Help Guide 

I. Introduction

          Cancer is the collective term for diseases where malignant cells crowd and destroy healthy and essential body cells. It affects people of all ages and races. Science has found more and better ways of treating cancer, but until now nobody knows how or why it begins (a little like love, actually).
          Some believe that 75% of adult cancer cases are caused by environmental factors, but some babies are actually born sick. Researchers thus speculate that genetic factors play a large role in childhood cancer (e.g., cancers of the eye, soft tissue sarcoma, kidney, testes, ovaries, lymph nodes, and bone).

          Killing cancer means killing cancerous cells, through surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. Contrary to popular belief, chemotherapy is not radiation therapy. It is actually injections, usually three syringes a week. This is the kind of therapy you�ll see during your visits to the hospital so be prepared to help with the not-so-congenial relationship between needles and children.
          60%-90% of childhood caner is cured, especially if diagnosed early. It�s not a cheap victory. Expenses may reach P1,000,000 a year, including multi-vitamins, medicine, surgery, blood transfusions, and transportation.

          The children of Kythe, or the wards of East Avenue Medical Center, are 6 months to 18 years old. We have 25-30 new cancer patients each year. They are the center of the Kythe vision, they are the reason why you are here.

            The doctors work to heal and strengthen the body, but cancer leaves emotional and psychological wounds too deep in the human soul for simple medicine. Parents worry over finances and the possibility of losing their baby. The child, too young to understand what is happening to him, grapples with fear and guild and the looming concept of death.
            Kythe means healing presence of love. We can�t make the cancer go away � that�s the doctor�s job. We can only face the cancer with them and hold their hand.
            Listen to their fears and hopes, and assure them that it�s ok to feel that way. Play with them. Make chismis with them. Show them that cancer hasn�t made them any less human � that while it did take away their hair, it can�t steal their childhood, or their person.
            The key word is empowering. In a situation they have little control over, we emphasize their individuality and lead them to discover their own solutions and resolutions.

          Don�t be afraid. Everyone has the instinct to nurture, and being there for the families of Kythe is just like being there for your barkada. This is just a guide, a footnote to your own natural strengths. Believe in yourself, and know that we�re behind you every step of the way.

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I. Introduction
II. Kythe 101
III. Troubleshooting
IV. What Cancer Cannot Do
V. What You Can Do
VI. Special Qualifications for Volunteers in Child Health Settings

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