A los 8 años, Ricardo Pun Chong ya sabía que iba a ser médico, al igual que su padre y su abuelo, ambos de origen chino. Nacido en Lima, Perú, comenzó a estudiar medicina a los 26, y se graduó a los 34. "De ahí empecé a trabajar ya como médico, pero sentía que faltaba algo en mi vida", dice este cirujano que ahora se dedica a la medicina natural y la homeopatía.
Catholic and bound to community action through the Church, asked God to send him a sign to take the right path.One day, a girlfriend left him after three months of relationship and Ricardo felt very sad.It was then that a patient, seeing him so depressed, decided to take it on Christmas Eve to a hostel of cancer patients."That day I made a serious mistake. I went out to buy a lot of toys and food for the children. I spoke with a 14 -year -old boy who was in bed, and insisted to go down to receive their gifts, but she told me that theThey had just operated. Six times I invited her to go down, and she refused. Then I asked her what they had operated and told me that she had amputated her leg. There I realized that my sadness made no sense, "he recalls inDialogue with RT.
From that moment on, Pun Chong began to get involved in the Lima shelters, especially providing support to low -income families that come from the interior of the country to treat their children sick of cancer."Many people come from different parts of Peru to the capital because there are no specialized hospitals. They sell everything they have, travel and sleep in the squares, in the gardens, because they cannot keep two houses. Here, in front of the hospital, a room costs 20 soles a night, that is, 5 dollars daily. It is impossible for such a long treatment, which usually lasts, the first stage, between six and eight months. So, in the end, they suspend the treatment and the child dies", Explain.
This was how the inspiration shelter was born, the foundation created by Ricardo Pun Chong "with the sole intention that the treatments" of those boys are not interrupted.In the establishment they provide home and food totally free to the child and the companion, who is usually the mother, for the time that is necessary.And in the last period they have also opened the doors for patients with other types of diseases or ailments, such as burns, cerebral palsy, or boys with Down syndrome who have to be operated from the heart, for example.Basically, people who need a long time of treatment.Everyone offers accommodation, permanent games and healthy meals.
The Foundation was created in 2008, but it was not until the end of 2010 that they managed to rent the first house conducive to receive families."From that date until today we have never stopped, or in Pandemia. More than 1,000 children from different parts of Peru have already passed, including Venezuelan patients," says the naturist doctor.
Depending on the therapy and the condition of the disease, small patients and their companions can remain a few months in the shelter.The maximum that a child has stayed was three years and eight months."A link is generated, but I seek that it is clear that it is not my son, it is not my nephew or I will be his godfather of any religion. We call them 'wonderful friends'. Some are probably forward and die before me. ButThey will always be my friends, "he says.
Ricardo has no children and clarifies that he cannot consider his guests as if they were for a simple reason: "In 2014 we have seen 14 children die, the highest death figure in a year. If they were my children, I do notI would stand here with you, "he explains.
When one of those lives goes out, it hits Ricardo and the entire working group, but the premise is always moving forward."There are feelings of loss, but my team of volunteers and I appreciate the great opportunity we have had to meet that child, to know their history and have been able to help him so that he does not have to sleep in a square, with, hunger, withcold or heat. "
And he adds: "Of course his death hurts, but we need to stand because that bed will be occupied by another child, and he needs me to volunteer with the same love he gave to the previous child."
How is it financed inspires?
The organization does not have the support of State entities, of some private companies and individuals who collaborate, although there are not many.Ricardo Pun Chong argues that solidarity in Peru works in a particular way: "If I ask for $ 5,000 for a child's eye prosthesis, he probably gets them, for the impact that his image can cause, or the sole idea of hisSuffering, which makes people think: 'Poor the child, who cannot see'. Now, if I ask for $ 5,000 to feed every day 40 children sick of cancer, it is possible that they do not receive the same help. "
The founder of Inspia points out that to keep the shelter needs an average of $ 6,000 per month, although sometimes that figure can extend to 8,000."Basically I would need 6 companies that donA dollar each, the same thing that are spent on Netflix. But people do not donate money, they may prefer to donate toys or clothing. Unfortunately I do not pay the services with that, "he says.
In the Inspia Foundation many people work, but only three receive salary, says the interviewee: the accountant, the manager and an administrator.As for the volunteers, they were more than 60 before the pandemic, and now they went down halfway."It is that the Coronavirus has hit a lot, both in health and economically," says Ricardo Pun.The shelter has capacity for 40 people, but for the Covid-19 protocol at this time there are only 20 busy beds.The health provisions have not allowed beneficial actions that used to finance the shelter, such as recitals, walks or collections like the one that was launched now, the annual raffle inspires 2021.
In 2018, Ricardo received a distinction from a news chain, being chosen from more than 10,000 people from 194 countries such as 'Hero of the Year'.The 100,000 dollars that he received a prize donated to start the construction of a new shelter, in a field of 680 square meters.The property will triple the capacity to almost 130 guests per day, they affirm.
According to the Global Cancer Observatory (Globocan) of 2018, 1,800 new cases of childhood cancer are diagnosed in Peru every year.
At the regional level, it is estimated that at least 29,000 girls, boys and adolescents under 19 will be affected by cancer annually in Latin America and the Caribbean, according to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).Of these, about 10,000 will die from this disease.It is also estimated that about 70 % of cancer deaths are recorded in low and medium -sized income countries.
The latest measurements of the National Institute of Statistics and Informatics (INEI) of Peru indicate that in 2020 monetary poverty affected 30.1 % of the country's population.Of that total, 45.7 % belong to the rural area, while 26.0 % live in the urban area.
These are figures that explain that there is a void, an absence, a lack of support for those families that pass with pain the disease of a child, whose treatment is particularly expensive, in the least favorable conditions to face it, even more so in the context of aworld Economic crisis.Somehow, that "something" that he felt that Dr. Pen was completed in his life was completed with his project.And patients and their families not only recognize it, but take their solidarity example.
"There are very grateful people and there are the others, which is not that they are not, but they believe that what we do is an obligation of us, or think that this is part of the State, or imagine that with this I am earning money.But then they begin to realize that no, that it is an issue of thanks, to give, to share. And many moms begin to help each other, they understand that the matter goes there and tend a hand to the new guests. "
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