For Carmen Uscatu and Oana Gheorghiu, the two founders of the Daruieste Viata Association, the construction of the first hospital specialized in pediatric oncology and radiotherapy in Romania is a challenging but yet feasible project. They have raised over EUR 8 million in three successive fundraising campaigns.
“In Romania one out of two children diagnosed with cancer dies, while in Europe between 80 and 90 percent live. In the past 50 years, the Romanian state had not been able to build a hospital specialized in pediatric oncology. In Romania, cancer brings humiliation and means that you cannot say at the end of the battle that, as a parent, you did everything possible for your child to live,” says Uscatu. The project started last year and the construction of an 8,000-sqm building will start this spring in Bucharest.
The hospital will have radiotherapy, ambulatory and oncology units, sterile rooms, a relaxation space, an operating theater, an intensive care unit, plus neurosurgery and oncology surgery units. Asked what was the most difficult point in completing their project, Uscatu says that as she and her partner completed different stages of their project, they realized that the difficult time was about to come: “I think that the functioning of this hospital in a dysfunctional medical system is by far the biggest challenge.”
At Business Review Awards 2018, Daruieste Viata Association won the Best Community Development Initiative (NGO) award.