Anita is Italian and has been living in France for 23 years.
She is Founder and President of Oscar’s Angels, a charity based in France. Active since 1998, Oscar’s Angels' main objective is to provide care and support to the families of children with brain and spinal cord tumours and severe neurological conditions particularly during their hospitalisation.
In 2001, the charity created the first French "Parent Advocate Program in Pediatric Neuro-Oncology" at the Children’s Hospital of Toulouse and with the help of healthcare staff, brought into existence a new kind of volunteer perfectly integrated into the medical teams and able to share with them all information necessary to care for the family in the best possible way.
The main purpose of the program is to provide hospital teams with highly trained non-medical volunteers who represent the families, bringing a different perspective to their care and helping healthcare staff to better understand the emotional stress and needs of the families who have to confront these painful experiences.
This exceptional and innovative new role for volunteers is now recognized as essential by many in the medical community in support not only of the families but to assist healthcare staff as well.
In 2014, the Oscar’s Angels program received the official national certification of “Users’ Rights” from the ARS (Agence Regional de Santé) for “The Volunteer’s Role in Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Care”.
Oscar’s Angels is also recognised in the hospital community for its unique work as a family support charity in pediatric end-of-life care. The organisation hopes to share, as much as possible, this very positive experience of a partnership between a parents’ charity and a children’s hospital in order to stimulate other organisations around the world to start similar advocate programs and bring a greater level of awareness and support to the field of pediatric neuro-oncology.
Anita holds a DU (diplôme universitaire – a “state diploma”) in Palliative Care and is a member of the Pediatric Advance Care Team (PACT) of the Children’s Hospital of Toulouse, France. She is also in charge of Oscar’s Angels’ “NO SURRENDER Dream Team” that offers parents free tickets to live music events and aims to make music a routine part of pediatric care.