As we previously mentioned, Los Cabos Children’s Foundation (LCCF) supported three members of the medical team in the Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Unit of the Salvatierra Hospital in La Paz, to attend the XXI International Congress of the Mexican Association of Pediatric Onco-Hematology in Mexico City.
In this article you will meet Laura Ronquillo López, Clinical Psychologist of the unit, who had the opportunity to attend this congress, as well as three little patients who she supports at the cancer unit.
1. What is your position in the Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Unit?
My name is Laura Ronquillo López and I’m the Clinical Psycologist of the unit.
2. When did you join the unit’s team?
I started as a volunteer in the unit on February of 2013, and in July of 2013 I was officially contracted to join the team.
3. What work do you do with the children?
My job is to provide psychological support to the parents, when the patient is just a child, and directly to teenager patients, from the suspicion of cancer to the official diagnosis and during their treatment. We want children to express themselves through arts and crafts, and to try not to lose contact with their environment. We provide them with a recreational space to develop, and we offer them our full time support. We also provide psychological care for the siblings of cancer patients, who tend to feel neglected.
I also follow up with the patients in surveillance for their proper reintegration. We organize awareness talks with their teachers and their classmates for them to be prepared to receive the patient.
With terminally ill patients, we provide 24/7 support. When the patient dies, we invite the parents to come and mourn their child with us.
4. What motivated you to work with children with cancer?
I sought to learn more of cancer due to a personal experience. Four of my friends had breast cancer and I realized I didn’t know what to say to them in their situation. So I decided to start a course in the State Center for Psychology. That’s when Bibiana Cruz, the Social Worker at the Salvatierra Hospital, invited me to participate as a volunteer in the Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Unit. Once I started volunteering I knew this was my vocation and I decided to stay in this cancer unit.
5. What is the importance of participating in this type of congresses?
When working in the medical field, it is important to stay updated, as there are always new discoveries. Additionally, in this type of conferences you have the opportunity to share experiences with people around Mexico involved in the same field. As a result, a support network is built. I, for example, often talk with a psychologist in Tijuana that I met at this congress, and we support each other with any doubts we may have.
TRES LITTLE WARRIORS: ROSITA, NAOMI Y MIAH
Thanks to a donation made by one of LCCF’s supporters of a makeup kit for girls, Rosita, Naomi and Miah spent a fun morning with their psychologist, Laura, painting their cute faces. Even though they are in a difficult situation, they are still little girls and they love to play, have fun and make new friends! Take a look at these three beautiful warriors:
Rosita was diagnosed with Leukemia and started her treatment in the unit in May 17th of 2014. Her family is originally from Veracruz, but they moved to San José del Cabo, B.C.S. in search of a better quality of life. Rosita has been in treatment for 1 year and 4 months and today she is stable.
Rosita is a happy and fun child, and she is very excited as this month she is going to turn 4 years old!
Naomi, from La Paz, B.C.S., was diagnosed with Leukemia and started visiting the unit in January 24th of 2014, when she was 3 years old. Today, Naomi is 5 years old, and thanks to her treatment she is stable.
Naomi is a very friendly girl with a beautiful smile, who loves to learn new things and have fun in the playroom.
Miah, from Cabo San Lucas, B.C.S., was diagnosed at the ISSSTE with Leukemia and started her treatment at Obregón, Sonora. Two months later, in July 29th of 2014, she was moved to the cancer unit in La Paz, when she was only 2 and a half years old. Nowadays, Miah is stable and continues her treatment.
Miah is a little shy, but her teachers describe her as an artist. This cute little girl is very smart and loves arts and crafts.
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.