Sixty children, aged between two and 19, all of whom are receiving or have received treatment for cancer from Malaga's chidren's hospital, reached Santiago de Compostela's Obradoiro square last weekend, after travelling more than 100 kilometres. The children and their families, who are all united by their battles with the illness, set off on their walk on 22 June.
The aim of their journey, organised by AVOI (Volunteers Association for Children with Cancer) was to raise money for and awareness about bone marrow donation and its importance in the healing process. Above all, though, they were celebrating life.
Once the critical point has been reached, "the only thing you hope is that God will give you another day with your child," said Nicolás Lobato, the father of one of the children. Nicolás, a salesman at Goaz cars, was with clients in 2017 when he received the call from the hospital. His son, also Nicolás, had been admitted with severe headaches. After an MRI and several tests, he received the news that his son had a brain tumour, and the cancer had already affected his whole body. He was only nine years old at the time.
"After the tumour was removed, little Nicolás was bed-bound without being able to move or turn his head," his father explained. After two years of fighting a long and exhausting battle, they received the news that Nicolás had the all-clear.
Laura García, one of the six paediatricians who accompanied the children on their journey described their arrival in Santiago.
"The whole group started to cry. It is an enormous joy to be here with the children and their families. They have achieved so much in the face of adversity".