Crowdfunding against Cancer: IESE Backs New Barcelona Pediatric Cancer Center

Sant Joan de Déu Hospital, Leo Messi Foundation, FC Barcelona Foundation and IESE to build Europe’s largest pediatric cancer center

15/02/2017 Barcelona

Presentación del SJD Pediatric Cancer Center Barcelona en el Camp Nou | IESE Business School
SJD Pediatric Cancer Center Barcelona, Europe’s largest pediatric cancer center, presented in Camp Nou / Photo: MCS

IESE is taking part in the #ParaLosValientes fundraising campaign to help Hospital Sant Joan de Déu raise 30 million euros to build a state-of-the-art center to treat pediatric cancer. FC Barcelona Foundation and the Leo Messi Foundation are also supporting the fundraising drive.

The new SJD Pediatric Cancer Center Barcelona, which will be the largest of its kind in Europe, will be housed in a four-story, 5,137 m2 building located next to Sant Joan de Déu Hospital. The center will have the capacity to treat 400 patients yearly, 30% more than the hospital treats currently.

IESE will act as a link to the business community to help raise funds, and the school plans to organize large events in Barcelona and Madrid to encourage corporations to contribute. IESE will also participate in the strategic design of the center and provide training in leadership and management abilities.

Among its facilities, SJD Pediatric Cancer Center Barcelona will have eight chambers for bone marrow transplants, radiopharmacy, laboratories, 40 patient rooms, 30 day-treatment rooms, 20 outpatient examination rooms and other services. It will feature the most advanced technology for treating cancer.

Construction is to start in the third quarter of 2017 and the first phase of the center is expected to be functioning in the third quarter of 2018.

In a second phase – which will require an additional 30 million euros – the hospital wants to incorporate cutting-edge proton therapy into its treatment options. This treatment, which is not currently available in Spain, is used on patients with brain cancer and allows doctors to target tumors more precisely, sparing surrounding healthy tissue.

More research, more training, and more treatment

Pediatric cancer normally originates when organs and tissues are developing, and is completely different from cancer in adults (for every 200 cases of cancer in adults, there is one in a child).

It cannot be prevented, meaning that there is no type of screening to predict its occurrence. Its treatment may leave serious marks on the patient, and it is a type of illness that has a large emotional impact on children and families.

The new center will make possible, among other things:

  • Advances in research into new and less aggressive treatments; 
  • Training of pediatric oncologists and partnering with hospitals from developing countries;
  • Treatment of a larger number of children suffering from cancer.


The #ParaLosValientes campaign, which means “For the Brave”, is intended to raise awareness and participation in the fundraising initiative. Anyone can take part, according to their resources: from companies, foundations and individuals who wish to donate money, to other initiatives such as shops offering clients the option to contribute with each purchase or companies facilitating giving among employees.

FC Barcelona star Leo Messi has been the first to support the initiative and to challenge others to do the same. In a special campaign video Messi painted war paint on his face, sending the message that we can all help fight pediatric cancer.

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