Al Amin’s happiness shines through as he stands on the bed with his mother, Bushra, who is sharing an increasingly rare moment of joy with her son. Playing with his toy car, Al Amin is just like many other two-year-olds enjoying their childhood.
However, the bed is not theirs and the people surrounding them are not their family. Al Amin and his mother are on the ward at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) in Dhaka after he was diagnosed with Wilms’ Tumour.
Al Amin is one of the 9,000 children expected to develop cancer each year in Bangladesh, but is one of the few that receive a diagnosis and gain access to treatment.
Al Amin’s father and mother are both by his side at whilst he receives chemotherapy. The family own a restaurant in their local village which provides enough income for their living needs but the cost of treatment is difficult to manage. During his treatment, Bushra shares the hospital bed on the ward with her son, whilst Sabbir sleeps in the corridors of the hospital. This is a common sight at BSMMU, where families simply cannot afford rented accommodation.
There is hope for Al Amin but thousands of other children with cancer may never reach a hospital like BSMMU. We work to raise awareness of childhood cancer in Bangladesh, and in doing so help more children to receive a faster route to better treatment. It took Al Amin four months after his diagnosis to reach BSMMU. With a quicker route to treatment, we can increase the chances of survival for children with cancer. Just £50 could pay for an awareness raising session for parents of children with cancer.
This Ramadan, you can give the gift of growing up to children in Bangladesh. Visit our Launchgood page to find out how your support really is changing the lives of children with cancer for the better.