CanKids…KidsCan, a non-profit family support group for children with cancer and their families, is a National Society dedicated to a Change for Childhood Cancer in India. It was set up in January 2004 in Delhi under the umbrella of Indian Cancer Society and in June 2012 registered as a separate National Society. Ten years from inception, it has support services working in 42 pediatric cancer units across the country, with regional offices in Delhi (HQ), Lucknow, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai and a presence in Madurai, Trivandrum, Ahmadabad, Nagpur, Lucknow, Rohtak, Patna, Assam and Cuttack. CanKids has three Homes Away from Home – in Delhi, Kolkata and Trivandrum; the Country’s first Pediatric Palliative Care Daycare and Transition Home in Delhi; and the country’s first special school for children with cancer, in a PPP with the Bombay Municipal Corporation, in Mumbai. Awareness, Advocacy and Patient Support projects have been launched as focused interventions on specific childhood cancers like Retinoblastoma, Wilm’s Tumor and Osteo sarcoma as well as for Pediatric Stem Cell Transplants and Pediatric Palliative Care, with the support, guidance and involvement of a medical advisory from India and overseas. Cankids is a grass-roots level, field organization of over 250 people (volunteers, survivors, parents of children with cancer and employees) committed to enabling the best standards of treatment, care and support for children with cancer and their families in India.
CanKids’ vision is to ensure children with cancer enjoy highest attainable standards of health and facilities for treatment, care and support and it has adopted Article 24 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child; CanKids believes best international survival rates (75-90%) should prevail for children with cancer in India, although at present most die, and it seeks to ensure no child dies from cancer due to lack of finance; it has developed an entire spectrum of support services for pediatric cancer across the country – from moment of diagnosis through treatment, in survivorship, or for palliative care for the terminally ill child and bereavement support for the families. These support services are subsumed under its core programs – Medical, Educational, Emotional and Awareness. The mission also includes creating child-friendly, comfortable and pain free environments for children under treatment since CanKids believes that kids with cancer should live a full life, even while undergoing treatment.