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Launched International Initiative "Heroes Bag"

Support Children with Cancer

September 27th,2014

Jawaher Al Qasimi Visits Pediatric Cancer Patients at NewYork–Presbyterian Hospital

Jawaher Al Qasimi to the Children: "You are the HERO of your story – so be BRAVE and remember you are ALWAYS in my HEART"

Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Wife of the Ruler of Sharjah, Founder and Royal Patron of the Friends of Cancer Patients Society (FoCP), International Ambassador of the World Cancer Declaration for Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) and International Ambassador for Childhood Cancer for UICC, visited the pediatric ward at NewYork–Presbyterian Cancer Hospital in New York, a Columbia University Medical Center Hospital.

The hospital is one of the oldest and most experienced hospitals in the US, with a pediatric ward that is unique in its application of the "Child Life" program. According to this program, the ward uses toys and drawings in disease management, and children rooms and most of the hospital's facilities are painted with children favored characters and colors, to help them cope with treatment.

During her presence at the hospital, Wife of His Highness Ruler of Sharjah launched a new international initiative under the title "Heroes Bag". The initiative will present special bags of books, toys, and other gifts to children with cancer, helping them cope with the treatment and easing their suffering.

Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher toured the hospital, accompanied by Dr. Lee Goldman, Dean of the Faculties of Health Sciences and Medicine, and Dr. Michael Weiner, Deputy Head of Pediatrics, in addition to a number of hospital officials and directors. Her Highness listened to an overview of services offered to children in general, and to children with cancer in particular, in addition to facilities and techniques used in the treatment of cancer patients. Al Qasimi also met a number of oncology consultants and specialists, and discussed types of cancers they admit and how they deal with them.

Her Highness also visited a number of pediatric cancer patients, wishing them well recovery and expressing her compassion with their suffering. She also read stories with childrena nd painted with them, before surprising them with "Heroes Bag" with books and toys at the end of her visit. The bags also included a personal message from Her Highness in English and Arabic, saying: "You are the hero of your story – so be brave and remember you are always in my heart"

Her Highness promised the children to continue supporting them in their fight against this disease until the achieve recovery.

On the role of the surrounding environment in the management of cancer patients, Sheikha Jawaher Al Qasimi emphasized the importance of this environment, especially with the long treatment duration, and the hard investigations and management procedures. Her Highness also emphasized the importance of collaboration between medical institutions in the west with their counterparts in developing countries, which do not enjoy the same level of funding, adding that treating children with cancer is high in her personal agenda.

Wife of His Highness Ruler of Sharjah and FoCP delegation met with the management team at NewYork–Presbyterian Hospital, where they listened to an overview of hospital processes and procedures, and proposed future collaboration to import the hospital's great experience to benefit cancer patients in the UAE and other parts of the world.

In her role as International Ambassador of the World Cancer Declaration for Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi visited Muhimbili Hospital in Dar es Salam in Tanzania last April, where she met with a number of pediatric cancer patients. Her Highness also visited the Children's Cancer Center of Lebanon (CCCL) last year, which is affiliated with St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, USA, offering a generous contribution to the center, in the form of a children library. Moreover, Her Highness works via FoCP to link the Childhood Cancer program at UICC with another initiaive that Her Highness also heads, called "Salam ya Seghar", which is a fund launched in 2010, and dedicated to improving quality of life for children in Palestine.

In June 2013, Geneva-based UICC selected the wife of His Highness Ruler of Sharjah as International Ambassador of the World Cancer Declaration, and the first International Ambassador for Childhood Cancer for the World Cancer Declaration. Her Highness' selection for this title coronates her great efforts on local and international levels in supporting policies aiming at enhancing cancer control efforts, particularly with initiatives dedicated for awareness, early detection, and support for patients and their families.

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HH Sheikha Jawaher Al Qasimi during her visit to a cancer patient child at the hospital HH Sheikha Jawaher Al Qasimi with the cancer patient children at the hospital
HH Sheikha Jawaher Al Qasimi during her meeting with the hospital's management in New York