30 Sept 2022

How one doctor's story inspired EZ Living Furniture to help save lives


How one doctor's story inspired EZ Living Furniture to help save lives

Dr Trish Scanlan

Every now and again you hear a story that stops you in your tracks, leaving you feeling inspired, amazed and full of awe. This is exactly how the Dilleen family, founders of EZ Living Furniture, felt in 2019 when they met Dr Trish Scanlan and heard her incredible story. So much so, they felt it absolutely necessary to do whatever they could to help.

“It’s one thing to treat a patient in front of you, it’s another thing entirely to change the way a country takes care of children with cancer”.

~ Prof Patrick Murray - Dean Of Medicine & Medical Science UCD on Dr Trish

Dr Trish’s Story

Back in 2006 as part of her Master’s degree in International Health Dr Trish travelled to Tanzania to learn how children’s cancer was being treated in other parts of the world. There she was confronted with a heart-breaking and bleak reality. A chronic shortage of resources and drugs coupled with having only one doctor (the wonderful Dr Jane Kaijage)and three nurses available meant that the survival rate for children presenting with cancer was less than 10%.

The following year Dr Trish came back to Tanzania with one goal - to improve and strengthen paediatric oncology services for the children of Tanzania. Her vision and commitment made a massive difference and within 18 months Dr Trish had revolutionised cancer treatment for children to such an extent that survival rates soared from just 10% to 60%.

Dr Trish founded the Children’s Cancer Unit at Muhimbili National Hospital. Previously the number of children being treated was around 100. Fifteen years on and over 750 children are availing of free treatment. But sadly it is still only a fraction of the estimated 4,500 child cancer sufferers in Tanzania.

Their Lives Matter (TLM)

In 2011 “Tumaini la Misha” or Hope For Life was established, a parents association set up to help and support the families of the patients. Tumaini la Misha would later become the international NGO collective “Their Lives Matter” or TLM. Dr Trish and TLM share a dream, a dream where every child in Tanzania that needs it, will receive the best cancer treatment possible, absolutely free. Dr Trish has dedicated her life to treating and improving the lives of children with cancer and their families in Tanzania.

PICTURED: Children in Tanzania who are cared for by TLM

Dr Trish and EZ Living Furniture - From The West Coast Of Ireland To The East Coast Of Africa

When the Dilleen family heard this extraordinary tale they felt compelled to contribute however they could, in any small way. By the following Monday, using all of their connections and experience, plans were in place to send a container packed with comfortable new mattresses from the west coast of Ireland to the east coast of Africa. After many hurdles and setbacks, the container finally arrived, providing much-needed comfort to the children cared for by TLM.

Since then the charity has been very close to the hearts of the EZ Living Furniture family. Always on the lookout for ways to help Dr Trish even to the extent of using the company warehouse as a base to send medical equipment from Ireland to Tanzania, the EZ Living Furniture family has decided to appeal to the public for help on behalf of Dr Trish and Their Lives Matter.

Funding for the charity has been severely affected by Covid 19.  EZ Living Furniture is asking customers to donate as little as the price of a cup of coffee to help treat the children of Tanzania.

Buy A Mask - Save A Life

EZ Living Furniture is selling hand-made masks for €4 in each of their stores nationwide. The masks have been made in a skills workshop by parents of children treated by Dr Trish and TLM.

All proceeds will go to funding chemotherapy treatments, nutrition programmes, and more for the many sick children that Dr Trish and TLM care for.

For more information visit EZ Living Furniture’s “Their Lives Matter” webpage by TAPPING HERE.

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