Shabana (above right) works on the paediatric oncology ward at Dhaka Shishu Hospital in Bangladesh, which is supported by World Child Cancer. But her connection to childhood cancer began long before her current role. Her son, Samuel (above left), developed cancer when he was a child over a decade ago and it was then that she first began working at the hospital. We met with Shabana and Samuel to hear their story and find out what life is like after cancer.
In low and middle income countries like Bangladesh, there is little awareness of childhood cancer even amongst healthcare professionals. This means children are often misdiagnosed or receive treatment too late, which can significantly reduce their chances of survival. World Child Cancer is changing this by training more healthcare professionals to spot the early warning signs of childhood cancer, giving children a faster route to a more accurate diagnosis and treatment.
Returning home with some medication, Shabnam says the family did all they could to help their son recover and return to school;
The family eventually reached Dhaka Shishu Hospital, it was here that they were told Samuel had cancer.
When asking Samuel about his hospital experience, he recalled a helpless time where he relied on his mother’s prayers and the work of the doctors and nurses to care for him;
After finally receiving the treatment he desperately needed from the team at Dhaka Shishu Hospital, Samuel went on to make a full recovery and is now an Imam at a local mosque.
Approximately 6,000 children will develop cancer in Bangladesh this year, yet just a fraction of these will ever receive an accurate diagnosis like Samuel. Despite his cancer, Samuel was one of the lucky ones. His mother’s determination meant he received an accurate diagnosis, was treated quickly and was given the gift of growing up.
You can help thousands of other children, like Samuel, in low and middle income countries, like Bangladesh, by donating today. World Child Cancer has helped to give over 20,000 children a faster route to better treatment and with your support, we can help even more. Donate today and your gift will be doubled by the UK government meaning your support goes twice as far.