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Cudeca appeals for funds to continue its home care programme

Rosa Martínez, the mother of Pablo Ráez, has recorded a video for the campaign.
Rosa Martínez, the mother of Pablo Ráez, has recorded a video for the campaign. / SUR
  • The foundation has set up a crowdfunding campaign at a time when it lacks volunteers and needs funds to provide assistance to terminally ill patients

Not everything is about Covid, as can be seen from the statistics which were recently presented by the Cudeca Foundation: in the past five years its provision of palliative care for cancer patients in the province has doubled, and there has been a considerable increase this year, with more than 1,600 patients receiving assistance until November.

However, everything does seem to be about Covid in a way, because the pandemic has had a devastating effect on organisations like this one, which helps patients in the final stages of their lives.

Since March, Cudeca has seen a major drop in income and the forced closure of its charity shops means it has lost 600,000 euros which were essential for it to continue its work.

At the same time, the number of volunteers (there were nearly 1,000 before the pandemic) has dropped by two-thirds because most are over 65 years old and are therefore at high risk from coronavirus.

In this situation, which those responsible admit is "very worrying", this foundation which has traditionally supported the local community has decided to take a further step online with a campaign called 'Add life to people's days' and its slogan 'Join the sunflower effect'. They are hoping that by 6 January they will have raised the 185,000 euros needed to finance a home care team, comprising a doctor, nurse, psychologist and social worker who are specialists in palliative care.

This team will look after an average of 250 patients a year in their homes, making three to four visits each day "and providing the medical care and psychological and social support the patients and their families need," explained the president and manager of Cudeca, Ricardo Urdiales, and Dr Marisa Martín at the official presentation of the campaign.

They also pointed out that the symbol of the Cudeca Foundation is a sunflower "because, like them, we also turn, in the direction where we are needed".

The main collaborator in this initiative, which has just been set up on the website www.sunflowereffect.org, is Fundación La Caixa and Caixabank, who have donated 30,000 euros to the cause and made it possible for people to donate via Caixabank cash machines or in person at its branches.

The 101 TV channel is also collaborating by hosting a fundraising gala for this campaign, in which SUR will also be participating.

The target date for raising the money, 6 January, is Three Kings Day, when children in Spain traditionally receive their gifts, and Cudeca is a "gift" itself, says Rosa Martínez, whose son Pablo Ráez died of leukemia and was cared for by Cudeca at the end of his illness:

"These people are just pure love and dedication," she says, in a video recorded for the campaign.