The Katharinenhöhe Clinic in Schönwald in the Black Forest helps seriously ill children and their families. All children are at Katharinenhöhe to regain strength and find their way back into life after a life-threatening cancer or heart disease. Today, many children can be cured of malignant diseases. But both the period of intensive treatment in a clinic and the aftercare put a strain not only on the young patients, but also on the whole family. It is not uncommon for family members to suffer from psychological and emotional health problems during the acute phase and in the period after the illness.
“When a child is seriously ill, the whole family is a patient,” says the head of the rehab clinic Stephan Maier. In order for Katharinenhöhe to be able to realize its family concept in the long term, it relies on sponsors and donors. Marianne Mack and her non-profit association “Santa Isabel e.V. – Help for children and families” have been supporting the facility since 2012. More than two million euros have been raised by the association in several fundraising campaigns in Schönwald over recent years. When Aline Rotter-Focken, 2021 Olympic Wrestling champion in Tokyo, visited the clinic for the first time, she was immediately taken by the family-oriented cancer aftercare clinic, where the young patients together with their siblings and parents can revive, find each other, regain strength, hope and confidence. Aline Rotter-Focken: “The work of Katharinenhöhe has really impressed me. Therefore, I am very happy about to have the honorable task as an ambassador”.