The “Associació de Familiars i Amics de Nens Oncològics de Catalunya”
(Association of Families and Friends of Children Treated for Cancer of Catalonia), was founded in 1987 by a group of parents who saw the need to join forces to work to improve the quality of life of all these children and to work towards providing for all of the needs and unknowns concerning childhood cancer.
In 1988, the organization was registered as a non-profit association with the number 9846 in the registry of legal organizations of the Department of Justice of the Generalitat de Catalunya.
Since its origins, AFANOC has undertaken important work in many different areas related to the needs families face when a child is diagnosed with cancer. These needs are very diverse and affect the child as well as parents, siblings, friends, school…
In 1987, the reality was that the needs generated by this lengthy illness with its uncertain prognosis were not being met: very lengthy stays in spaces that were not prepared for children or their companions, families who had to travel far from their homes and had nowhere to stay and rest, no psychological support to face the different stages of the treatment, the lack of stimuli for the children, the absence of planning to school them, the lack of information about this illness… in sum, the families felt they had no help or support.
At first, the families began by organizing mutual help groups, grieving groups, groups to search for information about the illness, and a small group of very active volunteers began to take shape. As the organization consolidated itself and grew, it became necessary to professionalize the association with a multidisciplinary team.
Over the course of all these years, the organization has set in motion programs and services with the aim of improving the quality of life of children and teenagers with cancer and their families, and has worked to improve the psychosocial health of all of them.
The most significant moments in the history of AFANOC include the following:
1992 Since 1992, the volunteers of AFANOC have accompanied children and teenagers with cancer in treatment at the Pediatric Oncology and Hematology Service of the Hospital de la Vall d’Hebron.
1998 In 1998, AFANOC signed an agreement with the Pediatric Oncology and Hematology Service of the Hospital Vall d’Hebron to realize volunteer activities and other programs of support for families on a psychosocial level.
2000 On May 19, 2000, AFANOC was recognized as an Organization of Public Utility with number 79630 by the Ministry of the Interior in recognition of its work.
2001 In 2001, the awareness raising campaign, “Posa’t la Gorra!” (“Wear the cap!”) was begun in Barcelona, with a closing celebration at the Zoo of Barcelona. This has since become a fully consolidated campaign and has raised awareness about childhood cancer and its repercussions in many areas of Catalonia.
2002 One of the association’s decisive moments took place when AFANOC intervened in 2002 in the design and adaptation of the new oncology and hematology floor of the Hospital Maternoinfantil de Vall d’Hebron. In this way, the work the organization had carried out until then was recognized and its ideas and goals were visualized.
2003 In 2003, a new agreement was signed with the Pediatric Oncology and Hematology Service of the Hospital Vall d’Hebron to ensure the good functioning of the games room, coordination of the volunteers, implementation of our programs and emotional care of the healthcare staff involved.
In 2003, the Health Board of the Generalitat de Catalunya awarded the association the Josep Trueta Plaque for healthcare merit.
We also signed an agreement with the Hospital Universitario Germans Trias i Pujol to support the families treated at this hospital.
2004 Another important moment for AFANOC was the creation of a delegation in Tarragona in 2004 to attend to the needs of all the families of the area of Tarragona and Tierras del Ebro. The new oncology and hematology floor was inaugurated at the Hospital Maternoinfantil de Vall Hebron.
2005 In 2005, a first agreement was signed with the Hospital San Juan de Dios to implement our programs (psychological and social care, etc.) in the Oncology and Hematology Unit, to ensure the good functioning of the workshops and activities we carry out and to provide emotional care and support to the healthcare staff involved.
2006 Another highly important step took place in 2006, when the Diputación de Barcelona ceded to AFANOC the grounds to build the Casa de los Xukis and the Fundación Privada Niñas y Niños de Cáncer was created to manage the entire process.
The Department of Public Governance and Administration of the Generalitat de Catalunya awarded us the National Volunteering Award in 2006.
2009The Ministry of Health and Social Policy awarded us the State Prize for Social Volunteering in 2009.
In 2009, the act of placing the first stone of the Casa de los Xuklis took place.
In 2009, we signed a collaboration agreement with the Hospital Universitario Joan XXIII de Tarragona allowing AFANOC to carry out its activities at the hospital whenever there is a family undergoing oncohaematological treatment.
2011 In 2011, the first family lodged at the Casa de los Xuklis.
2013 The Lleida delegation opened its doors in 2013 with the goal of responding to and covering all of the needs of the families with children ill with cancer in the region of Lleida.
2015 In 2015, AFANOC began remodelling the Pediatric Oncology and Hematology floor of the Hospital de la Vall d’Hebron, beginning with the entertainment and educational spaces and the office of the association.
2016In 2016, the Generalitat de Catalunya awarded the Cross of Sant Jordi to AFANOC in recognition of its work.