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Introduction

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Ben was in Vivo City (Sentosa, Singapore) in January, 2008

I/ THE NAME AND ITS MEANING:


Ben Khoi’s Smile or BenSmile Charity (BSC) is a charity, which offers assistance to Vietnamese children suffering from cancer. The organization was established in loving memory of a five-year-old boy named Khoi Tran (home-name: Ben), who courageously had fought against cancer for twenty months before his dearly departure on February 17th, 2008.  

BSC symbolizes Ben - a compassionate and lively boy - to express the dream of other cancerous kids about a playground environment where they could freely enjoy all real funs of their age regardless of the critical disease.

Following is a brief summary of Ben’s medical history:

-Ben initially suffered from kidney cancer (Wilm’s Tumor) when he was nearly 3 years old. The ultrasound test detected a tumor on his right kidney in May, 2006. Following diagnosis confirmed cancer in Stage III and a surgery to remove the tumor was believed necessary. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy were parts of his treatment plan after the surgery. A few weeks later, the tumor spread and moved down to his right leg. Doctor was upset and admitted that the Vietnamese medical system was not yet ready to take his case. It is worth knowing that during the first days of the disease, Ben always lived to the fullest of a young kid with smiles, with thoughtful questions to mom, and a desire to explore outside world.

-In December 2006, Ben and his mom traveled to Singapore , where has more innovative medical technology, to start another treatment plan. This country witnessed a lot of hardship of the mother and the son. Fortunately, during this time, they still received a lot of assistance from Vietnamese community both in Vietnam and Singapore . In November 2007, Ben was sent home with a check-up plan after 3 months.

-In January, 2008, Ben suffered from severe pains at abdomen at night. The ultrasound test showed that Ben has lymph nodes spreading to abdomen area. The mother and the son had not spent much time enjoying Ben’s recovery before Ben was taken to Singapore for the second time for immediate check. Doctor sadly confirmed recurrence after only 2 months. Mother was suggested to bring Ben home.

-On January 17th, 2008, Ben returned home. This is the toughest time for him and the mother as the pain became not durable for him. Ben refused to take neither reliever nor wanted to go to any medical clinic. That’s it! Ben was aware that he will, sooner or later, leave all the pains behind to go fly away. Ben passed away in a Sunday morning of the February 17th, 2008 at his mother’s homeland at Hoc Mon, Ho Chi Minh City, in the loving tears.


II/ LOGO AND SLOGAN:

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Logo: A smiling playful rabbit surrounding himself with orange clouds. This is an artwork donation from Ms. Thien Thu, an artist from Phuong Nam cultural company. The little nimble and clever rabbit was Ben’s favorite pet. He also enjoyed dressing orange rabbit costume, and always dubbed himself as a little rabbit. Orange and green were Ben’s favorite colors.

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Slogan: Keeping Smile - Loving Life

The slogan expresses a moral value of our charity in which we strive to offer young cancer patients an opportunity to spend their days at hospital in joy and hope. We also assist the parents to meet some basic needs including financial assistance from our funding and health education programs on a monthly basis.  


III/ PURPOSES :

-We are a charity striving to assist as many Vietnamese young cancer patients as we can. Due to the fact that most of the patients are from poor families, our top priority is to support these children with money, food, purified drinking water, toys, story books and so on. On the 17th of every month, we make visit to hospital bringing with us all kinds of donation including cash, quality food, toy that we collect from generous donors in the previous months.

-BSC is committed to bring the equal happiness and joy to all sick children. Thank to our passionate volunteer staffs, without their hands, BenSmile Charity wouldn’t have been able to organize events in which many entertaining activities and games for kids are hosted right at the hospital every two weeks.  

-Childcare training is one of our main purposes as well. We train parents on how they should deal with their sick children physically and psychologically. We have volunteer doctors in our visits to provide professional advices to the parents too.


IV/MEDIA CHANNELS :

-Website www.nucuoicuaben.com, first lauched on August 15th, 2008.

V/ ORGANIZATION INFORMATION :

-Ms. Thuy Ngo (Founder & Manager of BenSmile Charity), a journalist. She is mother of Ben and is very inspired to found and to operate the charity.
-The volunteer staff of BSC, with their kind heart and talents, has done a lot of amazing jobs such as colleting news, writing reports for BSC official website, hosting events, public relations, and last but not least, they are irreplaceable individuals who bring real fun and motivation to the kids in our visits to the hospitals.
-BenSmile Charity head office is located at #B410 Nhiêu Tứ 1 Block Apartment, Ward 7, Phú Nhuận District, HCM city. Anyone who would like to contact us for more information is welcome to write us to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call 84-903-505-375 to talk with Ms. Thuy Ngo (Pls read more in Contact).

Thank you for your interests in BenSmile Charity. We hope you will enjoy the site and will consider lending us a hand in helping young cancer patients in Vietnam .

August 13th, 2008
BenSmile Charity

(Translated by Binh and An)

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Ben was in Castle Green Block Apartment (Singapore) in October, 2007

REASONS TO ESTABLISH THE BENSMILE CHARITY
A letter to all readers from Ben’s Mom

August 17th 2008,

In the beginning of each month, I always mark the 17th on calendar. It has become my new habit since my son’s departure. I have counted the number of months that would take me to recover, after a greatest grief of my life. How am I going to get through it to live as a normal woman? Yet the answer still remained unclear.

I realize that cancer is eventually an obsession that may never end. For I can not forget and never let it go, I would not be able to get back to my daily life as before. The pain was so great to be healed and yet it will always stay with me for the rest of my life. I admit and accept my weakness. However, I will no longer hide myself suffering from the grief of my lost child.

At the end of July 2008, I returned to the Pediatric Section at Tumor Cancer hospital where Ben received his treatment for almost 6 months prior to proceeding to Singapore . I know it was the place where I would start. The idea of establishing a charity for the Vietnamese children that are struggled with cancer began shaping in my mind since I knew that I would lose Ben, but time was the only question that matters. At first, I was thinking to implement the charity one year after Ben’s death in order to make it remarkable under my son’s name, and also to give me more time preparing; but when I came and saw so many children suffering just like my son used to, I thought that the delay for one year was not right. Helping doesn’t go with waiting; we should all understand that a life to a childhood cancer patient is very fragile, as the disease and its severe affects will not wait for us to delay helping them. We never have enough time.

Today - 6 months after Ben was gone - 6 months sooner than my initial plan, our website www.nucuoicuaben.com was officially launched as an announcement to public that I was establishing the BenSmile Charity. Prior to the launch of the website, on Friday August 15, 2008, I and some other pioneer volunteers already made our first visit under the name of BenSmile Charity to the pediatric section. On that trip, we brought with us a lot of presents.

Our main mission is that BenSmile Charity will bring smiles and joy to childhood cancer patients at the hospitals. I and my great team want to see the less fortunate children have great opportunities at the hospital to smile brightly and to play happily as did Ben, my son, and any other healthy kid. No matter how hard it is to overcome the pains and hardship at the hospitals, children and their parents must understand that they could possibly escape from the painful treatments and/or financial scarcities. When BenSmile Charity staff come to them, we are aimed to help them put the burden down and get refreshment.

I am a writer; writing is my job for living. As for BenSmile Charity, I do not use my writing skills as usual. Throughout all the materials that being published in this website, I expect that society will learn more about childhood cancer patients: how they spend struggling days at the hospital and what we can do to help. After getting involved in BenSmile Charity projects, I assure you will naturally experience that a life without having to fight cancer is very merciful. By practice giving to those who are more needy than us, we make world a better place to live.

There are a number of reasons for me to devote in BenSmile Charity :

First of all, I believe in God and Thy absolute love to the entire mankind, so I want to practice love to the suffering people that I meet everyday.

As a mother who has lost her child due to cancer, I deeply understand what they need and how we can help.

My profession as well as public relations that I have built over the years also enabled me to pursue this highly demanding job.

I did receive a lot of assistances both materially and mentally from people when I was saving my son. It is now time for me to return equally or excessively what were given to me so that the circle of sharing and loving will last for good.

I am aware that I have begun a difficult job for which some people may think an earning one. But what is the point of doing charity if that misleading concept discourages me. A charity can only be run well if it is a perfect composition of loving, caring, and believing in self and in each other.

If you believe in BenSmile Charity’s missions, I kindly ask you to give us a hand.
Ben’s Mom 
(Thanh Thuy Ngo)

(Translated by Nguyen Truong An) 
Thanks from Ben’s mom 
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-BenSmile Charity has been established for nearly four years. I did not think that I would prolong our activity at the ongology hospital for a such time. It must be micrable because our program is spread out only via this website.
 
-Due to personal reason, I have not received cash donation since Octorber 2010 after total donation of VND 1,333,652,840 (in which 80 % of cash was given to children of cancer patients) excluding donation of toys, drinking water, milk, etc . I am proud that I prove clearly monthly receipts and expenses so there is no complaination from any donator.
 
-I have stoped receiving cash donation because I have realised what the necessaries is that I can do for children of cancer patients within my ability.
 
-BenSmile Charity has performed only two activities for recent two years: Organizing volunteers to play with children of cancer patients at the oncology hospital (biweekly on Tuesday afternoon) and organizing to call for glormerule donation to children of cancer patients (every two month). I would like to take this chance to thank all volunteers.
 
-In case you would like to donate to children of cancer patients, biweekly Tuesdays afternoon, our volunteers will help you to find out chidlren of cancer patients who need to receive SOS help or receive gifts (milk, drinking water, fruits, cake, chocolate, dried fruits) and toys from you to delivery immediately to children of cancer patients. On the other hand, you can donate material which serves children of cancer patients’ entertainment (pencil, drawing paper, color paper, puzzle, sticker, etc). Please refer to monthly schedule posted in our website in which we mention clearly what you can help.
 
-We are looking forward to receiving your help within what we can receive. 
Ben’s mom
Thanh Thuy Ngo
(29/4/2012)

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