UK firm Imperium Investments plans to create an international project where children who are fighting cancer would help other youngsters fighting the condition.

The project aims to support such young people by giving them the opportunity to feel like normal children once more with their games, jokes and entertainment, without noticing the walls of hospital wards

Despite the rapid development of medicine, the problem of cancer still remains very acute. It is especially difficult to accept when this affects children and adolescents.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cancer is the second most frequent cause of death among children aged 1 to 14 years after accidents. Most often, children get cancers such as leukemia, malignant lymphomas, lymphogranulomatosis, which amount to 70 per cent of child cancer cases. 

The incidence of cancer among children and adolescents has increased by 0.6 per cent per year since 1975. However, there is also cause for hope, as the percentage of children achieving complete remission increases from year to year.It is natural that we adults, who are not medical professionals, wonder how we might make a difference and try to assist children facing this disease. 

Evening Times:

Cancer survivor Megan Whooley and businessman Dmitry Leus 

As The Imperium Trust researched the issue, it came across an inspiring story of a girl from Kingston. Her name is Megan Whooley and in January 2017, she was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. And after a year of bold and persistent struggle, when the disease receded, Megan saw clearly what her own mission would now be. She dedicated herself to helping other children cope with this challenge and achieved crucial support in her quest from businessman, Dmitry Leus. 

Mr Leus was immediately impressed by Megan:  “It is impossible to resist the determination, desire for success and the strong sense hope that Megan shares around, despite her own fight against a serious illness."  

Just a few months later, inspired by Megan, Mr Leus and his company Imperium Investments founded Imperium Trust charitable organization. This new foundation has one single goal - to help Megan and hundreds of other children fighting cancer.

Mr Leus added: “When I heard Megan's strong and amazing story, I could not stay indifferent. Admiring her strength of spirit and positive attitude, I decided to help her in her struggle for her own life immediately. And when she defeated the disease in her own body, Megan told me about her dreams to continue helping other children.  It would be impossible for anyone not to be touched by a child so selflessly switching to help others.  I wanted to help her in her new quest.  I have a feeling that we met for a very good reason.”

Mr Leus went on to explain:  “I am the father of four children and I know that on the one hand children are extremely strong creatures, they have tremendous compensatory capabilities and body resources, and they can cope with almost everything. But on the other hand, they really need psychological support, a positive attitude and to be able to feel like “normal” children.”

He went on to say: “There is nothing worse than to feel you are "special" or you are "sick".  If kids can be allowed to continue their daily routine and as much as possible, their childhood, there is some chance they can be less impacted by all the procedures and constant medication.  Their recovery goes faster.”

Mr Leus explained: “Our idea with Megan is, as well as to help funding the obvious basic necessities, we also want to create a relaxed "non-hospital" atmosphere in the ward, where a lot of child patients spend time.   We decided to provide children and adolescents with treatment, books, Kindles, toys, films on DVD, and games. With all the unchangeable factors in these children’s lives, this work will help brighten their loneliness and sense of isolation from the family and friends.  We also want to provide distraction from the illness and unpleasant symptoms.”

The nature of this project by Megan Whooley and Dmitry Leus is unique. This is not a conventional approach to charity, but a child’s initiative aimed at helping other children.  This in itself is rare and admirable, given that children Megan’s age could be forgiven for being a little self-absorbed, as would be likely at her age.