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Helping Kids with Cancer Focus on Beauty, Not Misery

March 5, 2019

We encourage our readers to support the IFC by joining the club, taking a Home Tour, or making a donation. You can help them to the change lives of many Vallartenses who lack economic resources.

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico - Anne Frank died when she was sixteen. Two years earlier, while she was hiding from the Nazis and keeping her diary, she wrote "I don't think of all the misery but of all the beauty that still remains."

That's the way many children and young adults who have cancer live: they focus on the beauty of what remains in their lives, not the misery of the moment.

Rotary Club Sur in Puerto Vallarta has a program that provides "Aid To Families With Children With Cancer." It helps the children and their families get through the tough times they face when they have cancer, by raising money to buy food, clothes, shoes and to help with the costs of education.

In one family helped by Rotary both parents are blind and each of their two boys have lost an eye to cancer. That sucks! The four of them live in a one-room home but members of Rotary are looking for a larger home to move them to.

Mia is five and very cute! She has lost one of her kidneys and part of the remaining one to cancer but she lives life to its fullest. A couple of weeks ago a member of Rotary and some volunteers organized a "Spa Day" for the kids at the Peninsula.

Mia and other kids with cancer had a beautiful day experiencing meditation, yoga, art projects and just enjoying a part of life that we take for granted but that many of them never see. To share part of their day and to see how much fun they were having was beautiful for us too. The employees of Peninsula have, very kindly, asked them back to swim in the pool and to watch a movie in the theatre. The kids can't wait!

One of the other survivors there was Luis, who is seventeen. He has a shunt in his brain to reduce the fluid build-up caused by a tumour. He goes to school two hours a day, three times a week and works at home on his schoolwork too. He has trouble with his balance and that limits his ability to get on and off buses. His father has left the family and his mom's income is minimal. Luis cried when he heard that a complete stranger had agree to fund his school fees until he finishes his education. He plans to go to university and become a graphic artist. He now sees the beauty in the future!

The International Friendship Club (IFC) had been supporting Canica, another program for kids with cancer, but has decided to transfer its support to those children who are helped through the Rotary Club's program.

You don't have to be a Rotarian or a member of the IFC to help these children and their families. You just need to know that they will appreciate any help you can give them, whether it some fresh fruit or vegetables or a more beautiful future.

For more information, or to provide help, call 322-274-7525. The website for Rotary is, and for the IFC is

The International Friendship Club is a registered charitable organization in Mexico, listed as Club Internacional de la Amistad de Puerto Vallarta AC. The majority of IFC members are English-speaking residents and visitors who volunteer their time, homes or money to help kids around the Bay of Banderas. The clubhouse is located at the northeast corner of the Rio Cuale Bridge above the HSBC Bank, Colonia El Centro, Puerto Vallarta. Phone: 322-222-5466. Website: Email: ifcvallarta(at)