On November 28, Ross junior Cheyenne Eberstadt and sophomore Olivia Eberstadt hosted a community meeting in Gandhi Hall to share their work in support of The Friends of Egyptian Children with Cancer (FOCC). They introduced their grandmother, Laila Ghali Armstrong, who has been working with FOCC to build a refuge for these children while they undergo treatment.
Laila explained that the children’s families often cannot afford the travel expenses associated with ongoing cancer treatment or do not understand the implications of not finishing treatments. Bringing their children home from the hospital in between treatments leaves them exposed to unhygienic conditions. The survival rate of children with cancer in Cairo is less than 50%.
With this in mind, FOCC paired up with Care with Love, an organization that provides home health care, to build the Hope and Oasis Center at Wadi El Natroun, outside Cairo. It is the first center in Egypt to offer services for children with cancer while supporting and educating their families on the importance of treatment. Built on 10 acres, the center provides housing, proper nutrition, and infection control as well as supports the emotional and physical well-being of children and their families. Another 40 acres of farmland next door supplies the center with fresh produce and offers work opportunities for parents when needed.
Following Laila’s presentation, Cheyenne and Olivia hosted a bake sale featuring a plethora of home-baked goods and raised $443 for the Hope and Oasis Center.