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19 July 2024

Help save 9-year-old Dubai boy from cancer...

By Sneha May Francis

A group of young girls are joining forces to help raise funds for the treatment of a nine-year-old boy, who has been battling cancer since 2010.

The girls, who come together under a group called ‘Humble Hearts’, will hold a flea market in the school campus on February 1 and 2 to ‘Support Ali’.

Talking to Emirates24|7, 28-year-old Aysha Samrah, who is spearheading this noble initiative, highlighted how her group had already raised Dh15,000, along with support from other local organisations, but the amount isn’t enough.

“I have been in constant touch with Ali’s father. For his current medical condition, Ali needs treatment that is available only in the US or Europe, and would cost up to Dh2.1million,” she explained.

“We have collected items from our family and friends for the flea market, and hope the public would come out and help us help Ali.”

Aysha first learnt about Ali through newspaper adverts, and has since been in touch with his father.

“What stands out really is Ali’s positive attitude. Despite being in such a critical condition, he is so enthusiastic. And, it’s his positive attitude that makes us want to help him,” she added.

Ali, a student of Indian Academy School, was diagnosed with Leukaemia in 2010 and had successfully completed his treatment.

“After an intense treatment at the Dubai Hospital, he came out perfectly healthy in March 2013. We were all so happy,” recalled his father Mohammed Altaf.

“He even started school and was doing well. But, in July, he started showing signs of weakness, hearing difficulty and imbalance. We had him checked at the Dubai Hospital, and after numerous tests they informed that he has had a relapse.”

And, this time, his condition had deteriorated. “It has now affected his central nervous system. Only a bone marrow transplant can save him."

Ali's father informed that if this not done, and only a fresh round of chemotherapy is conducted, then the chances of another relapse is possible.

The 9-year-old has now successfully completed one round of chemotherapy and is awaiting clearance for the bone marrow transplant.

Lack of sufficient funds is what is holding his family back.

"I have saved Dh100,000 so far for the transplant, but that's not enough," Altaf added. The rough estimate, he added, stands at Dh2.1million.

The doctors in Dubai have advised that taking him to hospitals in the US or Europe, few of which have been shortlisted by Altaf, will give a 60-65 per cent chance to save him.

Altaf, who had closed down his business in 2010, has been unable to revive it and has been taking up sales and commission-based jobs to tide through these tough times.

He has also been using loans and credit cards to fund the treatment.

The years of medical treatment has impacted his family. "I could send my older son to school but I couldn't do it for my youngest daughter. I don't have enough to do it all."