La Mascota – Nicaragua

Thanks to prof. Giuseppe Masera and Gianni Tognoni, in 1986 the first cooperative program of our Centre started based on high level education and training dedicated to health care staff working with children affected by cancer. This educational program was called MISPHO (Monza International School of Pediatric Hemato-Oncology) and started alongside the economical support to ill children and their families. This is provided, since 1994, through a program of international adoptions to provide economical support to the families who are experiencing an economical burden, also due to their child illness.

The MISPHO experience was a starting point for the institution, in 1998, of the scientific network called AHOPCA (Associacion de Hemato-oncologia Pediatrica de Centro America) in which it was possible to create specific therapeutic protocols for the main oncologic disease affecting children in the geographical area.

This program is in partnership with the swiss association for the Central America Support AMCA and the department of Global Pediatric Medicine of St. Jude children’s Hospital”, Memphis (USA).


Payment method for “La Mascota” Program

-c/c postale n° 14172209   

-Banca Intesa Sanpaolo IT16 R030 6909 6061 0000 0121 169 codice BIC – BCITITMM

Comitato Maria Letizia Verga  

(Please always specify “In favour of La Mascota project”)

Please note that the contribution for each adoption is 52 euro/month (624 / year).

For more information please email us at:


Children Sponsorship

Coordinator: Dr. Giovanni Redaelli

To learn more about our project: – phone: +39/3397059740 (mon – wed, from 3 pm to 6 pm)

The children sponsorship program offers the opportunity to economically support a child affected by cancer for a 2 years period of time (standard treatment length). The monthly contribution consists of 52 euros ( 624 euros/year). It is asked to send money every three months. To join the program and sponsor a child, group initiatives are possible: colleagues, relatives or friends who identify a contact person to be in touch with the CMLV.

Thanks to the initiative of a group of parents from CMLV, this program aims to support families with children affected by hematologic malignancies, forced to drop down the treatment due to socio-economical burden.
Thinking to the Residence Maria Letizia Verga model, in 1995 a residential house (“hotelito”) has been built for the patients living far from the main city. In 2003 this building has been reinforced and enlarged.
In 1994, a children sponsorship program managed by the CMLV and the parent association in Managua (MAPANICA): they collect information about the taken care children and exchange information between them and the italian adopting families.
MAPANICA strongly believe in the role of psychological support to families of sick children and they economically support a psychologist to be present and active in La Mascota Hospital.
The program offered support to families, reducing economical burden and reducing treatment drop down from 30% to 5%. New challenges have to be faced because, yearly, in Nicaragua there are 150 new pediatric cancer cases.

Nutritional Support Program

Thanks to the Methodist Church Valdese (8 x mille)

Starting from 2015, within the cooperative project with the La Mascota Hospital, a nutritional support program dedicated to children affected by cancer is running.

According to UNICEF data, chronic malnutrition rate in nicaraguense children under 5 years old is around 20%. This is even higher in children affected by cancer, who are even more vulnerable and at risk: there is an imbalance between the caloric intake and the energy expenditure: this is influenced by chemotherapy and radiotherapy adverse effects (nausea, vomiting, mucositis..), type of tumor, hospitalization.
Patients affected by cancer, classified as severely or moderately malnourished, are supported thanks to the supplementation of special formulas. Currently, a research project is ongoing. Expected goals are improvements in children prognosis in a brief and long period of time.

To learn more about the project: download the published scientific paper reporting the results of the program.