SACMI is lending its support to Casa Gialla, a facility that provides child cancer patients not simply with treatment but a place to play and live. As Christmas 2023 nears, the SACMI Board of Directors has approved a major donation to help the association finalise its purchase of the facility, thus completing the ‘solidarity tender’ Ageop launched in 2021.
This morning, an inaugural ceremony was held in via Massarenti 183, in Bologna, with the unveiling of a plaque on the premises ‘adopted’ by SACMI. Attending the event were Paolo Mongardi, President of SACMI, Francesca Testoni, director of Ageop, and Giuliano Airoli, SACMI director.
The Casa Gialla project is run by Ageop Ricerca, a Bolognese association that has been committed to scientific research and support in the field of paediatric oncohematology for more than 40 years. Based in the Policlinico Sant’Orsola in Bologna, Ageop hosts, free of charge, hundreds of children and parents every year at 4 facilities located outside the hospital. This allows families – especially those from out of town – to cope with the long, delicate process of care and recovery. Young patients and their families are hosted here for as long as the treatment plan requires; they are then placed under the umbrella of a long-term ‘protected discharge’ plan that may last several months or even years.
Casa Gialla constitutes the last ‘piece’ of Ageop Ricerca’s integrated hosting system. Purchased and renovated in 2015, the building was recently the focus of a solidarity tender involving artists, businesses and institutions. SACMI has made a significant donation that will help the association pay off the mortgage taken out on the property.
Said Francesca Testoni, director of Ageop: “In our homes, everything is designed to ensure children and parents receive protection, aid and affection. Ageop’s free hosting service lets families treat their children at one of Italy’s leading hospitals. Helping to ensure all children have access to the best care available. Safeguarding the right to healthcare is one of our key goals and we’re extremely grateful to SACMI for the support it has chosen to give. Only together, in fact, can we build a better future for children and adolescents affected by cancer.”
Added Paolo Mongardi, President, SACMI: “By playing its part in practical projects, SACMI sustains the right to education and healthcare, especially children, worldwide. In this case, we’ve chosen to support a vital local facility that treats child cancer. It’s a facility that, perhaps more than any other, reflects the true meaning of solidarity and the importance of being able to count on adequate assistance and treatment networks”.
This is much more than ‘accommodation’. It’s a ‘home’ where you receive the welcoming support of doctors, psychologists and volunteers. Casa Gialla has family rooms and communal areas – such as a gym – that let guests share their experiences and lend each other emotional support as they face the treatment plan together.
Discussion with other families going through the same experience can be as valuable as consultation with the doctors. Practical and profound psychological needs are also met with the aid of the association’s two counsellors, who are based at Casa Gialla and are available 7 days a week.
At the heart of the facility lies the gym, a place where patients can overcome isolation by playing with other children, engaging in experiences and activities that gently soften this time of illness. In recognition of the support received, the gym and the two counsellors’ offices will be named after SACMI. For more visit sacmigroup.com