Who We Are

Daruieste Aripi is a non-profit organization, founded in 2013 by Alina Patrahau, with the aim of providing access to quality medical and social services for children in Romania and their families, in particular those with oncologic and hematologic diseases.

We give hope to those who have lost it. We give wings to those who do not believe in them. We believe that together we can achieve more than we can alone. The association is addressed to every person who wants to get involved. Every sponsor, every volunteer. Daruieste Aripi is everyone’s association, just as we would like the dream to be shared by as many as possible. ” – Alina Pătrăhău, founder of Dăruiește Aripi.

Our symbol, the hummingbird, is the only bird that can fly in any direction and can stay in the air. Despite its small size, the heart of a hummingbird is larger than that of other birds. A heart that beats hard, 80 times stronger than a human’s. Hummingbirds inspire us to seek within ourselves the power to celebrate life every day and the desire to help and give wings.

A team animated by the desire to save lives

Alina Pătrăhău
CEO, Founder and fundraiser

“In 2010, my 1-year-old son was suspected of an incurable disease. I felt the Sky fall down on me and I faced the ordeal any mother feels in the face of this potential diagnosis. Fortunately for our family, the diagnosis was refuted the next day, but for me, that night changed my life: I decided to get involved with everything I can and know in rescuing sick children in Romania.

Also in 2010 I heard about the case of a two-year-old boy with cancer: I got him a second opinion from a reference clinic abroad and we managed to save him. Here we are in 2020, and Toni is the captain of the football team in his school. Hundreds of other children followed Toni, but the joy of the success of these departures was overshadowed by the dramas of the children remaining in country. From the parents of the sick children I learned enough for a lifetime and I received the energy to fight at their side. We understood that it is in our power to change the fate of children treated in Romania.

I chose to start an unprecedented project for children with cancer in my city on the Black Sea, Constanta. Together with Dr. Adriana Apostol, we initiated the transformation of the pediatric onco-hematology and rheumatology services, into a unique day care center in Romania, organized and equipped according to the most successful models in Western Europe. This project inspired me to set up an organization to take my mission further, a mission  now shared by many others. This is how the  Daruieste Aripi Association was born and with it, our story…”.

Adriana Apostol, MD
Vice President

Senior consultant in pediatric onco-hematology, she leads the pediatric onco-hematology and rheumatology department of the Constanta County Emergency Hospital.

“It all started in 1994, when, after finishing the specialization in Pediatrics, I took the sub-specialty advanced training in pediatric onco-hematology, a domain  that few pediatricians embrace. The thought that no child should die of cancer was the basis of my choice to take this route in my career.

I must admit that in the first years of practice, things were very different from what I thought they should be for these extremely vulnerable children. Meeting Alina with her unconditional desire to help these children seemed miraculous to me. We started our first project together, the construction of the pediatric onco-hematology ward, according to modern standards. After only 1 year, in 2014, the first children stepped in. It was the first dream come true with Daruieste Aripi.  And from then on, their unconditional support in the optimal functioning of this ward in support of children with severe medical conditions.

The home care project for children with severe chronic diseases in our region followed, another dream come true.

As children recover from cancer with help from our projects and programs, we are demonstrating that this disease can be defeated!  ”

Loredana Stefan
Member of the Board

Legal advisor and journalist – she joined the association in 2013.

“I chose to join the Daruieste Aripi Association after witnessing child care in onco-hematology wards in Romanian public hospitals, as the parent of a child diagnosed with a rare disease. In search of the best treatment options for my son (who died in a hospital in Germany in 2012) I saw what the pediatric care and palliation systems in Europe and Asia consists of and once back in Romania, I wanted to transpose this experience in defending the rights of critically ill children and improving the conditions of treatment and palliative care for children with severe chronic diseases and terminal children in Romania. I was aware of the activity of the non-profit sector in Romania, and my choice was the Daruieste Aripi Association because, from the first meeting with Alina, I knew that only with her my mission will be fulfilled. And it was.”

Mihaela Bucurenci MD
Member of the Board

Senior public health consultant and coordinator of the National Child Cancer Registry, with an over 20 year experience in designing and leading innovative healthcare projects. She joined us in 2018.

“ Working with Darueiste Aripi I discovered the potential that real civil society projects have in driving profound and sustainable change in society, where the only limit is the height of their shared vision.

Objectives that seemed unattainable for 10 years and even progress that could not be imagined in today’s Romania, became a reality in less than one year. I had never imagined there could be an NGO in Romania, such as Daruieste Aripi, to be the fertile ground in which I could bear to fruit everything I have learned so far  in the management of change in health.”

Ana-Maria Toma
Logistics Manager

“My collaboration with Daruieste Aripi started in 2013, on the halls of the pediatric ward at Constanta County Hospital, where I was going with my daughter, 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 can. I was an active volunteer until 2018, when I quit my job and got involved full-time, professionally, in the association’s projects. I have learned a lot and I am glad that I can also contribute to the development of important projects for the health of children in Romania. “

Diana Badea
Office Manager

“I joined the team in 2020, when the global pandemic started the acute health crisis. I knew the girls from before but I was very impressed with the determination, ambition and perseverence with which they fight for the success of all their projects. Their motivation became my own and I quickly and proudly assimilated everything that Daruieste Aripi stands for.”

The Activity of the Association is supported by Societatea Civilă de Avocați Calipetre și Asociații, who offer legal advice and safety.