UAE: 23-yr-old beats cancer, becomes social media star with 1.3 million followers

Islam Belaribi's content ranges from personal experiences to motivational messages and practical advice on coping with cancer


SM Ayaz Zakir

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Top Stories

Published: Thu 13 Jun 2024, 5:33 PM

Last updated: Thu 13 Jun 2024, 8:24 PM

“It was very tough. But I am thankful to Almighty, that I made it,” said Islam Belaribi, a cancer survivor who has become a social media influencer raising awareness about the disease.

Diagnosed with thymus cancer in 2019, when he was just 18, Islam found it difficult to come to terms with his medical condition. “My family and friends were always there with me. I didn't know much about cancer initially, but experiencing the pain and trauma first-hand inspired me to share my journey and spread positivity,” said Islam.

He received treatment in both Algeria and the UAE and had a comprehensive medical regime.

Stay up to date with the latest news. Follow KT on WhatsApp Channels.

Reflecting on his battle, Islam said: “I was scared. I was just 18 years old then. But I had the courage to fight the disease. It was the beginning of a journey that I never thought I would have to endure.”

Social media journey

Motivated by his daunting experience, Islam began sharing his journey on social media to demonstrate that life goes on despite a cancer diagnosis. His channels on YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook quickly gained over 1.3 million followers. His content ranges from personal experiences to motivational messages and practical advice on coping with cancer.

“I was very positive that I would make it. It's a difficult journey, but it's also one that can lead to positive outcome,” said Islam.

The response to Islam’s journey on social media was overwhelming, with messages pouring in from around the world offering prayers and support.

“I receive messages to motivate cancer patients to fight the disease. I am always available for them. I never imagined my story would have such an impact,” said Islam.

He also collaborated with medical professionals to provide accurate information on treatments and healthcare options.

His social media content spans a range of topics, including personal anecdotes, motivational messages, and practical advice on dealing with cancer. “I started sharing my journey to cope with my own emotions, but it has grown into something much bigger. The support I have received is overwhelming, and I'm grateful to be able to offer hope to others,” added Islam.

“I shared about the treatment, my daily routine, how one can fight the deadly disease. While I was undergoing treatment, thousands of my social media family prayed for me,” said Islam.

Victory over cancer

After nearly three years of fight, Islam emerged victorious over cancer in mid-2022. He continued to undergo periodic tests until 2023, confirming he was cancer-free. “Alhamdulillah, I am completely free of cancer,”

Islam remains actively engaged in awareness campaigns, fundraising activities, and public speaking engagements. As a project manager for a charitable organisation in Algeria, he focuses on providing essential services like food, healthcare, and education to those in need.

Reflecting on his journey, Islam said that his hope of survival was the people around him. “What I learned from fighting this disease is the importance of helping others. In today's fast-paced world where people often lack time for each other, what they truly crave is time and attention. I have dedicated my life to lending a hand to those in need.”

Looking ahead, Islam plans to write a book about his journey, aiming to provide guidance and inspiration to others facing similar battles.


More news from UAE