’s own experience with relapsed breast cancer, gives her a unique connection with her patients and fuels the fire of her advocacy and life’s work - to end suffering and needless death of children with cancer in Tanzania - ‘Their Lives Matter’.
Gustav was admitted to hospital in October 2007 after being diagnosed with Leukaemia. The biggest challenges he remembers from that time were the shortage of beds on the children’s cancer ward, with 3 or 4 children and parents often having to share one hospital bed and shortages of drugs ‘often drugs prescribed by the doctors simply were not available’.
Gustav responded excellently to his treatment and survived against the odds. Although he is now well, he has returned to the cancer wards but this time, as part of the TLM team!
Inspired by the challenges he saw around him as a patient, Gustav decided to study laboratory science and technology and has been working as a phlebotomist on the Upendo (love) & Tumaini (hope) children’s cancer wards with Dr Trish and her team in Dar es Salaam for over a year.
Gustav is proof that childhood cancers can be curable provided it is treated with the correct protocols and in good time. Gustav is an inspiration to all the little patients he interacts with every day and the TLM team with whom he works. Your donation is powerful and can mean the survival of many more children with cancer, just like Gustav. Donate today for their tomorrows - Their Lives Matter!
WHAT WILL YOUR DONATION DO?
Dr Trish has ensured that the organisation never wastes a single penny donated and squeezes the maximum value from each gift, while maintaining the very highest standards of care possible. This is best illustrated by the cost of treating 730+ children in 2019 for the equivalent cost of treating 5 leukaemia patients in Finland, the cheapest treatment available in Europe!
Donations like yours support not only the large chemotherapy bills that the organisation covers for every child in the country, but their many and varied programmes. TLM provides school education for children, skills classes for parents, hostel facilities, transport, psycho-social therapy and clown doctors, nutrition including twice daily nutritional smoothies, special morning porridge and high calorie feeds to combat malnutrition among other things!
TO ILLUSTRATE THE POWER OF YOUR DONATIONS: