The Children’s Cancer Center of Lebanon held its first public awareness conference on childhood cancer at the Issam Fares Hall on Friday, April 7, under the high patronage of H.E. Lebanese President Michel Aoun.
The one-day-conference was hosted in celebration of CCCL’s fifteenth anniversary and was open to all. With around 300 attendees, the four panels of the conference provided insight into childhood cancer, scientific advances in diagnosis and treatment, and the importance of community support.
The center’s PR and Communications Manager Karen Khoury discussed the importance of hosting such a conference.
“Initially, we took the initiative of organizing the first conference on childhood cancer because it aligned with the Children Cancer Center of Lebanon’s mission, which is partly to educate our public about childhood cancer, and was true to it,” said Khoury. “This conference was done to commemorate our 15th anniversary and was a pivotal moment in this celebration.”
The AUBMC event hosted international speakers and notable professors for its four panels, which tackled the requirements and challenges of managing childhood cancer, awareness and the latest treatment to the set of diseases, establishing a network of global collaborative centers, and the journey to recovery.
The conference was also accredited by the Lebanese Order of Physicians and included panelists such as Dr. Walid Ammar, the director general of the Ministry of Public Health and AUB senior lecturer, Dr. Mohammad H. Sayegh, the vice president of Medical Affairs and the dean of the Faculty of Medicine, and HRH Princess Ghida al-Talal, chairperson of the Board of Trustees of the Jordanian-based King Hussein Cancer Foundation.
Also present were cancer survivors Rim Hazouri, who was the master of the conference’s opening ceremony and took part in the panel on the journey to recovery, and Ahmad Taha, who also took part in the same panel.
“The fourth panel was a very emotional one,” said Khoury. “It discussed the community role in supporting patients of cancer.”
The Children’s Cancer Center of Lebanon is a not-for-profit association that relies purely on donations. With a yearly budget of 15 million dollars and a cure rate of 80 percent, the center has treated over 1,300 children and provided 4,000 consultations to patients within the region. Each treatment lasts an estimate of 3 years.
The high cost of treatment, which could be anywhere between $40,000 to $200,000 dollars, makes conferences on childhood cancer an important means of both raising awareness and gathering funds to help with the treatment process.