Dácil Martin Cuff. This is the name given to the way to access the emergency rooms of the Hospital del Sur, a more than deserved recognition from the Arona City Council, unanimously approved in plenary session, for a young woman who has become an icon in the fight against cancer and which promoted, in 2013, the free transportation of cancer patients from the South to the Nuestra Señora de Candelaria University Hospital. Ten years later, the service has been consolidated in the southern region and more and more sick people are using it to receive treatment against this pathology in the metropolitan area.
Dácil left on July 7, 2015 at just 34 years old. He had been fighting cancer caused by a human papillomavirus infection since April 2013. He decided to face the disease and face it to the limit of his strength. He faced radiotherapy and chemotherapy sessions, several surgeries, endless tests and numerous hospitalizations with admirable fortitude. He explored alternative natural medicine treatments and even traveled to India to undergo therapies to purify the body and control spiritual pain.
Her determination to help patients who were in a situation similar to hers led her to join the Spanish Association Against Cancer (AECC) as a volunteer, an entity that welcomed her with open arms and in which she won from the very beginning. On the first day, the affection and admiration of users, volunteers and managers for their involvement and their spirit, which they accompanied with a permanent smile on their faces. She discovered her fullness by helping others and spreading her desire to live, which, in turn, gave her an extra, almost supernatural strength to keep her illness at bay.
Upon learning that the AECC had suspended, due to financing problems, a modest transport service to punctually transfer patients to Santa Cruz -the Canary Islands Health Service’s movements were limited to patients with reduced mobility and urgent cases- a group of volunteers led For Dácil they got to work to acquire a vehicle that would facilitate transfers without the patients depending on the availability of their relatives, nor on their economic capacity to face an average cost of 250 euros per month, the amount of one-way trips and return by bus to the capital and the tram to the hospital.
Dácil promoted several galas with comedians, which he baptized with the name of Have a laugh, and from there a door was opened to collaborations with companies such as Archiauto, which provided an eight-seater bus for free for a year. As a result of these first steps, thanks to the success of the events and the drive of companies and institutions, as well as the support of the British colony in the South, it was possible to raise 75,750 euros, which were used to purchase a 17-seater vehicle. This is how the Solidarity Kilometer initiative was born.
10 years have passed and the mark of this patient courage endures in a service that today no one would conceive of not existing. Nor have the vital message and the lessons of optimism that Dácil breathed into her environment and that he captured in two reports that he coordinated for the Spanish Association against Cancer have disappeared.
The words in those documentaries of the patient with the eternal smile, who conquered doctors and nursing staff with her integrity and sympathy and who enjoyed singing her favorite song, Muñequita linda, will never be forgotten: “When you suffer from this disease you fall a thousand times, but you get up another thousand more. There are moments when you think about throwing in the towel, but when you think you can’t anymore, you end up finding reasons to continue. This process is less hard when you have people by your side who love you and encourage you. It’s time to let yourself be loved. Sometimes we forget the ability we have to overcome difficult situations. It just depends on the approach with which we want to see things. You are not alone, you are not alone. Don’t give up and smile.”