UAE: Youngster diagnosed with cancer at 17 braves treatment to earn high school diploma

Narmeen Ali is now sharing her story in a bid to inspire other patients, encourage people to get screened early

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A Staff Reporter

Published: Thu 18 Aug 2022, 5:12 PM

Last updated: Thu 18 Aug 2022, 5:24 PM

Narmeen Ali was 17 when she was diagnosed with sarcoma during the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, she braved through her treatment and attained her high school diploma. Now, the youngster is sharing her story in a bid to encourage people to get screened early and provide community support to cancer patients.

What started as small shots of pain in her leg turned life-altering when doctors delivered the diagnosis of sarcoma. With the moral and financial support of the Friends of Cancer Patients (FOCP), a UAE-based civil society organization dedicated to raising awareness about cancer, Ali decided to start treatment and continue with her life.

Sarcoma is the term given to a broad group of cancers that usually begin in connective tissues and can usually be found in bones, muscles, tendons and so on. There are more than 50 different types of sarcoma, and they are relatively rare.

Ali stressed the importance of paying attention to health symptoms and seeking suitable medical consultation.

"One of the reasons for the lack of early detection of sarcoma is because people do not expect it," she said. "Therefore, they don't get checked because they think their symptoms might be associated with other illnesses."

The young woman said that patients grow wiser when facing cancer due to focusing on setting priorities and eliminating obstacles to overcome the disease. She added that having faith and determination helped her to raise her hopes and eliminate bleak thoughts and desperation.

She also took the advice of another cancer patient to take the necessary time to physically recover from the illness and gradually resume their daily lives. She also encouraged other patients to heed it.

"From my experience, cancer patients must seek moral and psychological support from other cancer survivors and patients," she said. "They have the knowledge and real expertise in dealing with the disease and have gone through and overcome the same worries and conditions."


According to FOCP, the actions and wisdom of the young woman made her a role model for other patients cared for by the organization, inspiring them to resume their daily lives and contribute to their communities while undergoing treatment.

Ali's story was shared by FOCP as part of its year-long efforts to raise community awareness on the importance of early detection and regular screening to detect any types of cancer, including sarcoma, a treatable type of cancer.

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