Barcelona will be home to the largest childhood cancer centre in Europe

The new facility, run by Hospital Sant Joan de Déu and the Leo Messi Foundation, will be financed through a crowdfunding campaign

"Go for it!" was Leo Messi’s reaction when he heard about the Paediatric Cancer Centre project. It was the signal for the start of what will become the largest paediatric oncology centre in Europe and the third largest in the world. It will be a joint project between Hospital Sant Joan de Déu, the Leo Messi Foundation, the FC Barcelona Foundation and IESE Business School.

The new centre will cost 30 million euros, which is to be raised through a crowdfunding campaign, open to both individuals and businesses. Contributions towards the funding of the centre can take the shape of micro-donations from members of the public of one or two euros, as well as large donations.

A further 30 million euros will be needed for a second phase to purchase a device for proton beam therapy, a pioneering cancer treatment that is currently unavailable in Europe.

The new centre will combine treatment with research, in an attempt to improve survival rates. "The aim is to increase the survival rate, which currently stands at 80%, and doesn’t get any higher. The centre ought to help push it higher", declared Andrés Morales, the oncologist responsible for the new project.

The new centre will be entirely financed by private donations. Indeed, research into childhood cancer only exists thanks to donations from family members. According to Manel del Castillo, managing director of Hospital Sant Joan de Déu, "research into paediatrics and oncology is not a priority for the industry because the number of cases is so small, so it’s carried out with donations from family members".

The #paralosvalientes campaign has been launched in order to finance the project, with the support of Leo Messi.

Donations can be made online at

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