Help seriously-ill children live with joy
Since 2006, driven by the belief that no child should ever have to live or die in pain, Rachel House has been providing home-based palliative care for seriously-ill children from some of the most marginalized communities in Jakarta, Indonesia, at free of charge. Our medical team soothes the pain and manage the symptoms of the children, as well as provides support for the emotional, social, financial, and spiritual needs for the entire family.
For many of these children living with serious illnesses, Rachel House is their only lifeline to medical care and assistance, as their families earn too little to even put food on the table.
On this Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, we would like to invite everyone to stand together and open our hearts to help the children living with serious illnesses at Rachel House (approx. 45% are living with terminal cancer).
Your precious contribution will help us provide the much-needed care for these children in the comfort of their homes, as well as access to medicines, medical equipment, daily essentials, and transportation to-and-from the hospitals for critical treatment.
From 18 – 22 September, through Little by Little Campaign, GlobalGiving will match your donation at 50% (up to $50 USD). Let’s make donation now to extend the impact of your dollar! Together we can bring joy and dignity to the remaining days of these children.
Below is a story of Dimas, one of Rachel House's patients, who has to battle terminal-staged cancer at a tender age of 12 years old.
Dimas* was just an ordinary elementary school boy when he was diagnosed with nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) – a cancer that occurs in the nasopharynx, the area behind the nose - a type of cancer that is more commonly found in Southeast Asia.
One of Rachel House nurses explained the condition of the young boy as we were on the way to visit him. After a short drive, we arrived at a modest house, a shelter for young cancer patients and their families who have travelled to Jakarta in search of treatment and cure for their children.
Dimas got out of bed and grinned as he saw the nurse and I walk into his room. “Hello, Dimas, how are you?” asked the nurse. “I’m well,” said Dimas as he welcomed us inside. Dimas comes from a humble village far from the hustle and bustle of the city. As modern healthcare is scarce in his area, he comes with his father to Jakarta, the nation’s capital city, for his treatment.
When Dimas was admitted to Rachel House’s service at the beginning of the year, he was bedridden due to his illness. The tumour had spread to his brain, which made him blind in the right eye and unable to see clearly on his left.
Seeing his smile and the positivity he exuded, it was hard to fathom how a cheerful thirteen-year-old had to deal with such difficult life challenges. While the majority of boys and girls his age are starting junior high school and exploring new things, Dimas is forced to hold off his ambitions due to his serious condition.
His joyful face belies the intrusive thoughts that frequently cross his mind. “I often worry that I will experience a relapse,” said Dimas. He fears he will once again suffer from severe headaches or nosebleeds. Nevertheless, he accepts his situation and has an unwavering determination that helps him get through each day.
Dimas misses home and his friends terribly when he’s in Jakarta. His homesick feeling was partly soothed when he was able to go back to his hometown for a few weeks during the Eid holidays. “What did you do when you were back home, Dimas?” asked the nurse as Dimas told us about his experience and the things he did back home. “I flew a kite, played football with my friends, and rode a bike!” answered Dimas enthusiastically.
After the lighthearted conversation, the nurse started the physical examination for Dimas, checking his vital signs such as his blood pressure, heart rate, temperature, respiratory rate. The nurse found Dimas slightly underweight when he stepped on the scale. She reached insider her bag for two large cans of milk powder and suggested that Dimas drink them to boost his weight. Dimas and his father gratefully accepted the milk powder as well as cooking ingredients such as rice, cooking oil and salt that Rachel House provides as part of their donations to ensure the wellbeing of their patients and their families.
Rachel House is available 24/7 for Dimas and his father, whenever they need a medical team to consult with, or when Dimas need additional medication for his symptoms. Being so far away from home, Rachel House is a pillar of strength and comfort for Dimas and his father. The support Rachel House provides has undoubtedly impacted their lives.