As a MAHAK charity, the ISCC understands all of the many needs that the esteemed medical facility requires. As such, it has increased its outreach to find more funding in recent years to fulfill on timely medical research required to create inroads towards either cancer cures or cancer reduction in children today.
The MAHAK charity has created a series of well-attended events that have brought great funding for the needs of children with cancer. It has also worked through online campaigns that enable their dedicated team of administrators and volunteers to communicate directly with those who can’t attend these special fundraising events, while still accepting donations.
Story of MAHAK
On a cold winter day in 1989, a two-year old girl named Kiana was diagnosed with an illness that would shake up any mother. Like any mother hearing this, her mother Mrs. Saideh Ghods went into a denial state, not accepting the facts. After much trepidation, much research, and many consultations with doctors and friends, she realized that cancer like many other diseases is curable and has its own phases of treatment.
Mrs. Saideh Ghods was faced with many challenges during Kiana’s treatment. The required medication was scarce and very expensive. Not having enough information about cancer and the side effects of the drugs while witnessing her daughter's suffering, life had become barely tolerable for Mrs. Saideh Ghods.
While referring to clinics and hospitals, Mrs. Ghods saw fathers and mothers traveling from far and often disadvantaged regions struggling with financial difficulties of paying for expensive treatment of their child and a place to stay in Tehran for the duration. Sleeping in hospital yards or in street corners, many had realized that cancer is a disease that may require more than a single treatment. In fact, it may take years of overwhelming pressures and struggles.
She became intensely preoccupied with the idea of offering a little help to the children and their families. She was constantly thinking of what can be done? Eventually once her daughter went into recovery, she decided to place her focus on helping cancer-stricken children directly and parents indirectly.
In 1991, she formally registered MAHAK as a charity to support children with cancer.
Seven to eight years after registering MAHAK as a charity Mrs. Ghods witnessed other associations in of support children with cancer forming thus signaling the gradual acceptance of cancer as a disease by the society-at-large. The children and their families were noticed, and special attention was given to them. This was a big step toward the main goal.
Once sufficient volunteer support and financial means had gathered, the Board of Trustees decided to purchase a land and construct a hospital in Darabad in northern foothills of Tehran. It did not take long before Mr. Karbassi-zadeh who wanted to make his wife’s death-bed wish come true appeared. Through family he had become acquainted with the organization and within a short period gave his approval and financial backing.
The hospital was officially opened in 2007 and today it is the single largest and best equipped pediatric cancer hospital in Iran and the Middle East offering all medical services, housing a complimentary residential center for parents, and contains all the offices of MAHAK Charity-Care organization. As of 2013, MAHAK has provided comprehensive coverage and treatment to close to 18,000 children with cancer and their families through its ten divisions, two residential centers, over ten fundraising offices and booths, over 550 employees, thousands of volunteers, and over 80,000 members.
Needless to say, this name has global recognition today and has partners similar to ISCC throughout the world.
The Society to Support Children Suffering from Cancer also known as MAHAK was established in 1991 as a non-governmental and non-profit organization. In the past two decades, the organization has attracted increasing public support and fulfilled a great part of its mission which is to provide comprehensive support for children with cancer --thus reducing related child mortality rates -- and create an appropriate environment that leads to empowerment for the families who have children with cancer.
The 'love of humanity' is their motivation and it is incorporated in MAHAK's slogan of 'Help us and let us help you'. In the past two decades, the organization has built a specialized pediatric cancer hospital & research center called MAHAK. This hospital has managed to provide comprehensive coverage to close to 18,000 cancer-stricken children of every nationality, religion, and ethnicity and their respective families, all funded exclusively by generous contributions of individual benefactors, corporate sponsors and ISCC a sister organization.
Through these efforts MAHAK has been able to reduce the cancer-related child mortality rate from over 80% to fewer than 20% today.
In addition, MAHAK strongly supports the families of the children suffering from cancer. Through support from MAHAK, parents can concentrate on the treatment of their children and can change their concern from a grim current condition to a joyful hope for a better future. MAHAK ensures that children with cancer are never refused treatment due to their financial status.
MAHAK contains state-of-the-art facilities for the treatment of cancer. The center has MRI and CT Scan capabilities, along with centers for chemotherapy, radiotherapy, water therapy, radiology, and physiotherapy. The facility’s laboratory is able to perform tests in the hematological, microbiological, hormonal, and biochemical areas. In addition, the advanced radiotherapy area has a linear accelerator and simulator, making it a powerful section with high technology. To keep families and children comfortable and feeling at home, the facility also has an amphitheater, shopping area, restaurant, library, and playroom designed just for children.
All of the facilities and technology at the MAHAK center are possible because of the charitable donations made from generous givers. In fact, each section is named after a significant donor. ISCC, a MAHAK charity, is proud to direct many of its raised funds to the center.
How Can I Help?
With the International Society for Children With Cancer, we strive to make sure that you have several options for donating to the MAHAK charity and making a difference in the lives of children diagnosed with cancer. Among these options are our Piggy Bank Drive, our Read-A-Thon program, our child sponsorship, option, and others.
Piggy Bank Drive
The ISCC Piggy Bank (Ghollak) Drive allows you to pick up a designated piggy bank from our main office in Irvine or at any of our annual events throughout the year. You can place the bank in your home, workplace, place of worship, or at your child’s school to encourage others to donate their spare change. Once the bank is full, simply return it to our office or drop it off at one of our events. Your family and friends will enjoy seeing how small amounts of change can add up to make a difference.
The Mahak Facility in IRAN – An infographic by the team at The Mahak Facility in IRAN