Farewell Erwin…

June 3rd, 2011 | Posted by greg in Charity | Daily life...

A few weeks ago, I had mentioned about Alain in a previous post regarding Emmanuel Homes… ever since, I happen to read regularly his blog entries and get news from the day to day life in Bogota, Colombia, where the association Fundancer helps families with children affected by cancer. There must be hundreds of similar association around the world, but yesterday, I read this….

(English version below)

Aujourd’hui terrible journee, Jorge a demande a Diana de nous rendre a l’hopital aujourd’hui pour visiter plusieurs enfants, et plus particulierement Erwin. (…je sais pas si tu te rappelles des photos que diana m avait envoye en mars de 2 enfants qui faisaient leur communion solennelle, le premier est decede courant avril , le second c’est Erwin 12 ans). Quand on est arrive dans sa chambre sa maman lui tenait la main , il respirait avec beaucoup de difficultes, et de souffrance, les yeux a demi ouverts. Diana s’est mise a genoux a cote de son lit en lui tenant la main, de l’autre cote du lit je tenais l’autre main et la main de sa maman, Diana lui a parle en lui caressant la tete, avec une douceur extraordinaire , de la Vierge, du tunnel blanc au bout duquel d’autres enfants l’attendaient, et de bien d’autres choses a peine audibles, et sa respiration a change, plus saccadee, puis plus brutale, puis plus calme , et  puis . .plus rien,   dix minutes plus tard il avait fini de souffrir.

Etrangement calmes, nous sommes repartis voir liliana 8 ans, dans une autre chambre, a qui j’ai offert une belle photo que j’avais fait d’elle il y a quelques jours, dans un joli cadre, son sourrire pour me remercier m’a fait beaucoup de bien. De retour chez Diana, je suis “vidé”, plus de forces dans mes jambes, tres fatigué , comme si Erwin s’etait servi de toute mon energie pour quitter ce monde. Diana m’explique qu’a chaque fois ce phenomene se produit quand elle demande a la Vierge de l’aider a arreter les souffrances d’un enfant.Elle a ainsi accompagne de nombreux enfants dans leurs dernieres heures, pour moi c’est la premiere fois.

Today was a terrible day, Jorge asked Diana to go back to hospital to visit a few children, especially Erwin. (… I don’t know if you remember the photo Diana sent in March with the two kids receiving their communion, the first one passed away during April, the second is Erwin, 12 years old). When we arrived in his room, his mother was holding his hand, he had difficulties to breath, suffering a lot, the eyes half opened.
Diana bent on her knees next to his bed and held his hand, on the other side of the bed, I held the other hand and the hand of his mother, Diana spoke to him calmly with an extraordinary tenderness about Virgin Mary, the white tunnel at the end of which other children were waiting for him, and many other things that I had difficulties hearing, then his breathing changed, faster and more brutal, then quiet again, and quieter and then…. nothing… 10 minutes later he had finished suffering.

Oddly calm, we went to another room to visit Liliana, 8 years old, I gave her a beautiful portrait photo of herself that I had done a few days ago, in a nice frame, her smile to thank me made me feel better. Back to Diana’s home, I am empty, no more power in my legs, very tired, like if Erwin had used all my energy to leave this world.
Diana explained that every time this happens, she ask the Virgin Mary to help the children stop suffering. She accompanied many children in their last hours, to me, it was the first time.


If you have a sensitive heart, reading this should touch you very deeply, no matter your religion, your origins or your beliefs and even more so if you happen to be yourself a parent. When I read it for the first time, I had tears in my eyes, no matter how much I wanted to hold back.

Alain, who recently retired in France, decided not to seat on the roadside watching cars passing by, but he embraced life to the fullest and is now in Colombia helping Fundancer.


The daily challenge of these kids is to live as well and as long as possible with cancer. Alain met parents whose challenge consists in finding money to treat their children in the Colombian capital, Bogota – sometimes very far from their home – where the best cancer specialists work.

Alain also met two people – Diana and Jorge, founders of the FUNDANCER foundation – whose daily challenge consists in helping those children and parents, offering them a place to stay during the treatment, accompanying them during their stay – unfortunately, on occasions, the “final one” – in Bogota. A lot of Colombian people simply wouldn’t be able to treat their ill child without Jorge and Diana’s help.

FUNDANCER foundation helps them with all the things that doctors can’t do:

  • – the journey to Bogota (Colombia is a very big country)
  • – the accommodation for the family in a place near the hospital
  • – the psychological counseling (Jorge has himself lost a child to cancer)
  • – and simply all the LOVE that they can provide to those kids and their families

Manu (Alain’s son) is literally running an insane race to help his dad and the kids. Along with his set goals, he is raising funds to help the children and if you feel like helping, please visit these websites:

Alain’s blog ( in French)

Manu’s blog (English and French)

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