One brave little girl’s legacy brings hope to children with cancer in Africa.
Aged just 11 months, Rati’s cancer-filled left eye was removed in Botswana, Southern Africa. Doctors thought her cured, but delayed diagnosis, incomplete care and lack of follow-up led to a recurrence in the eye socket 19 months later. Despite aggressive treatment in Canada, Rati died when she was 4 years old.
Had Rati received simple surgery when she was first seen by doctors at 5 months old, she would most likely be alive and well today. She set us the challenge of improving provision of retinoblastoma care in Africa so that one day soon, no child will die due to delayed diagnosis or poor access to expert care.
Achieving Global Goals
Rati’s Challenge supports a number of United Nations Millennium Development Goals, including access to health care and reducing child mortality.
The Charter of Paris, adopted at the 2000 World Summit Against Cancer for the New Millennium, recognizes that:
“Currently achievable improvements in cancer survival remain unrealized, due to…unequal access to quality cancer care.”
“Lives can and will be saved by increased access to existing technologies.”
“Clinical outcomes can be affected by the overall state of a patient’s mental and physical well being, so the preservation of quality of life — including physical, psychological and social functioning — should be a humanitarian priority.”
Rati’s Challenge will save many lives by raising awareness of retinoblastoma, increasing access to existing treatments and promoting the complete wellbeing of both the child and their family.