KOCHI: The US based Susan Daniel Memorial (SDM) has raised an amount of $100,000 for impoverished cancer patients based in Kerala as part of Cancer Relief Fund. The fund was raised by holding an annual gala in US, with the important message of not only providing financial assistance but also to increase the yearly number of recipients from 200 to 300.
Mathew Daniel, who took up the initiative to set up a Cancer Relief Fund under the aegis of SDM after he lost his wife Susan Daniel Mathew to ovarian cancer around three decades ago, has been helping thousands of poor cancer patients undergoing treatment at four cancer hospitals -Regional Cancer Centre, Thiruvananthapuram, Amala Cancer Hospital, Thrissur, Calicut Medical College Hospital, and Caritas Cancer Institute, Kottayam - in the memory of his late wife for the last 29 years.
His attempt to bring about a change in the life of thousands of impoverished cancer patients in Kerala touched an emotional chord with the expatriates when his daughter Sudha Daniel John succumbed to ‘breast cancer’ in 2002. “Since its inception in 1985, the SDM has made direct payments of `1.35 crore to over 3,000 cancer patients in Kerala, after organising various fund raising programmes in the US. This year SDM has raised a fund amounting to one lakh dollars to help economically deprived cancer patients in Kerala, said Daniel.
The charity organisation not only supports economically weak patients but also sponsors hospital beds and meets expenses, which are sponsored fully or partially at the cancer hospitals when patients cannot afford fees, explained Daniel. The cost of sponsoring a bed is $750 a year. The selected medical colleges also have joined the philanthropic efforts of SDM by contributing the yearly list of ‘poorest of the poor patients’ for further review and payee selection, according to Daniel. A US-based Malayali Daniel migrated to the US in the 70s.