UAE: Cancer survivors celebrate recovery, share stories of hope for others

They strongly advise everyone to undergo routine screenings because early detection significantly helps


SM Ayaz Zakir

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Photo: Supplied
Photo: Supplied

Published: Sun 23 Jun 2024, 10:25 AM

Last updated: Sun 23 Jun 2024, 9:30 PM

Several cancer survivors celebrated their cancer-free status by ringing a bell, and shared their stories of recovery at a recent event for Cancer Survivor Month at Burjeel Specialty Hospital in Sharjah.

The survivors highlighted the importance of sharing their stories to bring strength, hope, and a sense of solidarity to those who are still battling cancer.

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Maysaa Abdullah Rashid is one such survivor who got diagnosed with breast cancer two years ago. After gruelling sessions of chemotherapy, she is now cancer-free.

“I got diagnosed in 2022 when I noticed a change in my breast tissue when I was doing self-examination. I've always had a benign gland since 2010, but I was never advised to have it removed until it turned malignant," said the 54-year-old.

Maysaa Abdullah Rashid
Maysaa Abdullah Rashid

"At that time, I was under the care of a gynaecologist who, unfortunately, did not recommend consulting a surgeon. I strongly advise everyone to undergo routine screenings because early detection significantly helps,” the Iraqi expat added.

Maysaa underlined that during those difficult times, her family's support and compassion helped her look forward to the hope of recovery. "With the right support and care, we can overcome even the toughest challenges,” said Maysaa.

Stories of triumph and courage

One of the survivors, Gita Nakarni, underwent a rigorous three-year treatment at the hospital following her breast cancer diagnosis. She said that the initial days of her battle with cancer were the most challenging chapter of her life, but she resolved to stay strong and confront the disease head-on with the support of her family.

“I want to tell others like me that there is always hope. I encourage them to trust their doctors and openly discuss their problems. The medical team will guide them and treat them like family. I am fortunate to have received highly advanced care in the UAE,” said the Nepali expat.

Gita Nakarni
Gita Nakarni

Another inspiring story came from Muhammad Aman Hussein, an Ethiopian expat who survived colon cancer. “I have been suffering from gastric issues for a long time, which later led to a colon cancer diagnosis. I had a tough time battling colon cancer, a fight that tested my strength and resolve every day.

"I had to fight this battle for two years to reach this stage. I am thankful to the Almighty for giving me the strength to endure this journey. I will always remember the support of the medical team, who provided exceptional care, and the community, whose encouragement kept me motivated throughout the toughest moments,” shared Muhammad.

Muhammad Aman Hussein
Muhammad Aman Hussein

An inspirational gathering

Prof. Humaid Al Shamsi, Director of Oncology Services at Burjeel Holdings, who took the initiative to gather the survivors at Sharjah, emphasised the importance of such events in fostering a sense of community and support among cancer patients and survivors.

“Gatherings like these highlight the incredible resilience of our patients. It’s a celebration of life and a proud moment to acknowledge the medical advancement here in the UAE. We need to spread the message of hope that through advanced treatments, you can win the battle against cancer,” said Prof. Al Shamsi.

Dr Mehdi Afrit, Specialist in Medical Oncology at Burjeel Specialty Hospital, Sharjah, highlighted the significance of acknowledging the victories in cancer treatment.

“Each survivor’s story demonstrates the advancements in oncology and comprehensive care. Celebrating these recoveries is essential as it gives hope to those still undergoing treatment and reaffirms our commitment to fighting cancer,” said Dr Afrit.


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