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Anniversary dinner raises money for child cancer treatment center

Children sing songs of hope at a 10th anniversary fundraising event for the Children’s Cancer Center of Lebanon.

BEIRUT: Politicians, dignitaries and more than 1,000 people attended a children’s cancer fundraising dinner at the Beirut International Exhibition and Leisure Center over the weekend.

The event Saturday celebrated the 10th anniversary of the opening of the Children’s Cancer Center of Lebanon, which provides free treatment to help children with cancer, according to a press release about the event. The center relies totally on donations, and its officials report they have treated over 800 children in the past 10 years at a cost of $50,000 per patient.

Attendees of the event, “10 years of hope and life,” included Information Minister Walid Daouk, Future Movement parliamentary bloc leader MP Fouad Siniora and ambassadors from Kuwait, the United States, Greece, the European Union and the United Nations as well as Lebanese celebrities such as Elie Saab.

Speeches and documentaries highlighted the work of the cancer center, an auction was held for charity and music was played for attendees.

“The child is the future of the homeland, in a healthy body lives a healthy mind and with a healthy mind homelands and nations are built,” Paul Edde, chairman of the center, said during an address at the event.

“We are working for the needs of all of our children today, to help a child get rid of the burden of disease and return to their family, communities and their country, and to their future responsibilities, healthy and sound,” he said.

Edde also praised the role of the center and the medical community in Beirut for pioneering some of the best cancer facilities and treatment in Lebanon and the region.

The Children’s Cancer Center of Lebanon is affiliated with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in the United States and also works with the American University of Beirut Medical Center. The center operates on a budget of around $12 million per year from donations. The organization reports they have a survival rate of about 80 percent.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on October 15, 2012, on page 2.

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