“No child should be denied the cure of their cancer.” - Dr. Tanya Trippett
Those ten words have been the driving force behind a global humanitarian initiative that began from the wish of a 13-year-old African boy. Eugene Gasana, Jr. is a cancer survivor who wanted other children in Africa to have the benefit of the same quality cancer care that he was given in the United States.
The disparity in the quality of cancer care for children from developing countries to those from the U.S. is real and it is startling. According to the WHO, only 5-10% of children in limited resource nations are cured from their cancer, compared to 80-85% in children from western nations. The WHO projects that by 2030, developing countries will account for nearly 80% of the global cancer burden, yet only 5% of global spending is directed to these nations.
Inspired by Eugene’s selflessness and generosity of spirit, Dr. Tanya Trippett, his oncologist, set forth on a mission that began with the creation of a foundation in Eugene’s name. Just seven years later, a simple idea has blossomed into one with worldwide reach – a long-term strategy to create five pediatric cancer research and treatment centers on five continents.
The first of these centers will be built in Kyebi, Ghana with the start of construction set for March. This flagship operation, located on 50 acres donated by tribal leaders, will serve as a regional referral center of excellence for the treatment of children with cancer in Africa. It will be founded as a teaching facility for training and knowledge transfer for medical and allied professionals, and as a technology hub for Ghana and the countries of West Africa, one of the fastest growing regions in the world.
With the groundbreaking of the $250 million complex, comes a new name – the Wish 4 Life Foundation.* It will serve as the international brand for all five centers, as well as the foundation, formerly the Eugene Gasana, Jr. Foundation.
“Through the partnership of some amazing companies, we have grown and matured as an organization,” said Trippett. “We are now global in scope. With Eugene as our inspiration, our message is one of global advocacy for children. Our new name reflects our broader, collective mission towards bridging some of the widest disparities in healthcare in developing nations.
“The Wish 4 Life Foundation* will continue to be a strong voice for advocacy, for quality facilities around the globe, rather than very small facilities that really are a mandate, but ultimately don’t serve the problem,” said Trippett. “One of the key instruments that we will use is building these cancer centers.
“No child should be denied the cure of their cancer. We take this on by leveraging our collective voice and our alliances. As someone who has been practicing oncology for 30 years, I can tell you we know how to cure these diseases,” said Trippett. “We know what to do. It’s just simply having the medicines, the infrastructure and the resources all at the same time.
“I made a promise to myself that I wasn’t going to put a band-aid on a situation that is very difficult. I didn’t come up with the idea of a hospital the first year we started the foundation. It took me three years to get to that point, and another three years to get over the fear factor of failure,” said Trippett. “But now we’re at a phase in our development where like-minded individuals and their companies see the need, believe in our mission and want to help.”
~Working brand name as of 03/07/22