Thursday, February 3, 2011
My Motivational Wrist Band: NGO Report
I am using the slogan of Temerarii, a Romanian NGO that serves pediatric cancer patients, as my motivational slogan on my half-marathon in Prague. When a new pediatric patient is admitted in the oncology hospital, a Temerarii volunteer, usually themselves a former childhood cancer survivor, welcomes them to “the club” with the wristband that says in Romanian, “I know that I did it, you can do it, too.” This gives the new cancer patient hope that they, too, can overcome childhood cancer.
I met with Shajjad Rizvi, the Director of The Little People Romania and Temerarii, soon after I decided to run in a half-marathon. I felt that the next step in my own cancer recovery was to start running again. I needed a goal to motivate me, and since many of my friends have run in marathons or half-marathons, I thought, “I can do it, too.” When Shajjad showed me the wristband and told me how it was used to motivate and give hope in their NGO activities, I had to have one. On my recent trip to Texas I brought wristbands to many of my family and friends to enlist their help in keeping me motivated.
Here’s some information about the NGO: Their main objective is to provide care and support for children and young people affected by cancer. They have Patient Assistance Programs in four hospitals around the country, Cluj-Napoca, Timisoara, Bucharest, Iasi (pronounced Yah-sh). In two of those hospitals they have play therapy rooms to provide a child-friendly, non-restrictive environment for children after their treatments. Last year they provided over 100,000 hours of volunteer service to children cancer patients in hospital or in out-patient or post-treatment support activities. The Director, Shajjad Rizvi and his wife, Katie, a clinical psychologist, volunteer their time for this effort.