Putting wind in their sails
All the money raised last December was donated to the Iskierka foundation, which has been providing care for children suffering from cancer and their families for over twelve years. The foundation used the funds to buy equipment for a cancer ward in Zabrze, as well as to take some of the children and their parents on an unforgettable sailing holiday in Masuria.
Let’s start with the holiday – four groups of yachters spent a wonderful week on the water under the supervision of experienced sailors. “Our kids simply loved it: cleaning the deck, tying the ropes and preparing meals,” said one of the mothers. “Sleeping on the boats, cooking together, learning the tricks of sailing, the evening campfires and learning shanties – all of this has made it possible for our family life, which has been dominated by our child’s illness for months, to regain its balance for just a few days.”
“Each day involved new challenges, but even the rain, the wind as well as the blazing hot sun are all fond memories now,” recalls Iwona, the mother of Zuzia and Dawid. “We struck up some fantastic new friendships that are bound to last and – who knows? – perhaps we will be going somewhere else together again!
“The cruise on the lakes taught us new things about sailing and about coping with the unusual situations that happen when you’re on the water,” adds Ewelina, who went on the cruise with her mum. “It was a beautiful week, full of excitement and memorable moments,” she emphasises.
The week-long cruise around the Masurian lakes gave the families the chance to spend some precious time together, and this was especially important for those who have been separated by long periods of hospital treatment. They could also share their experiences with other families struggling with similar problems as well turn to them for emotional support. Such joint excursions help to dispel the stereotypes that surround ill people and encourage them to develop their sense of self-worth, while also motivating them to fight their illnesses.
The quality of their everyday life is also improved when hospital walls are decorated in happy colours and when you can find a fun game to play or book to read in the day-care room. The Iskierka foundation already has eight renovations of paediatric wards under its belt in Poland and is currently finishing the refurbishment of the children’s haematology and cancer ward at the Independent Public Research Hospital No. 1 in Zabrze. Some of the funds raised by the Eurobuild auction were used to buy a macerator for the disposal of dishes and medical supplies.
“We are constantly looking for sponsors, to help us to buy medical equipment and medications and support cancer research,” explains Jolanta Czernicka-Siwecka, the president of the Iskierka foundation. “We would like to thank the auction organisers and all the sponsors so much for their kind and excellent support,” she adds.