EZ Living campaign supports children with cancer in Tanzania

Published: Sat 14 Aug 2021, 8:00 AM

Last updated: Sat 14 Aug 2021, 09:20

Every now and then you hear a story that brings you to a halt, leaving you feeling inspired, amazed and awestruck. This is exactly how the Dilleen family, founders of EZ Living Furniture, felt in 2019 when they met Dr. Trish Scanlan and heard her incredible story. So much so, that they found it absolutely necessary to do what they could to help.

“It’s one thing to treat a patient right in front of you, it’s quite another to change the way a country cares for children with cancer” – Prof. Patrick Murray, Dean of Medicine and Medical Sciences, UCD, on Dr. Trish.

In 2006, Dr. Trish, as part of her master’s degree in international health, traveled to Tanzania to learn how childhood cancer was treated in other parts of the world. There she was confronted with a heartbreaking and bleak reality.

A chronic shortage of resources and drugs combined with the availability of only one doctor (the wonderful Dr. Jane Kaijage) and three nurses meant that the survival rate for children with cancer was less than 10%.

The following year, Dr. Trish returned to Tanzania with one goal: to improve and strengthen pediatric oncology services for the children of Tanzania. Her vision and dedication made a huge difference and within 18 months, Dr. Trish revolutionized cancer treatment for children to such an extent that survival rates increased from only 10% to 60%.

dr. Trish Scanlan

dr. Trish founded the Children’s Cancer Unit at Muhimbili National Hospital. Previously, about 100 children were treated. Fifteen years later and more than 750 children are taking advantage of free treatment. But unfortunately it still only affects a fraction of the estimated 4,500 pediatric cancer patients in Tanzania.

Their life matters (TLM)

In 2011, Tumaini la Misha, or Hope For Life, was founded, a parent association created to help and support the families of the patients. Tumaini la Misha would later become the international NGO collective Their Lives Matter, or TLM. dr. Trish and TLM share a dream, a dream where every child in Tanzania who needs it gets the best possible cancer treatment, all for free. dr. Trish has dedicated her life to treating and improving the lives of children with cancer and their families in Tanzania.

When the Dilleen family heard this extraordinary story, they felt compelled to contribute in whatever way they could. The following Monday, using all their connections and experience, there were plans to ship a container full of comfortable new mattresses from the west coast of Ireland to the east coast of Africa. After many obstacles and setbacks, the container finally arrived, providing much-needed comfort to the children taken in by TLM. Since then, the charity has been very close to the heart of the EZ Living Furniture family. Always looking for ways to make Dr. Trish, even to the extent that she uses the company warehouse as a base to ship medical equipment from Ireland to Tanzania, the EZ Living Furniture family has decided to ask the public for help on behalf of Dr. Trish and their lives are important. Funding for the charity has been hit hard by Covid-19. EZ Living Furniture is asking customers to donate as little as the price of a cup of coffee to help the children of Tanzania.

Buy a mask – Save a life

EZ Living Furniture sells handmade masks for $4 at each of their stores across the country. The masks were made in a skills workshop by parents of children treated by Dr. Trish and TLM.

All proceeds go to fund chemotherapy treatments, feeding programs, and more for the many sick children Dr. Trish and TLM take care of it.

For more information, visit EZ Living Furniture’s ‘Their Lives Matter’ webpage now.

Published: Sat 14 Aug 2021, 8:00 AM

Last updated: Sat 14 Aug 2021, 09:20

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