When Jaafar was born he was above average in both height and weight, and his parents never suspected the struggles their little son would face.
At just one and a half years old, Jaafar was diagnosed with bone cancer. His mother, noticing that his right leg was growing faster than the left, took him to a doctor who quickly referred him to the King Hussein Cancer Center where he was immediately admitted.
The doctors at the King Hussein Cancer Center arranged a treatment plan for Jaafar which began with chemotherapy to reduce the size of the tumor found in his thigh. The Royal Court agreed to cover Jaafar’s treatment costs and the King Hussein Cancer Foundation’s ‘Goodwill Fund’ paid his transportation expenses to and from the Center. This ensured that Jaafar was able to make it to all his necessary, life-saving treatment sessions. It also eased the financial burden on his family during these difficult circumstances.
The chemotherapy sessions were difficult for both Jaafar and his family. His tumor did not immediately respond to treatment and, as a result, he needed to undergo more aggressive chemotherapy sessions –one even lasting continuously for three whole days.
After a year and a half of these intense chemotherapy sessions, the tumor finally responded, diminishing enough for doctors to surgically remove it. A grueling six and a half hour operation followed. Thankfully, the tumor was successfully removed; unfortunately, Jaafar’s thigh muscle had become weakened and he now had to undergo physical therapy in addition to radiation therapy.
As a precaution against Jaafar’s cancer returning, he was under constant medical observation. During a routine biopsy, his thigh bone, which had become weak and brittle, broke. Jaafar remained in a cast from the waist down for over three months before doctors were able to operate and insert supporting stints in his thigh to enable him to walk. Regretfully, this left Jaafar’s left leg six inches shorter than his right.
Despite all his difficulties, Jaafar remained a positive and enthusiastic child. He was so eager to attend school with his peers that the King Hussein Cancer Foundation’s ‘Dreams Come True Program’ enlisted him in a private school and paid the full tuition fees.
Upon his completion of first grade (with a remarkable grade point average of 98%), he sent a handwritten note to HRH Princess Dina Mired, Director General of the Foundation, thanking her for making one of his dreams come true and underlining his determination to not let cancer break his spirit as it had broken his leg.
Jafar courageous battle with cancer left him with bigger dreams than ever. His talent for making detailed models foretells a great future, perhaps of that of a renowned architect.
This story was last updated in 2010