KIKA: An Introduction
The words “Across Europe” evoke images of a long and beautiful holiday trip. Those images, however, would be misleading. Across Europe is the initiative of a band of heroes who intend to cycle from the North Cape to Athens within the space of 30 days. The acceptance of this challenge is aimed at collecting money for “KiKa”. (“KiKa” stands for “Kinder Kanker”, which is Dutch for Children’s Cancer.) We are proud, therefore, to add these heroes to the list of long term KiKa supporters. In the past a large group of these had a successful cycle trip from Rotterdam to Rome. Now, sights are being set higher and these guys will have to go to the limits of their powers and ability. This is in line with KiKa’s traditions: to go for the max!
Since KiKa’s establishment in 2005 the average probability of recovery for children with cancer rose from 70% to 75%, having stagnated for the 15 preceding years. That is good, but it also means that there is still a lot of ground to be made up there. Together with paediatric oncologists KiKa is striving for a recovery probability of 90% to 95%. In 3 years’ time the most modern, inspiring cancer research centre (NKOC) in Europe will open its doors in Utrecht. We expect that researchers from both inside and outside the Netherlands will want to work there which will, inevitably, increase the demand for research facilities. By coincidence “Across Europe” is anticipating this development, but at the same time it is a good reason to draw attention to the NKOC. The cyclists will have to persevere to reach the finishing line as planned in the same way as the children have to fight for their lives. The proceeds of this extraordinary initiative bring us another step closer to our goal : children without cancer.
On behalf of KiKa I wish them the best of luck and also much joy, because that too goes with caring for children.
Rien Schimmel (KiKa Director for Sponsoring and Projects)