A Brave Little Boy with a Very Big Smile

 
Ahmad’s fourth birthday was unforgettable; all his family and friends attended and his mother made all his favorite dishes. His siblings provided him with a very special cake that had his picture on it, filling his heart with pleasure. It was almost as if his family knew on some level that the following year his birthday celebration would not carry the same joy…
 
Around one month after his fourth birthday, Ahmad began to feel continuously fatigued. Then his stomach began to swell, alarming his mother who immediately felt that something serious was wrong. The family quickly began their quest to find an answer. 
 
Ahmad was seen by several doctors and after many tests and a biopsy a diagnosis was reached; Ahmad had leukemia and needed to be admitted immediately to the King Hussein Cancer Center.
 
His mother was filled with panic; all she had heard about this disease was that it was treacherous – and very difficult to be cured. Now, she looked at her darling four-year-old and wondered if he would survive and grow up to be the young man she had always envisioned in her dreams.
 
Meanwhile, Ahmad’s family was struggling to find a way to pay for his treatment. Thankfully, Ahmad received an exemption of treatment costs from the Royal Court and doctors at the Center hurried to treat the little boy. He was started immediately on chemotherapy; the first step in a three-year-long treatment plan.   
 
It soon became apparent to the doctors that despite his young age, Ahmad was suffering from high blood pressure, something which was aggravated by his chemotherapy. As a result, Ahmad had to take a reduced dose for longer periods of time to overcome his hypertension. His little body was covered in ulcers, and yet he started responding to his treatment and his condition gradually began to improve.
 
“I couldn’t believe what I was seeing,” says Ahmad’s mother, “despite all the difficulties we were facing, I was watching my son’s health improve on a daily basis!”
 
A year passed and the Royal Court’s exemption expired. Ahmad’s parents were now faced with exorbitant treatment costs if they wanted to save their child. They began once again to search for ways to cover the treatment.  
 
This is when the King Hussein Cancer Foundation’s Goodwill Fund stepped in and covered Ahmad’s treatment costs. For the next two years of his treatment, Ahmad’s family received support from the Goodwill Fund, a fund which relies entirely on donations, to reduce their financial burden.
 
Now, three years after completing treatment, Ahmad is fully cured. His family recently celebrated his eighth birthday in style. This year, the cake had a very special picture on it – a brave little boy with a very big smile, the confident smile of someone who has managed to overcome a difficult disease thanks to the kind generosity of donors. 
 
This story was last updated in 2010