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UAE: Toddler who lost an eye to cancer gets prosthetic one

Saman Haziq /Dubai
saman@khaleejtimes.com Filed on July 14, 2021
Supplied photo

The boy was diagnosed with a rare cancer that had grown to become a mass lesion in his right eye.


Youssef Mohammed was only one year old when his right eye had to be removed because of a rare cancer called retinoblastoma. But with the help of Al Jalila Foundation and a group of government employees, he now has a new prosthetic eye.

The parents of the three-year-old Syrian boy were over the moon, now that Youssef’s adorable facial features have returned.

“We are extremely grateful for all the support we received from Al Jalila Foundation,” his mother said. “Today, Youssef is a happy, confident young boy who enjoys playing with other children.”

A couple of years ago, Youssef was diagnosed with the rare cancer that had grown to become a mass lesion in his right eye. Doctors had to remove his eye the following month and the toddler had to undergo chemotherapy for six months.

At that time, his parents were worried about how he would fit in with other kids in school. “As a mother, I was afraid that he may be bullied by children, and we even avoided going out,” his mum told Khaleej Times.

Doctors had told them a prosthetic eye could be implanted in his eye socket to boost his confidence as he grew older. The family, however, couldn’t afford the expensive cosmetic procedure, so they reached out to Al Jalila Foundation.

The foundation then presented the case to its long-standing partner, the Federal Authority for Government Human Resources (FAHR), which led a company-wide campaign to raise funds for Youssef’s eye.

Soon after, the three-year-old was able to undergo the operation and he was fitted with the prosthetic eye, which looked exactly like his other eye.

“With the support of our partners and donors we are able to give hope to young patients like Youssef and help alleviate the financial burden on their families so that they can focus on the treatment plan and recovery,” said Dr Abdulkareem Sultan Al Olama, CEO of Al Jalila Foundation.

“Nothing makes us happier than to experience the overwhelming joy from parents whose children’s lives have been transformed after successful treatment. These are the precious moments that make our job at Al Jalila Foundation so rewarding.”

The surgery was made possible through Al Jalila Foundation’s A’awen programme, which provides financial aid to patients in the UAE. Since 2013, the A’awen patient treatment programme has invested Dh75 million to help 1,659 people of 57 nationalities in the UAE.

Those who wish to apply for treatment support may visit www.aljalilafoundation.ae/aawen. To make a donation, log on to www.aljalilafoundation.ae.

saman@khaleejtimes.com

Saman Haziq





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