There were approximately US$ 300,000 raised in 2020, invested in health assistance and research activities which transform lives
Eloisa Lara Dalla Stella arrived at the Pequeno Príncipe Hospital in July 2019, at the age of 12, after passing, for several days, through the Curitiba basic health units to find out what was causing so much tiredness and headache. The professionals’ suspicion was leukemia; however, detailed tests were needed to confirm. “On the same day we arrived at the Pequeno Príncipe Hospital, she underwent some tests which confirmed the acute myeloid leukemia,” says Rosa Pereira, Eloisa’s mother.
The exam that confirmed Eloisa’s early diagnosis was the immunophenotyping, held at the Pequeno Príncipe’s Genomic Laboratory. The investigation of the patient’s condition has continued with other molecular exams of the latest generation, all performed free of charge, as well as all the treatment offered to the girl.
One of the exams, the gene panel for childhood neoplasms, indicated a genetic alteration in Eloisa. Patients with this alteration do not respond well to chemotherapy and, in these cases, a bone marrow transplant (BMT) is indicated.
The Hospital’s BMT Service team started preparing Eloisa for the procedure and in just one month three donors were found for the teenager: two Brazilians and one American. The foreign donor had a 95% compatibility rate with the girl and was chosen. On January 17, 2020, the marrow arrived in Brazil, allowing Eloisa to undergo the transplant. And 47 days later, the family could celebrate the success of the procedure.
Results that transform lives
The Genomic Laboratory is one of the structures that the Pequeno Príncipe has managed to implement with the help of the supporters of the Pequeno Príncipe Gala. The molecular exams, carried out at the laboratory, are fundamental for the early diagnosis and indication of customized treatments, which increase the chances of cure for children and adolescents. In 2020, the Gala was virtual, but even so it exceeded the fundraising goal, which was about US$ 300,000. The proceeds were addressed to the health assistance and research activities developed at the Pequeno Príncipe Hospital and at the Pelé Pequeno Príncipe Research Institute.
On the table below, you may check how the resources were used.
Besides transforming the lives of boys and girls being treated at the Hospital, the funds raised through the Pequeno Príncipe Gala also helped finance research that seeks to develop new possibilities of diagnosis and treatment for several diseases that affect children and adolescents. In 2020, the number of head researchers was increased to 19 professionals. Together, they have engaged in more than one hundred research projects, including 13 initiatives related to COVID-19.
In the case of COVID-19, there are projects that seek to develop fast tests for the detection of the disease; to develop a “serum” that has the function of promoting passive immunization of severely ill patients, becoming an essential treatment for cases where there is no time to wait for immunization via vaccine; to investigate the action of different drugs analyzing the genetics of patients to find out why some of them are severely ill while others, who are considered to be in the risk group, have a milder infection; and even developing an artificial lung to test candidate drugs for the treatment of COVID-19.
In terms of assistance, considering the beginning of the pandemic, in March 2020, until April 23, 2021, there were 3,291 suspected cases assisted at the Pequeno Príncipe Hospital, 720 confirmed and nine deaths by COVID-19. The average age of the patients is 6.6 years. In 2021, with the new variants circulating in the national territory, there is a notable increase in the number of cases, especially in children who do not present comorbidities, which reinforces the need for society to remain alert to the precautionary measures against contamination, such as the constant washing of hands, the use of alcohol gel, the correct use of masks and social distancing.
“The year 2020 was one of the most difficult in our history. The suspension of elective procedures and surgeries, determined by the health authorities, and the families’ fear of going to the Hospital caused a large drop of 43% in admissions, 40% in surgeries, and 44% in outpatient care. This, consequently, impacted the year’s revenues, further aggravating the challenge of staying true to our purpose, which is to serve children and adolescents in vulnerable situations. But with the support of the society, we were able to maintain the service in our 32 specialties, even performing 247 transplants, which are extremely complex procedures, and also opening a new work front, welcoming and treating patients who are victims of the coronavirus,” declares the Hospital’s executive director, Ety Cristina Forte Carneiro.
“In our strategy of financial sustainability, the Pequeno Príncipe Gala has a fundamental role. The solidarity of supporters beyond our borders makes us proud and motivates us to continue seeking innovative ways to mobilize society for the protection and guarantee of the rights of boys and girls throughout Brazil,” emphasizes Ety.
In 2021, a new edition of the virtual Pequeno Príncipe Gala will be held, and, as of now, we count on your participation and support to make this event another success in promoting the life and health of children and adolescents all over the country.
The institution searches for new treatments and methods of diagnosis for complex diseases to contribute to the reduction of infant-juvenile mortality
During this period, 303 transplants were carried out on 280 patients, consolidating the service as one of the largest in Brazil to assist children through the Public Health System – SUS