Note from Alex- ‘As I am currently living in Las Palmas, it is such a pleasure to be able to interview someone from here!’
Cristina Garcia-Machin co-founded Las Palmas de Gran Canaria charity Pequeño Valiente in 2006, two years after returning to her home island following her then youngest son being diagnosed with leukaemia. After a near decade as president, she stepped down last year. Cristina has been on the board of Federacíón Española de Padres de Niños Con Cáncer since 2014. A onetime Spanish teacher in David Beckham’s old school in Chingford, Essex, she set up an English language academy, Play School in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Cristina’s now teaching her native tongue again, in the island’s British School.
1- In no more than three sentences, please explain what you do
At present, I’m a member of the board of governors of the national charity of children with cancer (Niños con Cáncer).
From 2006 to 2015, I was the president of a local charity of children with cancer which I founded (Niños con Cáncer Pequeño Valiente).
2- Who inspires you?
Children who are fighting cancer with a smile, our loved ones who free us of our day-to-day routine in order to be able to work for these children, and my son Alex who after fighting cancer sees himself as a hero and not as a victim.
3- What is the biggest change you want to see in the world?
That cancer becomes 100% curable
4- What would you like to be remembered for?
To have helped someone.
To have loved many people.
To have been a decent person.
5- What is the most interesting new idea you’ve come across in the past year?
To provide the tools to parents in order to help themselves. It was a project I started while I was president.
6- Finally, how can people engage with your work if they’d like to learn more/help?
Through the webpage: www.cancerinfantil.org