We started our palliative care programme after our Founder and Trustee Clive Doubleday, battled with his own cancer diagnosis in 2009. He was diagnosed with stage four Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma and was given 6 months to live. Through the power of prayer and rounds of chemotherapy, he was given the good news that he was in remission. Clive wanted to use his own personal journey and struggle with cancer to help those who faced the same diagnosis but did not have the NHS or possibility of receiving treatment. In 2011 we started our palliative care programme in Kosovo where we provide professional end of life care for terminally ill patients. Our care is tailored to each patient’s individual needs and we work closely with them to support their choices. Our aim is to support the care of seriously ill and dying patients in their home, bringing comfort and dignity to people and help them live life to the full, for whatever time they have left.

So far over 20,000 home visits have now been made since we started the work over a decade ago and many families have received the help and support, they so desperately needed that they otherwise would not have had. The team remain incredibly dedicated to each of the patients and their families and work so hard to achieve an effective treatment plan to help alleviate as much pain as possible. For many of those suffering in pain, our palliative care programme is the only form of support they receive, both for the patients themselves and their families.

It’s not just the patients that our team helps and cares for but the families too. It may be the children, siblings and sometimes the parents of the patient that need advising and supporting also. Our team makes sure they answer any questions the family might have as there is no one else to ask and no other support systems in place.

COVID has shown us how important it is to care for those that cannot take of themselves and that’s our passion here at Smile. To give people a helping hand, to hold someone’s hand during the most difficult times and to give people a reason to smile again.

If palliative care is something close to your heart and you feel you would like to help others in a similar situation, it could be in memory of someone you’ve lost, it could be helping to support someone you don’t know alongside someone you know who may be going through the same thing, then please do not hesitate to make a one off or regular donation to this valuable programme. To be able to help manage someone’s pain, to provide assurance and care and be the support for someone and their family at an extremely challenging time is vital and we want to keep that channel of support going.

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