Cuddles Foundation believes that food heals. It works to provides children undergoing cancer treatment with food, hot meals, nutritional supplements and ration baskets as per their need and requirement.
According to a report by the Indian Cancer Society in Delhi, it is estimated that about 50,000 children and adolescents ages 0 to 19 years are diagnosed with cancer each year. This is where the NGO Cuddles Foundation steps in. Located primarily in Pune, Raipur, and Mumbai - Cuddles Nutrition Centers are active in 33 hospitals across India including TATA Memorial Hospital in Mumbai, AIIMS in Delhi, amongst others.
What do they do?
According to the Cuddles website, it says, their vision is to give every child fighting cancer a chance to survive it. They are a child centric organization - which means - if faced with a decision between budgets and the survival of a child, they choose the latter, always. They work through partnerships with government and charitable hospitals that treat underprivileged children for cancer.” Cuddles have nutritionists, trained specifically for pediatric cancer nutrition, who are placed in government hospitals to monitor a child’s progress, create diet plans and nutritional charts, counsel their parents and educate them in home-based nutrition. Cuddles even provides children undergoing treatment with food, hot meals, nutritional supplements and ration baskets as per their need and requirement so that these children have the strength to fight their cancer. After all Cuddles believes that food heals.
How do they decide which hospitals to work with? Well, the requirement of a community, the inflow of patients and the extent of malnourishment are some of the primary reasons in deciding where Cuddles chooses to work. They also make sure to work with hospitals that have been working in the field of oncology for years and demonstrate a deep knowledge and commitment to the cause.
Areas of work:
Cuddles works in the country - from West, East, North, and South. They have collaborated with hospitals such as Tata Memorial Hospital (Mumbai), Bai Jerbai Wadia (Mumbai), Sion Hospital (Mumbai), Nair Hospital , Saroj Gupta Cancer Centre (Kolkata), Homi Bhabha Cancer Hospital (Varanasi), St. John’s Medical College (Bangalore) Meenakshi Mission Hospital (Madurai), and Christian Medical College (Vellore) to name a few.
There are four sectors under which Cuddles works:
1. Nutritional Counsel & Diet Planning:
Experts at the facilities use the Cuddles FoodHeals™ app to assess a child’s grade of malnourishment and medical condition, they then evaluate a child’s dietary habits and calorie deficiency, based upon which they plan the diet for speedy recovery and monitor the patient’s progress.
2. Free Food & Supplements:
Cuddles take it upon itself to provide nutritious to patients. From eggs, bananas, dry fruits, ghee, and milkshake and to lassi - they cover all the essential nutrients a child needs. They also provide ration supplies for one month to families, and finally, they provide nutritional supplements like Pediasure, Pediagold, Threptin Biscuits as well.
3. Caregiver support
Besides providing food to patients, Cuddles also draws a lot of attention to a patient’s parents and that’s how the caregiver support initiative was born. Under this category, they conduct parent support group meets to educate caregivers about nutrition and hygiene, they also help caregivers with coping mechanisms and emotional support through the child’s treatment cycle, they provide moms with necessary counsel on cooking nutritionally appropriate meals, and finally help them with recipes so the child is looked after even after he/she is discharged and cured. 4 Research assistance to Doctors on Pediatric Oncology and nutrition
Cuddles also invest in an extensive research department. Under the research wing, Cuddles provides research assistance to Doctors on Pediatric Oncology and nutrition. Cuddles conduct Nutritional Fellowship Programs for nutritionists. Their research wing uses their field knowledge and insights to better the study and practice of Pediatric Nutrition so more children, mothers and nutritionists can adopt our methods.
Cuddles believes that with the right kind of nutrition and care, a child experiences reduced side-effects and treatment complications, fewer breaks or delays in treatment, improved chances for survival and positive treatment outcomes, and better immunity. Purnote Dutta Bahl was just a donor at Tata Memorial Hospital in 2012. But her life changed when she visited a facility that exposed her to issues regarding malnutrition and its effects on children. This triggered her journey to start Cuddles Foundation. With a full-fledged team by her side, Cuddles Foundation is changing the life of children one at a time.
How can you help?
The best way for you to be part of the solution is by donating- the money goes towards all their initiatives which in turn will help a child who is suffering.
Visit their website: https://donate.cuddlesfoundation.org