Childhood Cancer International
Since early days of inception, ASHIC has been a recognized player in the international arena for childhood cancer. The first patron for ASHIC was Dr. Jon Pritchard, a renowned pediatric oncologist in England, who was also Ashiq's primary physician during his year long treatment at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Sick Children in London. He remained the patron until his untimely death in 2007. With his learned guidance, ASHIC gained credibility within local and international circuits.
In 1998, ASHIC became a full member of Childhood Cancer International ("CCI"), a premier global network formed in 1994, as an umbrella organization of childhood cancer grassroots and national parent organizations. Today, CCI is the largest patient support organization for childhood cancer. It is a global, parent-driven non-profit that represents 181 parent organizations, childhood cancer survivor associations, childhood cancer support groups, and cancer societies, in 90 countries, across 5 continents.
CCI works and collaborates closely with SIOP, which is the International Society of Pediatric Oncology. ASHIC has presented its programs at several at its annual conferences.
Asia Pacific Hospice Palliative Care Network
Salma Choudhury met Dr. Cynthia Goh in 1995 and bonded as fellow bereaved parents. Dr. Goh, the chair of APHN from 2009 - 2021, had already started the important work of expanding palliative care services in Singapore and the Asia Pacific. Mrs. Choudhury was inspired with her dedication and in 2004, she formally invited Dr. Goh to Bangladesh to introduce the concept of palliative care at the 3rd SIOP Asia Conference hosted by ASHIC in Bangladesh.
ASHIC joined APHN and in 2005 became the first organization in Bangladesh to receive funding from the My Child Matters initiative by UICC-Sanofi Aventis, to establish the country's first palliative care unit. The ASHIC PCU is also the first pediatric palliative care unit in South Asia/ Asia Pacific region. Since then, Mrs. Choudhury and the ASHIC PCU have been spotlighted at several international forums for their groundbreaking work in palliative care.
Cynthia, a personal friend to Mrs. Choudhury for several decades, passed away on February 13, 2022. She is deeply missed. Here's a tribute to her from Mrs. Choudhury in Remembering Cynthia.
Since 2007, ASHIC Trustee Maheen Hamid has been on the board of SpaandanB, a Northern California based non-profit organization started by a few passionate expatriate Bangladeshis. The organization supports programs in the fields of education, health and economic development in Bangladesh. In addition to its own programs, it also partners with established Bangladeshi organizations to help promote local programs. ASHIC and SpaandanB have been partners since 2007.
Through their support, ASHIC is able to receive important funding through US based donors, including a significant grant through the NVIDIA Foundation in 2018.
Kids For Love
Started by Mrs. Salma Choudhury's granddaughter Saira Hamid, ASHIC Kids For Love campaign is designed to raise awareness for ASHIC and childhood cancer in Bangladesh through the Arts. The initiative features submissions from across the world, to be presented in the ASHIC virtual magazine. With around 40 submissions to the campaign in its first year, people can find beautiful pieces of artwork, as well as the powerful stories of ASHIC survivors. With support from US based 501(c)(3) SpaandanB, which is a long-time partner of ASHIC, all tax-deductible donations will be sent to ASHIC.
Saira says, "When people go through life’s hardships, we seek an outlet for our pain. Very often, that outlet is art. Art is a way to let go, free oneself, and express how we feel. By allowing many artists to contribute and submit their pieces, awareness of the foundation is spread. The stories and personal experiences of the ASHIC survivors can be heard by a broader audience. Hopefully, this allows more people to familiarize themselves with the effects of childhood cancer, and be inspired to stand next to organizations like ASHIC."