Natasha Pederson has been a member of the PPC international community for many years, continuously and intrepidly striving for the introduction and development of children’s palliative care in her country.
Her interest in this discipline was born from personal experience and necessity; for seventeen years she was her daughter’s primary carer with no access to palliative care services for her or for her family. In 2010, when, sadly, her daughter Andreas died, she took up the gauntlet in the crusade for palliative care so that other children with serious illness and their families would not have to experience her same, arduous plight.
Ever since, Natasha has endeavoured tirelessly at an academic, political and healthcare level to raise awareness of children’s palliative care and constantly interfaces with frontline families, especially in her work as a chaplain.
She actively connected with numerous international organisations in the children’s palliative care sector to learn form their experiences, and create resources for children, families, healthcare workers, often translating and adapting existing documents for use in Norway, where there were none.
She is founder, CEO and councillor of the Norwegian Association for Children’s Palliative Care (FFB) the only organisation in the Nordic region lobbying for the development of children’s palliative care services.
Currently, she is a member of the Board of the EAPC, and a participant in the dedicated Steering Committee on Paediatric Palliative Care aimed at enhanced care provision for children throughout Europe.
In Norway, she has worked closely with decision and policy makers to advocate children’s palliative care, instigating the draft of guidelines for the development of gold-standard palliative care services for children.
Of her many admirable achievements, perhaps the most important was the pledge, in 2016, from the Norwegian government to build the first children’s hospice in Norway. The Hospice, currently under construction, is scheduled to open in 2023.
Natasha is certainly the epitome of what we call a ‘Champion for children’s palliative care’; those who selflessly endeavour to make a difference to other peoples lives.
In Norway, renowned for her tireless energy and enthusiasm as a campaigner, she is celebrated as the “Mother of children’s palliative care”.
This Award is a well-deserved acknowledgement of all her accomplishments and a heartfelt encouragement for all her future undertakings.