President launches IPO’s 2017 “solidarity diary”

Who better to get a campaign off to brilliant start than Portugal’s people’s president Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa. Add children into the mix, and the “Agenda Solidária do IPO” is off to a fabulous start.

President Marcelo joined a variety of other national ‘personalities’ on Wednesday to launch the hospital’s fund-raising diary which comes with contributory texts from all of them centred on “the most moving experiences” of their lives.

The diary goes on sale from December 9 and proceeds will go towards the cancer hospital’s pediatric service, launched over 50 years ago by pediatric surgeon António Gentil Martins – best known perhaps for his expertise at separating conjoined twins.

86-year-old Martins accompanied the visit, but the star was President Marcelo, who donned scrubs to visit the children’s ward, hugged doctors and children and generally spread his special brand of positivity.

A source for the hospital told Observador website that money raised from the proceeds of the diary will go towards buying equipment “to improve the quality of life of children in their care, as well as some refurbishments”.

One piece of equipment on the list is a “vein visualiser to ensure children with hidden veins do not have to be pricked in several places”.

The IPO treats up to 400 children a year, with a success rate of “around 80%”.

According to Observador, one in every 600 young adults today has survived a childhood cancer.

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