Like any other nine-year-old boy, Ikram should have been running down the streets with his friends, and planning his next naughty move to annoy the elders in the village. Instead, he was quietly lying down in a hospital bed, waiting for his next chemotherapy session to begin as he battles stage 3 Burkitt Lymphoma, a form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in which cancer starts in immune cells called B-cells.
This is his story; a story of hope and promises.
Ikram, a resident of Quetta, Pakistan, had been sick for days; high fever and vomiting wouldn’t let him leave the bed for months. Hospital after hospital in the city admitted him, tested him, gave him medication but to no avail.
He developed extreme abdominal distention, causing his abdomen to expand abnormally. Following his condition, the doctors operated on him and found a cancerous mass in his stomach. This is when the family was hit with not one but two pieces of heartbreaking news: their son was battling cancer and treatment for this cancer was not available within the entire city.
Luckily, Ikram was referred to the Pediatric Oncology Department at The Indus Hospital in Karachi by health professionals in Quetta.
“When we brought him here, he weighed only 28 lbs. I would take him in my arms and feel nothing but his bones. I would bring him his favorite homemade curry, but he would vomit everything. As a parent, it was heartbreaking to see my son suffer like this,” said Ikram’s father, who left everything in Quetta and came to Karachi, with the hope to save his little boy.
With the efforts of The Indus Hospital’s staff, Ikram is on the way to recovery. He has been under treatment since November 2020, with dreams bigger than his fears and hopes higher than his terrors.
He couldn’t have made it this far without you – our generous donors and supporters. This World Childhood Cancer Day, help Ikram – and thousands of children like him – get their childhood back.