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Giving seriously ill children hope

HerbaChemosan supports “Sunshine Island” project for over a decade

Thanks to medical progress, the chances of children and adolescents surviving and recovering from cancer have now reached 80 percent. This has prompted an increase in requirements regarding psychosocial care for affected families to help them cope successfully with the illness. With the "Sonneninsel" ("Sunshine Island") project, Celesio’s Austrian wholesale subsidiary Herba Chemosan is lending its support to Austria's first aftercare centre for children and adolescents with cancer. The annual charity golf tournament has been dedicated to children's cancer aid and this unique project for eleven years.

"We now know a lot more about the long-term effects of cancer. Aftercare programmes therefore need to be developed further, too," explains Heide Janik, President of Salzburger Kinderkrebshilfe (the Salzburg Childhood Cancer Organisation), before adding: "It's a matter of reducing the long-term effects of chemotherapy and dealing with any experiences of exclusion and anxiety." The organisation has been managing aftercare camps for 20 years now. Yet these schemes alone are not sufficient for meeting the demands of modern healthcare. Now that the Sunshine Island aftercare centre has been built, there is a place available that can provide recreational facilities for families and group activities for dealing with grief as well as aftercare camps.

Help creating more positive lives

"We see our commitment to Sunshine Island as a way of helping to create more positive lives, because it is a long-term project that supports our youngest patients in difficult times and helps them find lasting enjoyment in life. Thanks to many generous supporters, we have managed to raise a total of over 85,000 euro over the past eleven years to help Kinderkrebshilfe build Sunshine Island," says Andreas Windischbauer, Managing Director of Herba Chemosan.

Sunshine Island is set up as a non-profit limited company, funded exclusively by donations in cash and in kind. There may still be a lot more to do, but those involved in the project have already achieved a great deal, with the help of various supporters – most notably the Lions Club and people and businesses in the local region, but also companies such as Herba Chemosan that operate across Austria. The centre, which is located in Seekirchen am Wallersee near Salzburg, took three and a half years to construct at a cost of approximately 5 million euro and finally opened its doors at the end of 2013.