To mark the occasion of International Childhood Cancer Day, Diriyah hosted a special commemoration for childhood cancer survivors featuring a series of events in support of their battles against the disease.
Observed each year on Feb. 15, International Childhood Cancer Day is a global collaborative initiative that aims to promote better understanding of how the lives of young cancer patients and their families can be changed for the better. The 2022 theme focuses on “Better Survival” and how this is achievable #throughyourhands.
The Diriyah Gate Development Authority’s community engagement team worked across two days, Feb. 14 and 15, to raise awareness about childhood cancer in Saudi Arabia and encourage support within the local community for children affected by the disease, and their families.
A mobile blood donation unit from King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center was stationed at a popular commercial center in Diriyah with support from Sanad, a nonprofit children’s cancer support association that aims to assist cancer centers for children in Saudi Arabia. The local community was invited to donate blood to aid this important cause and also learn about Sanad’s efforts to help childhood cancer patients and survivors across the country.
To honor the survivors of childhood cancer, DGDA projected images of the children onto the historic Salwa Palace in At-Turaif and invited the youngsters and their families to take an exclusive tour of the birthplace of the Kingdom and learn about the heritage of Diriyah.
Nourah Aljuhaymi, a community engagement specialist at DGDA, highlighted the success of the International Childhood Cancer Day events and said: “The staff and residents of the Diriyah community were inspired to take a further step to support the children by bringing them some joy. We were moved by their smiles as they saw their images projected onto At-Turaif’s Salwa Palace.
“Through their shared experiences, we learned that communities could help increase survival rates for childhood cancer through blood-donation drives, spending quality time with the children and listening to their stories.
“These children are very special to the Diriyah community and we feel honored that we were able to make this small gesture to improve their lives, and pray for their immediate recovery and for strength for their families.”
In a heartfelt gesture, members of the local community and employees of DGDA presented the children with generous gifts, including iPhones, dollhouses and video game consoles, from a wish list compiled by Sanad.
“The past year-and-a-half has been a monumental challenge to global public health, with childhood cancer prevention among the areas affected by people staying at home during the pandemic,” said Aljuhaymi.
“Although there have been obstacles in blood-donation drives and meet-ups for families, the world is now rising to meet the challenge head-on. Diriyah is no exception and is committed to bringing joy and support to these little heroes and their families.”
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