Arif, aged 9, Bangladesh

Nine-year-old, Arif from Bangladesh is receiving treatment for Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) at Dhaka Shishu Hospital (DSH) – a specialist children’s hospital. He and his family are being supported by World Child Cancer 

Arif lives with his mother and a younger brother in a village of Barishal, while his father works in a restaurant in the capital, Dhaka.  

In December, 2020, Arif suddenly felt a severe pain in his ear. His mother, Mrs. Jinia, also noticed that her son had been looking very pale. They went to visit a doctor in their village, but there continued to be no improvement and Arif was getting sicker. 

Arif was admitted to a nearby government hospital, where he was received a blood transfusion. It was then that he had a stroke and his right side became paralysed. Fortunately, with treatment he began to recover and his mother then brought him to DSH, supported by World Child Cancer. She knew about the hospital because they had successfully treated Arif for jaundice there when he was a baby.  

World Child Cancer young male patient Bangladesh
Arif receiving cancer treatment with the support from World Child Cancer in Dhaka, Bangladesh

Arif’s first bone marrow biopsy at DSH confirmed a diagnosis of Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML); a form of blood cancer.  

Mrs. Jinia was not familiar with the word ‘cancer’. When she came to understand that cancer can be a life-threatening disease, she couldn’t stop crying. She said,  

After 6 years of my marriage and many treatments, Allah finally blessed me with a son! How can I cope with watching him die front of my eyes?

Arif's Mother, Mrs Jinia

In the beginning of the treatment Mrs. Jinnia was devastated. However, the healthcare professionals at DSH consoled her and told to have patience. They reassured her ALL is treatable and that Arif has a good chance of recovering and having a bright future.  

Seeing other children on the ward getting better and her own son’s improvement, Mrs. Jinia began to feel more hopeful. Meanwhile, Arif’s father was very worried about the treatment cost. He had already invested all of his savings, which he had put aside to build his family a house.  

Financial difficulties prevent many families from being able to access treatment for their child. However, Arif’s family are now being supported by World Child Cancer to ensure that he is able to complete his treatment. 

Mrs. Jinia has a strong faith in Allah, which has helped her through challenging times. She said-  

Arif’s father is trying to earn more money for the treatment, Doctors are trying their best and I am here always praying to Allah. Arif is improving. I think Allah is listening my prayers!

Mrs Jinia

For last three months Arif has been receiving treatment and is content at the hospital and how he is treated by the nurses and doctors. He is not afraid of injections. He is a student of class 3 and mathematics is his favorite subject. He loves his school very much and has many friends. In the hospital he especially misses his best friend Tamim and his maternal grandmother. Every day he talks with them over phone. Arif also has a passion for cricketWhen asking about his dream in future he said, 

I want to be a cricketer like Shakib Al Hasan of our country!

Arif

Help support more children with cancer like, Arif receive the diagnosis and support they need by donating today.

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