28th of April 2012, Belgrade (Serbia)

The 6th regional ICCCPO meeting of 6 countries from the Balkan region was held in Belgrade (Serbia) on April, 28th, 2012, hosted by “Zvončica” (Childhood Cancer Parent Organization from the hospital „Mother and Child Health Institute of Serbia”) and supported by ICCCPO.

There were 87 participants: parents, survivors, doctors, psychologists, social workers, play-therapysts and represetatives from the local government authority. We represented parents enroled in professional medical projects and research, parents as advocates of their children, parents as useful and significant partners, parents as main helpers to realize treatment as successful as possible and, more importantly, we represented the importance of parents’ participation in all kinds of information dissemination.
In order to achieve all these goals we have to learn to implement the already proven good practice, apply good models, share our own and carefully listen to other people’s experiences, exchange old and new information, provide help and support to one another. Together the representatives of childhood cancer parent organizations and the hematooncology departments from Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Bulgaria and Serbia demonstrated knowledge, know-how and strength.
We showed eah other the benefit of joining, sharing useful information, the importance of a partner relationship in treatment –  in a word: it is all possible when working together! It has become clear to all of us that there is a great need for better communication and how precious qualitative conversation is. It is necessary to have patience and knowledge to respect differences, skill to make the impossible possible, dedication and passion to persist when it is hard, to remind ourselves permanently what our final goal is.

Irina Ban
Belgrade, Serbia

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