These were the words spoken by 13-year-old Adil when we met him on the childhood cancer ward at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) in Bangladesh. This was a teenager openly saying that he knew there was a 20% chance that he would not survive his cancer and yet he still had a smile on his face and told us about his hopes for the future.
Looking from the outside in, the surroundings tell a story of struggle, children crying, mothers caring for their sick children and nurses who are overworked. But the conversation between Adil and our Marketing and Communications Manager, Kieran started as a normal one.
The conversation is a strong reminder that despite his cancer, Adil is no different from the millions of other teenagers around the world who idolise their favourite footballer. However, with a drip feeding into his hand and his distinct lack of hair, it’s clear that Adil’s life is now dramatically different to that of his friends at school.
When walking through the hospital you sense the enormity of the task at hand for the medical teams. Families are forced to sleep in corridors, on stairwells and in the grounds of the hospital. There simply are not enough members of staff to deal with the number of children in need of care and support. Although things are difficult, Adil says his mother is helping him to cope.
World Child Cancer’s appeal to ‘Give the Gift of Growing Up’ aims to give children with cancer, just like Adil, hope for the future. His mother, Shusmita, says she used to want her son to study hard and earn a scholarship for university, but she now just hopes she can see her son survive his cancer and go back to his normal life. However, Adil has bigger plans;
All children have dreams and aspirations of what they want to be when they grow up. Children with cancer are no different. By donating today, you can help give children like Adil the Gift of Growing Up. Over 300,000 children will develop cancer this year and most of them will live in developing countries, like Bangladesh, where as few as one in ten survive compared to over eight in ten in developed countries.
With your support we can change this for the better. By training more healthcare professionals, supporting families through treatment and raising awareness of childhood cancer, we can give more children the opportunity to grow into their futures.
All gifts made by UK residents will be doubled by the UK government meaning your support will go twice as far.