Six children from Turkiye who are battling with leukaemia have arrived in London for a special visit for fun and also to meet with Turkish community members as young ambassadors of blood cancer charity LÖSEV.
The five-day trip has been arranged by LÖSEV, a leading Turkish charity specialising in supporting children with leukaemia, which this year celebrates its 25th anniversary.
All six children, who are aged between 12 and 16 years old, have been supported by LÖSEV as they battle blood cancer; they are currently either in remission or in the final stages of their treatment.
As a treat, the children will visit iconic landmarks, such as the London Eye, Trafalgar Square, and the Royal Horse Guards, and other fun places in and around the British capital.
The trip has been made possible support from individual donors, volunteers and sponsors, such as Pegasus Airlines, EK Chauffeur, T-VINE Magazine, and their trip hosts, the Turkish Women’s Philanthropic Association (TWPA).
It forms one of a series of domestic and international visits that have been arranged by LÖSEV as part of its 25th anniversary celebrations.
The charity’s International Relations Co-ordinator Dr. Arzu Celalifer Ekinci said, “’At LÖSEV, we are committed to providing hope and love to children who have gone through years of leukaemia treatment and successfully completed their battles.
“We are celebrating our 25th year with a special journey to honour these precious children and add unforgettable memories to their lives.”
“This trip to London will not only offer our children cultural experiences, but also a chance to explore one of the most enchanting cities in the world. Furthermore, this journey will help our children carry even greater hopes for the future, connect with life and appreciate their determination in the fight against leukaemia,” Dr Ekinci added.
The trip is also a precursor to LÖSEV’s annual awareness week, which this year falls on 2-8 November, where it helps people understand what leukaemia is, while also fundraising for its pioneering support to children and young people fighting this deadly disease.
Formed in 1988 in response to a call from medical staff at SSK Ankara Children’s Hospital for televisions in rooms where sick children were staying for treatment after hospital management failed to fund this request, LÖSEV has expanded considerably to take on many more projects.
It 2000, they opened Turkiye’s first and only hospital for children with leukaemia in the Turkish capital Ankara, followed eight years later with a school, allowing children undergoing treatment and their siblings to receive free college education near to the hospital.
To make it easier on families supporting their children with blood cancer, LÖSEV raised money to create a village, so those coming from outside Ankara for specialist treatment could stay together in accommodation free, available for both long and short-term.
As the charity’s scope grew, so did its profile across Turkiye, which in turn helped the Turkish public gain a better understanding of cancer and specifically leukaemia.
This, along with better funding for LÖSEV, spurred the charity on to explore better ways to prevent blood cancer and to fund research into new solutions to treat the disease, and provide more comprehensive social and permanent services.
In 2015, they established a multi-disciplinary hospital called LÖSANTE, set in what is essentially a town specifically created to support children with leukaemia with all the necessary equipment and expertise on site. This was not only a first for Turkiye, but also Europe.
Today, LÖSEV has become “a huge family with hundreds of employees, tens of thousands of patients and their families and more than 5 million volunteers.”
For those wishing to learn more about and to support the invaluable work of LÖSEV, visit their website here.