PASYKAF, the Cyprus Association of Cancer Patients and Friends is a thriving nonprofit organization with thousands of members.
Their mission: provide professional health and home palliative care services to cancer patients. They also aim to change societal perceptions of cancer and support patients in their journey.
In 2022, PASYKAF helped over 7,000 patients through fundraising events like the Radisson Blu Larnaka International Marathon, ensuring vital services are available to those in need.
Can you introduce your charity and provide an overview of its mission and purpose?
The Cyprus Association of Cancer Patients and Friends (PASYKAF) from the day of its establishment to date, has evolved into an organization of thousands of members and supporters, providing professional health and home palliative care services to cancer patients, as well as prevention programs. The Association’s aim is to be a model organization for people with cancer experience, focusing on prevention, research and education, health policies and the rights of people with cancer experience, as well as on the provision of professional health services, which constantly strives to upgrade and evolve.
What inspired the establishment of your charity, and what motivated its founders to address this particular cause?
The Cyprus Association of Cancer Patients and Friends (PASYKAF), is a voluntary, non-profit, charitable organization with registration number 525. Founded in 1986 by 21 people with cancer experience and other devoted friends, PASYKAF has evolved into an organization of thousands of members and supporters, providing professional health and home palliative care services to cancer patients, as well as prevention programs. They went public, sending out the message that ‘yes, we have had cancer but we are still here’. They have opened their arms to welcome more and more people with cancer experience who were isolated and frightened. The Association’s purpose is to change the mentality, not only of society, but also of scientists and the state so that the patients feel that we are there for them. Together we can demand improvements in cancer patients’ treatments and to distinguish what is true or false in many cancer issues.
Are there any specific populations or communities that your charity focuses on serving? What led to the decision to prioritize these groups?
From the day of its establishment to date, the Association is carrying out a complex and multifaceted humanitarian work, aiming, through its actions and services, at the Person with cancer experience and their family, throughout the course disease. It’s an embrace for all the people with cancer experience, supporting and encouraging them in their course of life independently of their race, religion or nationality.
What is the importance of events like the Radisson Blu Larnaka International Marathon to support your cause?
PASYKAF’s financial support is the driving force behind the continuation and expansion of its Services and Programs to meet the ever-growing needs of cancer patients and their families. During 2022, PASYKAF managed to respond to the needs of 7,070 patients and their families via 35,717 visits all over Cyprus. We couldn’t do what we do without the Association’s fundraising events, such as the Radisson Blu Larnaka International Marathon.
What specific initiatives or projects have been supported with the funds raised from the Radisson Blu Larnaka International Marathon until today?
The funds raised from the Radisson Blu Larnaka International Marathon support PASYKAF to provide free of charge Palliative Home Care and Medical Care to cancer patients and their families all over Cyprus via a 24-hour on-call home palliative care service. At the same time, PASYKAF offers specialized services including Physiotherapy and Lymphoedema Clinics, Psychological Support at individual and group level, Social Support Services, Bereavement Support Service and patients transport from all districts to the Nicosia and Limassol Oncology Centers.
Is there any specific case or individual your charity supports through this year’s marathon fundraising campaign?
PASYKAF, through its services, supports all people with cancer experience and their families throughout the course of the disease, all over Cyprus. From the beginning of the diagnosis it provides specialized support services, aiming at managing all the factors that cause or follow the disease and affect the person’s quality of life.