As the world marks Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in September, families and parents of young children battling leukemia and other pediatric cancers in the UAE, have come forward to share their hope-filled stories of resilience, which is being reinforced every day as they receive strong financial and moral support from the UAE-based civil society organization, Friends of Cancer Patients (FOCP).
Voices of Gratitude
Eight-year-old Syed Shaikh Hamdan started being treated for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia treatment since his cancer diagnosis was confirmed earlier this year. FoCP has been with Syed and his family through their arduous journey, filling them with hope and positivity.
The boy’s father, Syed Thauseef, recounts how FoCP has filled his 8-year-old days with fun and games, despite being away from playgrounds in a hospital bed. “When I would visit my son at the hospital after work, my son would be sitting on his bed, joyfully playing with the gifts he received during surprise visits from the FoCP team. Other times, I would receive a call from my son, excitedly telling me that Batman or Superman came to his room to play with him”.
“These visits brighten my son’s day, offering him the strength and optimism he needs to continue his chemotherapy and fill him with the hope to return to his regular life after successfully completing his cancer treatment,” he adds.
A UAE resident from Egypt, Ibrahim Aly Kabil, is another FOCP beneficiary who has expressed deepest gratitude for the firm support his son Mohammed, aged 13, is receiving from FOCP during his cancer treatment journey.
“FOCP’s support for us since my son was diagnosed with acute B-cell lymphoblastic leukemia in 2019 has been exceptional. I cannot fathom how we would have faced the hardest challenge of our lives as a family without the strong moral and financial support they have generously offered”, Kabil notes.
FoCP: A light on a dark day
Aisha Al Mulla, Director of FOCP, said: “Cancer is one of the toughest illnesses to fight, and has even more severe emotional and physical repercussions for patients and families when the disease afflicts children and young adults. While getting the right treatment is crucial for recovery, having a strong support system is equally important. Since 1999, under the guidance of Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, wife of the Ruler of Sharjah and Founder and Patron of FoCP, we have been offering this support system to all young cancer patients and their families, day and night”.
“Our aim in all things is to provide informational, practical, financial, and emotional support to families facing what is likely the most challenging experience of their lives. This type of impact is not easily measured, though is what matters most. A light on a dark day, an answered phone call in the middle of the night, and a smile where there would normally be tears is our purpose. This compassionate purpose is what equally matters to our donors, panthers, and supporters, whose endless generosity has ensured that we continue to make a positive impact through offering financial and moral support to young patients and their families, and through our initiatives that bring vibrance and positivity to pediatric cancer wards in hospitals across the UAE”, she added.
Between 2020 and 2023, FOCP organized 52 hospital visits, extending moral support to 1,817 children, and reminding them and their families to never lose hope. The FOCP has been consistent in its decades-long efforts to raise community awareness, and empowered thousands of children, parents, and caregivers with the knowledge of early warning signs of cancer, risks, and common symptoms, as well as deeply emphasized the need to lead healthy lifestyles to keep these illnesses at bay.
For more information and to make a life-saving donation, please visit: https://www.focp.ae/our-programs/child-health.
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