Open letter: Cancer does not keep its distance!

Do not abandon the oncological patients in Romania!

We know how it feels when you receive unexpected news, that you were not prepared for. We know how it feels to stand in front of a critical moment when everything changes, suddenly, for you and your family. In 28 years of existence HOSPICE Casa Speranței has been close to its patients in their hardest moments of their lives, with a full support system for them and their families. We have learned together that, in critical situations, medical care and clinical support are as important as empathy and solidarity.

We are crossing a major crisis – but we are standing here, as always, next to the children and adults fighting an incurable illness. At the same time, we also want to be a support for the authorities, especially in these hard moments when we must be united and in permanent collaboration. We understand that the public health system is forced to take all the necessary measures in order to face the COVID-19 epidemic, but also to not expose the patients suffering from cancer to the risk of being infected with coronavirus while being cared for in public hospitals. It is a race against time and we must all make efforts, be responsible and solidary, so that all of these measures will pay off.

However, the incurable illnesses and cancer do not care about the context, as treatment and pain cannot be placed on hold. Our children and adult patients need urgent support and specialized care. The last days have shown us the merciless effects that the coronavirus has on oncological or chronic patients. For them, later can be too late. The Romanian patients suffering from cancer are among the most exposed in front of the coronavirus epidemic danger. In these moments, oncological patients are being released from public hospitals and sent home, sometimes without treatment. They are our parents, our friends, our colleagues, our neighbors and perhaps our children. They have seen door shut in front of them and heard a cold and discouraging “there is nothing else that can be done”, when there are so, so many things left to do. They are the most vulnerable to COVID-19 and currently they barely have any solution left.

Our two hospitals in Bucharest and Braşov are open, as always, 24/7 and the doctors, nurses and all the clinical staff of HOSPICE keeps standing next to the patients that need us. All our services are free of charge for the patients and their families, but we cannot keep going without support.

In 28 years of existence, we have seen what financial difficulties look like. Many times, we have confronted difficult moments and we managed to overcome them because of those who got involved, helped and believed in the cause of palliative care. Annually, 172.000 Romanians need palliative care. We want to thank you for showing us the power of “together” and for supporting us help as many patients as possible.

Now, we are asking again for solidarity and involvement: We kindly ask you to not abandon the cancer patients, because cancer does not keep its distance (#cancerdoesnotkeepitsdistance)! We will be able to offer free palliative care to many patients suffering from an incurable illness and to support the efforts made by the authorities in order to bring our contribution to freeing up space in public hospitals. We can do this with the support of the community, the companies and those who believe in the cause of palliative care. Only with your support.

Help us by donating on https://www.hospice.ro/doneaza/  or send an SMS at 8844 with the message TIMP (2 EURO).

Mirela Nemțanu,
Executive Director,
HOSPICE Casa Speranței Foundation