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"Thanks to the funds we can carry out all our cancer awareness, prevention, and research projects"

Sandra Ibarra, President of the Sandra Ibarra Foundation for Solidarity against Cancer, tells us in which projects the proceeds from La Chinata through the Sensitive Skin Line are invested, whose benefits now total nearly 60,000 euros

La Chinata has collaborated with the Sandra Ibarra Foundation for Solidarity against Cancer since 2018 through a Cosmetic Line for Sensitive Skin that was created especially for this and with which we try to join efforts against cancer.

This line of cosmetics has calming, restructuring and regenerating properties and is especially indicated for sensitive or irritated skin, including the most delicate skin as a result of chemotherapy or radiotherapy treatments. It consists of a Body Balm, a Hand Cream and a Facial Cream with SPF25.

To date, close to 60,000 euros have already been obtained for the cause and we are very grateful to all the clients who have collaborated to make it possible.

Sandra Ibarra, President of the Foundation, explains to us in which projects the proceeds are invested with this line of solidarity cosmetics from La Chinata.

Sandra, your work and your story are very inspiring... you have overcome cancer twice and solidarity against this disease, as you have Said on other occasions, you have turned it into your 'Personal Legend', tell us...

I have been linked to the sum of efforts against cancer for 26 years, since in 1995 I was diagnosed with my first leukemia. I always say that, if there are still things to be done now, at that time everything was to be done: the word cancer was not used, we were not informed, the technology that exists today did not exist, and there were very few of us who got ahead.

I was very young, I was 20 years old, I had arrived in Madrid with a suitcase full of dreams, I wanted to be a model and a communicator, I enrolled in the Faculty of Information Sciences. When I was diagnosed, I had damaged marrow 95%, I had a very poor prognosis, and they decided to give me a chemotherapy treatment that fortunately worked. It was March of 1995.

Then I started some chemotherapy protocols, the possibility of having a marrow transplant was raised and I was lucky that my little brother was compatible with me in a 99%. They gave me the transplant and three months later I was doing my first fashion show in favor of the AECC, happy in that “catwalk of life” in which I was once again resuming my life. It was not an easy process, but in adversity I really discovered who I was. That parade made news, and the news was that I had been cured.

Then I resumed my life while collaborating with various organizations. Seven years later, on September 11, I had a relapse. That one is hard: the first is physical but the second is psychological. Treatment and a new transplant were considered again. It was very hard, but again I got through it. So I decided to create the Sandra Ibarra Foundation, a structure that allowed me to professionalize my work against cancer.

Regarding people who are undergoing cancer treatment, how has the pandemic influenced them? Have new needs arisen? How are you living the pandemic from the Foundation?

Cancer is already a pandemic, it is a cause of global health due to its incidence and mortality. Covid19 is a second pandemic that patients and survivors are suffering from. The data that exists so far is worrying: various studies have found that in 2020 21% fewer patients with cancer were diagnosed compared to the same period of the previous year.

At the start of the coronavirus pandemic, we were not prepared to face such a health challenge, but right now cancer must be a priority both in primary care, through fundamental and decisive early detection, and in hospitals, where that the delay of tests, treatments and interventions that are essential for the survival of thousands of people cannot be assumed as a solution to a crisis that lengthens over time.

A care plan for 'non-Covid' patients is urgently needed, so that cancer patients and survivors do not continue to suffer two pandemics.

Among the projects to which the benefits collected with the La Chinata Sensitive Skin Pack are allocated is the School of Life of the Sandra Ibarra Foundation. You are also pioneers in the First Registry of Survivors in Spain. What does it consist of?

The School of Life is the first school for cancer patients and survivors specialized in dealing with the care needs that exist during the disease and those that arise in the transition period in which there is no longer a tumor or treatment but other sequelae appear that should be attended to.

Within the initiatives of the School of Life, we are currently developing the first Registry of Cancer Survivors in Spain. We look for the almost two million survivors that are estimated to exist in our country, to register their needs and generate specific prevention and treatment protocols that improve the quality of life and well-being of patients and survivors. There are data and death statistics, now we want to record life.

If you are a survivor, have a friend or family member who is, write to us at [email protected] or sign up at https:// vida/ and become part of the first Registry of Cancer Survivors of Spain.

What other activities do you have planned soon from the Foundation?

We are looking forward to celebrating our Festival of Life again. In this festival we invite patients and survivors to celebrate life in a nature reserve in Cádiz, in Wakana. A meeting to learn, celebrate and thank life. We hope to announce the date for the second edition this year soon.

We are also very excited about the celebration of the second edition of the Lady of the Lamp – Florence Nightingale Awards in October. This initiative was born with the objective that patients would reward oncology nurses, with the purpose of thanking them for their care and making their social and health contribution more visible. The global pandemic of Covid19 has further highlighted their necessary work, which is key in the humanization of healthcare. For this reason, we wanted to make a special mention in the celebration of the World Nursing Year to the professionals who have made an extraordinary effort during the greatest health crisis experienced. This Covid Special Edition is dedicated to all of them.

What does it mean for the Foundation that there are companies like La Chinata that are committed to a cause such as solidarity against cancer?

At the Foundation we are looking for fellow travelers like La Chinata, companies with a purpose that truly believe in corporate social responsibility, and that are committed to real projects that have an impact on society. Thanks to the funds we can work and carry out all our cancer awareness, prevention, and research projects; that help us improve the quality of life and well-being of patients and survivors.

Sometimes we have heard you talk about not looking for charity, but solidarity, what is it that really makes the difference?

The work against cancer should not be charity or charity, but solidarity. Charity is a very vertical issue, "I'm up here, I'll give you what's left over"; Solidarity is much more horizontal and transversal, it belongs to everyone. Here it is about improving people's lives, improving health, working for the most precious asset we have, which is our health.

Our motto at La Chinata is 'take care of yourself inside and out'. Do you think that taking care of yourself influences your emotional well-being and helps you feel better about yourself?

Self-care is essential in everyday life in general, and for people who are facing or have passed cancer treatment in particular. Physical care, for example of the skin, through products such as La Chinata cosmetics for sensitive skin, obviously has a very positive influence on emotional well-being. I always say that the beginning of physical neglect is the beginning of emotional neglect.

Finally, what would you say to all those people who are currently undergoing cancer treatment and their families?

I always tell people that cancer or adversity are not parentheses. When something negative happens to us, they tell us: don't worry, this is a parenthesis. I always say that parentheses are also life. In fact, when you are diagnosed with cancer, it is when you most want to live, to travel, to love... Everything seems more beautiful to you. It is the filter of life that cancer gives you. There is life during illness, we do not have to wait until we are cured to live 'full of life', which is the motto of the Foundation.

You have to be very well diagnosed, trust the medical team and be clear that we don't have to prove anything: we are not heroes. You have to live the process, and in hard times, ask for professional help and those who are close to you on a day-to-day basis, and also help them understand us. There are situations in which you laugh so much that you end up crying, and that you cry so much that you end up laughing.

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