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Abu Dhabi: Brave Emirati girl successfully fights rare type of cancer

12-year-old had endured persistent pain in the stomach, lacked appetite, and suffered weight loss



Bashyer with her father Waleed Al Saeedi. Photo: Supplied
Bashyer with her father Waleed Al Saeedi. Photo: Supplied
by

Ashwani Kumar

Published: Tue 15 Feb 2022, 4:12 PM

Last updated: Tue 15 Feb 2022, 10:33 PM

An Emirati schoolgirl has successfully fought a rare and aggressive form of cancer thanks to world-class care and treatment received at Sheikh Khalifa Medical City, part of Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA).

Since 2020, Bashyer has been suffering from Burkitt Lymphoma – a rare and fast-growing type of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

The 12-year-old had endured persistent pain in the stomach, lacked appetite, and suffered weight loss.

Her concerned parents Waleed Al Saeedi and Noufa took her to the hospital and were shocked when Bashyer was diagnosed with cancer.

"It was an unusual situation. She was in pain, had a high fever and headache, didn't want to eat food and was losing weight. We went to more than one hospital.

"I was planning on going overseas for treatment but thought to first check with a specialist at SKMC. We consulted Dr Naser Al Zein, paediatric oncologist, and his team. We were told that Bashyer has cancer.

We were wondering why it happened to her, but she was a strong girl. The doctor comforted us, saying it was not the first case at the hospital. But they were a bit concerned about the size of the lymphoma in the stomach," Al Saeedi said.

In December 2020, tests and scans were conducted, and a multidisciplinary team of doctors immediately formulated a medication and treatment plan.

"It was not just one doctor but a team of specialists who decided on the best treatment plan. So, you are really assured that your child is getting the best treatment. Soon her chemotherapy started.

The doctors and medical team gave good care and treated her as their daughter. Within six to seven months, her treatment was completed by the end of July."

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Al Saeedi, a proud father, noted that her daughter was determined throughout the treatment.

"As parents, her condition affected us, but we accepted it. We prayed. But she helped us a lot during that period. She was a really strong girl. It's her character. She would hide her pain so that we didn't get worried. Allah gave her this disease and cured it too."

Al Saeedi thanked SKMC and urged parents not to take any symptoms lightly.

"I thank SKMC for all the support. It was a highly professional way. As a local, I feel proud of having such a top-class facility in the country. For other parents, I would tell them to consult doctors as soon as you see any unusual symptoms. As parents, we need to be observant."

For the moment, Bashyer, a Grade 8 student, will continue her studies through online learning.

"People should stay positive. It's not the end of the world. You will get back to your normal life after the treatment," a confident Bashyer said.

February 15 is the International Childhood Cancer Day.


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