Dubai school conducts awareness drives as teacher gets cancer

Around 60 donors from The Millennium School donate hair to show support for the cause.


Saman Haziq

Published: Mon 8 Nov 2021, 6:00 PM

Last updated: Tue 9 Nov 2021, 12:05 AM

While communities organised initiatives and events to mark cancer awareness last month to mark Breast Cancer Awareness month, tiny tots at a Dubai school showed extra zeal in conducting a range of awareness drives on the same after one of their teachers was diagnosed with the disease.

Students of The Millennium School (TMS) - as young as from Grades 1-5 - along with the seniors and teachers engaged in a range of awareness and charity drives, such as walkathons, poster making, and special assemblies. Students and staff proudly wore the breast cancer awareness badges throughout the month and motivated the significant ladies in their lives to get tested.

Around 60 donors from TMS, from primary students to senior girls and boys, along with the principal Ambika Gulati; registrar Sunila Shetty, other senior leaders, teachers, admin, medical staff and support staff and parents, donated their hair to show support for the cause.

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Lauding the support of her students as well as school staff, Rubina Sajid Mulla, primary section Math teacher at TMS and a cancer survivor, said: “Coming to school every day, and being able to soak in positive energy from my students went a long way in helping me beat cancer, I believe. I derive strength and support from my students and my school … During crucial times like these one needs support and proper guidance to ensure that sanity is maintained to fight this disease.

“The debate whether to resign from my job as a successful Math teacher at The Millennium School, Dubai was settled as the doctor reassured me, that I was strong enough to continue working despite the disease. My family especially my husband and two boys were my rock-solid support and our Principal, Ambika maam’s strong words of encouragement and support gave me the strength to continue as a Math teacher. TMS’s awareness drives emphasise the importance of early detection, which can lead to people making healthier lifestyle choices. I once again want to express my gratitude towards everyone at school for helping me to get through this,” she added.

Talking about the importance of cancer awareness drives, Gulati, Principal of TMS, said: “True to the school's motto, “We Choose to Care”, The Millennium School Dubai students marked the special month and all that it stands for – resilience, triumph over illness, strength from the community, in its unique way. Whilst the month has several initiatives to promote breast cancer awareness, the most significant is the contribution made by members of the school community: students, parents, teachers, support staff and school leaders by donating their hair for cancer patients. The pain of losing hair and the joy of bringing a smile on an unknown face helps our community learn the value of giving and empathy. We always endeavour to support staff members who might be battling cancer themselves or their family members with compassion and care.”

Explaining her contribution to the drive, Grade 4 student Anaiya Anne Mathew said: “To show support for cancer survivors, we students dressed in shades of pink to support those suffering from breast cancer. We had a walkathon, and bought pink ribbon badges priced at Dh5 which was donated to charity that supports breast cancer. More than 200 children bought the pink badges in show of support of the awareness drive.

The activity which Anaiya said she felt most inspired to support was the hair donation drive. “Women who suffer from breast cancer often lose their hair as a result of chemotherapy. Students who were willing to commit for the hair donation, joined our principal in this cause. It was very encouraging to see many students actively participate in the various initiatives to support cancer survivors.”

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