Reshma is winning her battle against cancer!
Reshma was 10 years old when she was diagnosed with Ewing's Sarcoma, a type of bone cancer. She had to undergo bone surgery and chemotherapy but her tiny and fragile body was in not ready for such intense treatment.
She is from a poor family and her parents did not have enough money to give her the food and nutrition she needed to endure the treatment. Without nutrition, the body reacts to chemotherapy like it is being poisoned. Reshma's condition only got worse over time.
She had no strength left in her hands and could not walk without a walker. She was weak, in pain and forgetting the last time she felt normal. She had lost hope of reaching there again.
When Cuddles discovered Reshma, they enrolled her in their program. They gave her a high-calorie protein-rich diet. They helped her build strength to accept the strong treatment that she needed.
Reshma gained weight and began to restore herself over time. She is still undergoing her treatment but now has a real shot at beating cancer.
By donating to this program
you will be sponsoring the overall costs incurred to support the beneficiaries
What the beneficiary gets
Cuddles foundation through this program works on providing holistic nutrition to underprivileged children suffering from cancer.
Most cancer affected children from low socioeconomic background are malnourished at diagnosis. As a result of this, their bodies are not strong enough to withstand the treatment.
**Food Heals Cancer**
When a child is well-nourished, she experiences fewer side-effects and treatment complications. This ensures that the child completes her treatment timely thereby improving her chances of survival.
At the hospital, every child is assessed by the Cuddles nutritionist who makes a customized diet plan for the child which includes important nutritional supplements like protein powder, protein biscuits, feeding tubes etc.
When you donate to this program you will help a child fight cancer with food.
25 November, 2021
Bracing for the 2nd lockdown
Activities and work undertaken in the last 5-6 months
Milestones - We added two new hospitals1. Cachar Cancer Hospital & Research Center, Silchar [15 May 2021]2. SRCC, Mumbai [01 Jan 2021]We are now present in 20 cities across the country4100 patients impacted [Jan01-June30] with 48000+ counselsThey were given Nutrition counselling & Aid, which helped them undertake chemotherapy, with reduced side effects & infections and maintained or improved their overall grade of malnourishment
Challenges faced and next steps
Challenges faced - Patient turnout impacted on account of lockdown. Vendor delivery also impacted on account of Travel restrictionsTo overcome these hurdles we gave additional Aid to patients to take care of the period when they are unable to travel. We also distributed Masks & sanitisers to help with hygiene during CovidOur Goal for the next 6 months is to add 5 more Hospitals and reach out to more children
Stories from the ground
Our influences during our formative years shape the rest of our lives. The importance of teaching healthy habits during childhood cannot be emphasised enough considering how malleable a child's personality is. A nurturing environment can empower a child to deal with any crisis as an adult. 15-year-old Mohit (Name changed due to privacy laws) is lucky to have parents who raised him on a steady dose of love and yoga. Unfortunately, his resilience was put to the test when he was diagnosed with B-Cell ALL (Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia) in 2019. "My father used to hide and cry when I started receiving chemotherapy and IV injections because my mother and I were initially unaware about cancer. Then one day, when I read in my file 'Leukaemia,' I Googled it and realised I have cancer," says Mohit, who can be an inspiration for both adults and children. Mohit's awareness of his condition and the ability to articulate it bravely is a source of strength for him and his family. Despite his diagnosis, Mohit has stuck to his early morning routine of doing yoga at 5. "It helps me de-stress and gives me a clear state of mind," adds Mohit, who is now under maintenance cycle and is back in his hometown, Buldhana, which is 490 km from Mumbai. "Initially, we were very overwhelmed with the cost of the treatment because Mohit's diagnosis happened in the middle of the lockdown. I work in the local court, and my work was affected because of this. The city of Mumbai can be tough to figure out if you are from a small town. But the help we received because of Cuddles’ Ration, In-Meal and Supplement Program made a lot of difference. I am positive about Mohit's recovery," adds Mohit's father, who is also his son's listening board and source of strength. Samina, our nutritionist at KEM Mumbai, adds, "Mohit and his family are one of the nicest people I have met. They look out for themselves and others around them. Mohit's father would often check on how my family was coping with the lockdown during our interactions. Mohit is also a very mature and sweet boy. Thanks to the emphasis on healthy habits in their daily lives, it was easy to work with him and his family. I am very hopeful about his recovery." Before Mohit's diagnosis, he was aiming to become an IES officer. But this experience of surviving cancer has made him rethink his life over the last few years, and he now wishes to be an Indian classical musician. Your support not only helps many children like Mohit, but it also helps to build a bright future for our society with well-adjusted human beings like him. So, thank you.
23 March, 2021
Begining again post Lockdown
Our operations in all hospitals, which were closed for certain months due to COVID-19, have restarted fully. OPD has opened in all the Hospitals. We saw an increased number of children in almost all Hospitals, as COVID-19 seemed to be relenting. We continued our projected Nutritional supplements and Ration Distribution to all the Children.
We also started operations in a new Hospital - BALCO in Naya Raipur
Our nutritionists, who were giving telephonic counselling during the lockdown, had started going to the hospital on a rotation basis immediately after the lockdown taking all the safety measures. There were a couple of close calls when our Nutritionists fell sick, but thankfully, it was not COVID-19. In fact, we celebrated Children's day & Diwali together in November, and surprised our children with a small gift and some tasty nutritional treats! In December, we celebrated Christmas although we could not get a Christmas tree and decorations etc as we were limiting all physical contact. Children enjoyed the surprises and welcomed the celebrations, although they were subdued, with a big smile and hope.
We thank you all for your continued support during these difficult times and wish you all a Happy, Safe and a Healthy 2021!
28 September, 2020
Become part of the Food Heals program and make a difference in the children's lives
Become part of the Food Heals program and make a difference in the children's lives
Childhood cancer is mostly curable. But in India, with up to 40% of children with cancer being severely malnourished at diagnosis, survival is a problem. Our mission is to change that with our FoodHeals Program. Here’s how we do it:
- Place nutritionists in government cancer hospitals- We partner with government hospitals that need nutritional support for a large number of pediatric patients. We carefully select and train a team that has both the heart and the skill to counsel children with cancer nutritionally.
- Provide food aid to patients- We support children and their families with free food and nutrition like nutritional supplements, hot meals, in-meals, eggs, bananas, and monthly ration baskets for a family of four.
- Provide nutritional knowledge to caregivers
Our FoodHeals program is customised to a child’s medical condition to provide holistic nutrition to her until she finishes her treatment at the hospital. It is done as follows-
● Assess: Screening and assessment of the nutritional status of every child seeking treatment for cancer in the hospital
● Diagnose: Identification of treatment complications with nutritional implications
● Prescribe: Nutrition intervention and prescribing a customized diet plan
● Provide: Provision of food and nutrition like nutritional supplements, hot meals, in-meals, eggs, bananas, monthly ration baskets
● Monitor: Continuous nutrition monitoring and reassessment
● Support: Supporting patient families with the knowledge to make healthier food choices
By sponsoring the FoodHeals program, children experience
- Lesser side-effects and treatment complications
- Fewer breaks or delays in treatment
- Improved chances for survival
- Better immunity against infection
- A feeling of being supported and cared for
5 August, 2020
We extended our reach to two new hospitals during this period - BHU Cancer Hospital in Varanasi and SRCC hosital in Mumbai.
We celebrated Diwali and Christmas with the children and gave them some extra nutritional goodies like Dry fruits. We also had puppet shows and Christmas tree decoration and selfie corners with the Santaclaus who distributed the goodies to the children. We continued our projected Nutritional supplements and Ration Distribution to these Children. During Nov, we were in the Hot Seat along with Amitabh Bacchan in Koun Banega Crorepati which helped us spread awareness to many more people about our program to provide holistic Nutritional support to the Children Fighting cancer.
All was going well as planned till March, when we were all hit by the Covid Pandemic. The initial days saw us discussing on how to tackle this new situation and we quickly got our act together. We have started doing Nutritional counselling on the phone as parents are unable to travel to Hospitals.
We had planned our annual training of nutritionist for April in Mumbai, but now with this pandemic we conducted it online during the lockdown and utilised the period.
3 December, 2019
Children receiving the care and support
Children receiving the care and support
22 July, 2019
50,000 children are diagnosed with cancer every year in India, of which only 22% make it to hospitals for treatment
40% of the children seeking treatment are malnourished. 90% of the pediatric oncology patients come from a low socio-economic background and 45% of these children come from BPL families.
60% of these children are from the villages and smaller towns and not from
the main metropolitan cities. Their parents earn meagre incomes, so they either end up living on footpaths or dharamshalas (shelter homes)
8 out of 10 children of these lose the fight against cancer because of lack of proper nutrition and guidance on nutrition. One of the reasons is that malnourished children are 5 times more likely to develop chemotherapy intolerance leading to refusal or abandonment of treatment, and resulting in death. We try to give such children a fair chance to fight cancer.
On most days, parents go without all 3 meals and sometimes so do the children. Since most of the families migrate to urban centers seeking treatment for the children, they do not have access to any source of income during treatment. They typically come to the city with meagre savings which get depleted quickly. Hence, they have no means of fulfilling the nutritional requirement of the children which is much needed to complete treatment. To help in this we provide ration to the families who have the cooking facility to ensure that they have one less thing to worry about and focus on ensuring the treatment of the child.
Story from the field
5-year old Manav (Name Changed for legal reasons) was admitted multiple times at various hospitals for his Cancer treatment. Things weren't going well for him at all, so at one point his parents abandoned his allopathic treatment and even switched to Ayurveda. That didn't help and Manav's health was beginning to clinically deteriorate further. His parents finally brought him to our partner hospital, Wadia, in Mumbai.
When we first assessed him nutritionally, Manav was diagnosed as Moderately Malnourished. He started with chemotherapy and was admitted in the ward for about a month because of complications. Due to chemo his food intake went down - what we call chemo-induced malnutrition. We closely monitored and patiently counselled him daily throughout his hospital stay. Our nutritionists would discuss and chart out nutritionally rich recipes with his mother that Manav could also enjoy. His parents diligently followed these instructions and with our combined efforts Manav's food intake started increasing. You'll be happy to know that Manav is now in maintenance and has enrolled back in school!
Even after his discharge, Manav's parents continue to follow all dietary instructions and are in touch with our nutritionists at every OPD visit. It's so amazing to see Manav run around and be the cheerful Spiderman-crazy kid that he always has been. He recently stood first in running at his school's Annual Sports Day! Thank you for feeding his hunger for life!
|What is the expected total number of beneficiaries in this program for FY18-19?||15000|
|What is the number of beneficiaries/ benefits provided in this program, Year-To-Date||13753|
|Village/City/State where project is located||Pan INdia|
|Total Budget for the project for FY18-19||10514901|
|Total Expenses for the project YTD||9640763|
30 October, 2018
Cuddles Foundation's Update
Good nutrition is especially important when a child has cancer. Both cancer and its treatments may affect a child's appetite, tolerance to foods, and their body's ability to use nutrients. Eating a well balanced diet before, during, and after treatment can help a child stay healthy and tolerate the treatment better.
Eating well during the treatment will help the child:
- tolerate treatment and treatment side effects
2)Stay closer to the treatment plan schedule
3) Faster Recovery
4) Have less risk of infection during treatment
5)Keep up their weight and their body's store of nutrients, thus better strength and energy.
6) Keeping up with normal growth and development.
Our supplementation program along with nutrition counseling largely helps us achieve the above in most kids. As most kids suffer from poor nutritional intake and supplementing their diet helps give a push to start feeding and improve grade of malnutrition.
In this financial year we have started our operations in two more hospitals thus reaching out to more children to nourish to fight their battle against Cancer.
Story from the field
Aditya Patel (name changed due to security issues), a 9 year old, was admitted with complain of fever, headache etc. On Investigation he was detected to have AML- a type of blood cancer. He was put on Chemo treatment. His first cycle of chemo went smoothly, but he returned in around 1 week with a complaint of fever, and severe pain in abdomen. Due to the side effects of Chemo, the child could hardly eat anything. Also, he used to cry aloud because of his abdominal pain and that's when he got detected with colitis (inflammation of the colon). He now was only meeting 20-30% of his calorie intake and his weight had reduced by1.5kgs from 20.5kgs to 19kgs.
Because of his colitis doctors advised strictly, 'No food intake by mouth' for few days until the inflammation settles. The child had already lost weight and would still loose weight if no food was given by mouth.
Therefore, we started him on total parenteral nutrition - which is Nutrition given through veins containing amino acids, fats and carbohydrates.
The parents were not able to afford the parental feeding bag, the cost of which is around 3000 per day which is really expensive so we procured this bag at our own expense and supported the child by giving appropriate nutrition required. We kept stepping up his requirement and by day 3 his inflammation subsided and we started him on clear liquids. By day 4 his total parenteral bag was weaned off and partial parenteral was advised which contains everything except fats. The child slowly and gradually started having full liquids to soft food. by the end of his stay when he fully recovered he gained 400 grams more which is 19.4kgs. After 1 week of his follow up he was now 20kgs and intake was also appropriate according to his requirements.
We could not have done this with out your help. A big thankyou from Aditya and Us for your care.
|Expected total number of beneficiaries in this program for FY18-19||2148|
|Number of beneficiaries/ benefits provided in this program this year||1214|