Daruieste Aripi is a registered charity, founded in 2013 to provide access to high quality medical care and social services for children in Romania and their families, particularly young patients afflicted with cancer and blood diseases.
We give hope to those who have lost it. We give wings to those who do not believe they can fly. We believe that we can achieve more together than alone. Our organization welcomes anyone who wants to help. Every sponsor, every volunteer matters. Daruieste Aripi is a home for everyone, just as we want our dream to be shared by as many as possible. ” – Alina Pătrăhău, founder
Our log, the hummingbird, is the only bird that can fly in any direction – straight up and down, backwards and forwards, and can truly hover. Despite its small size, the heart of a hummingbird is larger than that of other birds. A heart that beats about 80 times faster than a human’s. Hummingbirds inspire us to seek within ourselves the power to celebrate life every day and the desire to help and others.
Our organization’s name translates in English as Sharing Wings.
A team animated by the desire to save lives
President, Founder and Fundraiser
“In 2010, we were told my 1-year-old son might have an incurable disease. I felt the sky crash down on me. Fortunately for our family, by the next day that initial diagnosis was invalidated, but that sleepless night had already changed my life: I had decided to get involved with everything I could and knew in helping sick children in Romania.
It was also in 2010 that I heard about the case of a two-year-old boy with cancer: I managed to get him a second medical opinion from a reference clinic abroad and in the end we managed to save him. Ten years later, in 2020, Toni is the captain of the his school’s soccer. Hundreds of other children followed him, but the joy of success was overshadowed by the tragedy of other children. From the parents of patients I learned enough to last a lifetime; they always gave me the energy to fight at their side. We know it is in our power to change the fate of children who are treated in Romania.
This is how I started a first-of-its-kind project for children with cancer in Constanta, my native city on the Black Sea coast. Together with Dr. Adriana Apostol, we started out to turn the pediatric onco-hematology and rheumatology ward, into a unique outpatient center modeled after the most successful hospital units in Western Europe, specializing in the treatment of cancer and other serious medical conditions. This project led me to start a charity dedicated to continuing my mission, now shared by many others. This is how the Daruieste Aripi Association was born, and with it, our story…”.
Adriana Apostol, MD
Adriana leads the pediatric onco-hematology and rheumatology department of the Constanta County Emergency Hospital.
“It all started in 1994, when, after completing my training in Pediatrics, I took specialized advanced training in pediatric onco-hematology, an area few pediatricians embrace. I believed that no child should die of cancer; this is why I chose to take this career route.
I must admit that in the my years of practice, things were very different from what I thought they should be for these extremely vulnerable children. Meeting Alina with her unmitigated desire to help these children seemed like a miracle. We started our first project together, the reconstruction of the pediatric onco-hematology ward, at up-to-date standards. We received our first patients after just one year, in 2014.. It was our first shared dream coming true. From then on, the hospital and our patients have always received the Association’s unconditional support to operate at optimal standards.
The hospital based home care project for children undergoing treatment for severe chronic diseases followed shortly, another dream has come true.
As many children recover from cancer with assistance from our projects and programs, we are proving that this disease can be defeated! ”
Mihaela Bucurenci MD
Public Health Expert
Mihaela joined us in 2018 and currently acts as senior public health consultant and coordinator of the National Childhood Cancer Registry. She has with an experience of more than 20 years in designing and leading innovative healthcare projects.
“ Working with Daruieste Aripi I discovered the potential of charity work in driving profound and sustainable change in society, where the only limit is the height of our shared vision.
Goals that had seemed unattainable for 10 years, progress that was unimaginable in today’s Romania, became a reality in less than a year. I had never imagined I would be able to actually put to use everything I had learned managing change in health-care. But I could here, at Daruieste Aripi.”
“My work with Daruieste Aripi started in 2013, on the corridors of the pediatric ward of the Constanta County Hospital, where I was visiting with my daughter, who had been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. Alina conquered me with her enthusiasm. We clicked from the first conversation and since then, I stayed on to help with everything I could. I was an active volunteer until 2018, when I quit my job and got involved professionally, full-time, in the association’s projects. I have learned a lot and I am glad I can contribute to the development of major healt-care projects for children in Romania. “
“I joined the team in 2020, when the global pandemic devolved into an acute health crisis. I knew the girls from before and I was very impressed with the determination, ambition and perseverance with which they fight for the success of all their projects. Their motivation became my own and I quickly and proudly took in everything that Daruieste Aripi stands for.”
Communication & Fundraising Manager
“I fell in love with stories and telling them during childhood. For a long while, my family had to deal with the difficult burden of getting a diagnosis and pursuing treatment for a child in Romania, at a time when our financial possibilities were limited. I grew up in love with stories and communication and I transferred this love to my career. I have worked in industries connected to healthcare, always willing to learn: from sales to brand management and communication, onto sustainable communication and fundraising event planning for child social services. Today I am blessed to be able to tell the story of children with cancer in Romania alongside the Daruieste Aripi Association. Together with our partners I know we will reform the healthcare system for a healthier future for everyone.”
Marian Adrian Barzu