Going beyond medical care in Colombia

Roche Colombia’s teams join forces to turn patients’ dreams into reality.

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Antonio CataƱo can now unleash his musical talent with his own instruments

It is a well-known fact that the burden of disease reaches well beyond its medical and therapeutic aspects. For a better quality of life during treatment, it is important that people receive attention and empathy, but also that they have a purpose, an objective to help them look to the future with confidence.

Roche’s Pharma team in Colombia has taken this very seriously and launched a program called “Roche vive por los sueños de los pacientes” (Roche lives for the dreams of patients) at the end of 2012. It aims at fulfilling a dream for people affected by breast or lung cancer, hepatitis, cystic fibrosis, arthritis, renal anemia, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma or who have undergone transplantation.

From 15 patients who have expressed a wish, six already saw it become reality. Diana Caicedo, for instance, had never been to the sea, and the surprise she experienced exceeded any expectation. Thanks to 13 Roche employees, she was able to spend a few days with her family in the picturesque fishing village of Cartagena on the country’s Caribbean coast. Harold Terreros did not have the means to nurture his passion and talent for woodwork, until a group of 11 Roche people handed over to him the much-coveted tools he needed to open his own little workshop. Antonio Cataño, a gifted musician, could only dream of owning several instruments to give music lessons to children. Until Roche volunteers made it possible.

These are only three examples of the dreams for which 250 Roche colleagues go the extra mile for patients, putting recreational activities, manual work, studies and learning, as well as travel within their reach. Lotteries or fund-raising bazaars ensure the financial means.

While enhancing Roche’s social responsibility profile in Colombia, this program has also created greater cohesion and an increased team spirit among the staff.

Tags: Sustainability, Society