Children are like stars.
There are never too many.
– Mother Teresa of Calcutta
Bibiana Cruz Rodríguez, Social Worker at the Cancer Unit in Salvatierra Hospital in La Paz, thanks us with this analogy for the support given by our foundation so she could attend the XXI International Congress of the Mexican Association of Pediatric Onco-Hematology in Mexico City.
1. What is your position in the Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Unit?
My name is Bibiana Cruz Rodríguez and I’m the Social Worker of the unit.
2. When did you join the unit’s team?
I used to be the Social Worker in charge of the program for Early Detection of Breast and Cervical Cancer at the State Oncology Center, also located in the city of La Paz. Therefore, I was already familiar with cancer, but only in relation to adults. Dr. Altamirano invited me to join the team at this cancer unit since it opened its doors in April 30, 2013.
3. What work do you do with the children?
My job is to provide guidance to the families with regards to the needs of the patients. If they require financial support to cover their medical expenses, I conduct a socioeconomic study and inform them where they can go to obtain funds for their treatments (chemotherapy), specialized studies, special medication (antibiotics) and generally anything that is not covered by the Seguro Popular. They are channeled either to DIF, Atención Ciudadana or Beneficiencia Pública, which are offices of the State and Municipal Governments that provide financial support to our most vulnerable population for specific situations. I also manage the applications to foundations such as Sudccai or Amigos de los Niños that provide chemotherapies, other medications and transportation of the patients. Finally, I’m the link if the patient requires interconsultation, for example, physiotherapy provided by CRIT or CREE.
4. What motivated you to work with children with cancer?
I wanted to be a teacher, but I ended up dedicating my life to social work. Since I started working with children with cancer “I was hooked.”
5. What is the importance of participating in these type of congresses?
For me it is very important that we have the opportunity to attend these events, because we are constantly learning and there we can have contact with people that have a lot of experience in the field. Following my contact with the workers of the National Institute of Pediatrics at the Congress, I’m developing a new Social Research project for the Unit.
SANTIAGO, A WARRIOR STAR!
Santiago, 7 years old, is one of the children Bibiana guides with his treatment. He is a native of Ciudad Constitution and currently lives in Loreto. Santiago began his fight against Leukemia in Culiacán in 2010 and in 2012 he was transferred to La Paz, where he could be monitored closer to home. These were the beginnings of the Cancer Unit because before it was officially inaugurated as such, they treated the children in the general Pediatric area of Salvatierra Hospital. Santiago is currently in treatment after a second relapse in the central nervous system, but he never loses his incredible smile. He is truly a warrior star that shines with joy!
If you are interested in participating as a volunteer by doing activities with the children in the cancer unit or by donating material for arts and crafts, please contact our Development Director, Vanessa Figueroa, at firstname.lastname@example.org.