How a Dubai teenager beat cancer and became honours student

Randolph Francis Palomar was diagnosed with brain cancer 7 years ago and was given only a week to live following organ failure following chemotherapy


Angel Tesorero

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Randolph Francis Palomar with his mother. - Supplied photo
Randolph Francis Palomar with his mother. - Supplied photo

Published: Sun 2 Jul 2023, 6:00 AM

Last updated: Sun 2 Jul 2023, 11:09 PM

Filipino teenager Randolph Francis Palomar will be turning 18 on Monday, July 3. Every day is a gift; a miracle for him – considering that he was diagnosed with brain cancer seven years ago and he was given only a week to live following organ failure after second round of chemotherapy.

Now, he is not just healthy and cancer-free, he has also been a consistent honour student in school. He just recently finished Grade 5 and was given Silver Academic Excellence Award for his meritorious academic achievement: First in Science, English, Campus Journalism, Filipino, Social Studies, Technology and Livelihood Education, Music, Physical Education and Health; Second in Math and Information Technology; and Third in Arts and Christian Values.

“I am very happy for the awards that I have received in school and I thank God for protecting and healing me,” he told Khaleej Times, adding: “My life is a miracle. I survived because my parents (Rod and Lyn) gave me overflowing hope and encouragement to win the battle against cancer. Many people also prayed for and supported me.”

Randolph Francis Palomar.
Randolph Francis Palomar.

Help poured in

Randolph was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2016 – a 6.8cm malignant tumour was found lodged in the centre of his brain. Following an appeal from his father, his story was published in UAE newspapers and donations poured in from generous individuals and church groups, including the Good Samaritans Ministry at St Mary’s Catholic Church Dubai. Rod said financial help also came from Kalyan Group, United International Private School, Tristar, Sixteen10 Events, and Money Express.


Randolph underwent several rounds of chemo and radiotherapy. The biggest scare happened when he got an infection because of his low immunity. His body became very weak and his liver failed. Doctors gave him only a week to live.

Answered prayers

But Randolph fought back. Prayers were answered and doctors were surprised with his recovery. His body improved and radiation therapy was resumed. His 6.8cm tumour eventually shrunk to 1.6cm until it became just a scar on an MRI scan.

The battle against cancer, however, has left Randolph loss his peripheral vision due to complications. He sometimes stutters when he speaks but his focus and mental acuity remains sharp. He has always been clear in expressing his thoughts and in processing information.

To inspire people

Randolph shared his success story as a brave cancer survivor because he wanted to inspire people. He said: “I dreamt God healed me and I held on His words. I never lost my will to live. And because good people surrounded me, I got the courage to study again and even excelled in school.

“My story is worth to be told. When I received the awards and medals, it was not only about academics and good grades. It was also about celebrating the beauty of life,” he added.

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