Media Assets related to SAFER Ukraine humanitarian effort
Photos, videos from Unicorn Marian Wilemski Clinic in Poland and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn.
A train carrying pediatric cancer patients from Ukraine arrives at Kielce train station in Poland. The patients and their families are welcomed by medical staff before boarding buses and ambulances that will take them to Unicorn Marian Wilemski Clinic.
Pediatric patients arrive at the Unicorn Marian Wilemski Clinic, a triage center located in Bocheniec, Poland where doctors will determine if any patients require immediate medical care. The patients and their families will rest here before transferring to a top cancer clinic in Europe or North America.
Life at Unicorn Marian Wilemski Clinic
Asya Agulnik, M.D., M.P.H., of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in the Department of Global Pediatric Medicine, describes the St. Jude Global and SAFER Ukraine effort to evacuate pediatric cancer patients and their families.
Marta Salek, MD, a pediatric hematology-oncology fellow at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, is assisting St. Jude Global and the SAFER Ukraine effort, which is evacuating pediatric cancer patients and their families. Here she describes the importance of the work to her personally and professionally, the resilience of patients and their families, and the collaborative nature of the project.
Malgorzata Dutkiewicz is director of Fundacja Herosi (Heroes Foundation) describes the role her organization’s contribution to the evacuation project and her desire to help the children, whom she calls war casualties, continue their cancer care.
Prof. dr hab. N. med Wojciech Mlynarski, Medical University of Lodz and coordinator of Polish Society of Pediatric Oncology and Hematology, describes how he worked with the Polish government to begin treating Ukranian children with cancer. “These kids need to be evacuated as soon as possible,” he says.
Patients arrive March 28 at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, TN, USA. Video shows families disembarking from the plane, doctors on the tarmack, patients on the bus to the hospital; at 1:11, patients arrive at St. Jude; at 1:37 patients await triage at St. Jude
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Fundacja Herosi and the Polish Society of Pediatric Oncology and Hematology are working with doctors, foundations and other international organizations in Poland, Ukraine, and around Europe to coordinate humanitarian efforts for Ukrainian children with cancer and blood diseases. The primary responsibilities are to assist with the transition of families out of Ukraine and to find a safe location for the continuation of clinical care and treatment.
Pediatric patients are arriving through the Polish border and are traveling to the Unicorn Marian Wilemski Clinic in Bocheniec, close to Kielce. They are greeted by doctors to determine if immediate medical care is required. Working collaboratively, St. Jude Global is managing logistics, getting medical records translated and helping distribute the patients to the available clinics.
Since Poland’s hospitals are near capacity, St. Jude, the Herosi Foundation, and Polish Society of Pediatric Oncology and Hematology are working to ensure the patients are stable and receive care at Unicorn Marian Wilemski Clinic while coordinating transfer with clinics in other European Union countries to help continue the long-term care and treatment for these children.
Ideally, patients and their families remain together and as close to home as possible so that there is as little disruption to their lives as possible. However, some families may travel to other EU countries and possibly the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States.
The Unicorn clinic, located in a former hotel, has the capacity for as many as 300 people. It is named after the healing legend of unicorns and in honor of the grandfather of a St. Jude Research Fellow who was in Poland visiting family when the invasion occurred. She immediately began assisting St. Jude Global by coordinating logistics of patient evacuation from Ukraine.
Fundacja Herosi (Heroes Foundation)
The Heroes Foundation (Fundacja Herosi) is a public benefit organization that has been supporting children with cancer in Poland for more than 13 years. Children that the Foundation is helping are patients of the Department of Oncology and Surgical Oncology for Children and Youth at the Institute of Mother and Child in Warsaw. The Department is a highly specialized center for the treatment of tumors in children, a referral center for bone tumors, providing young patients with complete diagnostics and comprehensive treatment (chemotherapy, surgery, radiotherapy).
The main goal of the Heroes Foundation, apart from providing much needed mental support of the patients, is to raise funds for their treatment. Until now, the total collections gathered by the Foundation are of almost PLN 2 million. With these funds, the Heroes Foundation purchased medical equipment of a total value exceeding PLN 1.05 million, helped with the design and installation of the modern ventilation and air conditioning system in the Department (PLN 270 000), has been covering the costs of genetic diagnostics and cancer targeted therapy (almost PLN 600 000 to date), and provides safe (aseptic)patient transport to treatments (over PLN 70 000 within last three years).
More information about the Foundation:
Polish Society of Pediatric Oncology and Hematology
The Polish Society of Pediatric Oncology and Hematology brings together people professionally involved in the diagnosis and treatment of oncological and hematological diseases in children. They include pediatricians, surgeons, oncologists and hematologists, immunologists, laboratory diagnosticians, geneticists, physiotherapists and psychologists. The aim of the Society is to bring together all people involved in pediatric hematology and oncology in Poland. The main tasks of the Society are: initiating and coordinating training courses, developing scientific activity, developing and updating diagnostic and therapy standards, as well as promoting knowledge on pediatric oncology and hematology in Poland and abroad. More info (in Polish): www.ptohd.pl.
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital launched in 2018 St. Jude Global, whose mission is to improve the survival rates of children and other catastrophic diseases worldwide through the sharing of knowledge, technology and organizational skills. The St. Jude Global Alliance takes a multilevel approach to developing regional, national and hospital-based initiatives centered on its member partners across seven regions – including Eurasia – and 11 transversal programs to ensure the advancement of care around the globe. More information: www.stjude.org