The Chairperson of the State Agency for Child Protection Dr. Eleonora Lilova was an official guest at the opening of the first ever in Bulgaria and the Balkans rehabilitation center for children with cancer at the invitation of the Mayor of Kostinbrod, Mr. Traiko Mladenov. The center was built with the support of many institutions and donors in the village of Opitsvet, Kostinbrod municipality on the initiative of the Association "Children with Oncohematological Diseases".


At the event, which took place on Holy Cross Day, attended by Mr. Traiko Mladenov - Mayor of Kostinbrod, Dr. Lozana Vasileva, Deputy Minister of Agriculture, His Eminence Bishop of Belogradchik Polycarp Vicar of the Metropolitan of Sofia, MPs and guests.


"Children with a severe cancer diagnosis are our silent heroes. The battle for their health lasts from 6 months to 3 years, and sometimes a lifetime. They are deprived of favorite activities in kindergarten and school, as well as social contacts. The lives of these children deserve a bow. A bow to their strong spirit, courage and invincible character.


Families and the people who care for them need our special support to overcome the difficulties and problems that the disease and their relationships require. In this unique rehabilitation center, rehabilitation and therapy are at the required level not only because of the good premises, but also because many people here have built it and work with love for children and their families." said the SACP’s Chairperson Dr. Eleonora Lilova.  


Partners for the accomplishment of the Center are the clinics of pediatric oncohematology at the University Hospital "Queen Joanna - ISUL" in Sofia, University Hospital "St. Georgi” - Plovdiv, University Hospital “St. Marina” - Varna, Kostinbrod Municipality, Social Assistance Directorate with Child Protection Departments from all over the country, many companies and individuals assisting the center's activities free of charge.


The services can be used by children aged 0 to 18 years old with completed treatment or during maintenance therapy; young people up to 21 years old; siblings of children being treated for cancer; the families of children and young people and parents who lost their child in the battle with the insidious disease. The capacity of the rehabilitation center is for 40 people.


Support for children and families is through psychological and social rehabilitation and therapeutic activities aimed at activating the creative potential of children and creating emotional comfort. Working with other children in the family and parents is aimed at overcoming hidden emotions and feelings during a severe and prolonged illness.


The center has seven single-family houses and an administrative building with halls for activities, games, dining room, offices of specialists. All buildings have access for people with disabilities. In the yard of the Rehabilitation Center there is a small swimming pool, a multifunctional sports ground, a children's playground with swings and climbing frames and small flower gardens. The center has an additional property, on which orchards and vegetable gardens will be made with the help of children and parents.

"The SACP will always support the establishment of such rehabilitation centers for children. In Bulgaria there are many problems related to the treatment of oncohematological diseases in children, but despite everything they fight hard for their lives and manage to overcome the pain, the inability to do their favorite daily things, go to school and meet friends.", adds Dr. Lilova.


In the Rehabilitation Center the therapy sessions will be performed by specialists who assist and support children and their families with individual and group activities under programs developed based on research experience in similar centers in Europe and tailored to the needs of the child and their family.