“In the past, being a cancer patient meant no hope – you were going to die soon. Today 70% of 57357’s children with cancer are getting cured ” -Belal’s treating physician
With his pronounced lisp, caused by the gap in his teeth, 7 year old patient Belal attracts your attention. Belal lives seven hundred kilometers away from Cairo, in the beautiful city of Luxor. This is why his whole family decided to move to Cairo until he finishes his treatment for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL).
In April, 2011, when he was only 5 years old, he began his treatment at the Hospital with 62% of his blood cells being cancerous.
Now after 99 weeks of treatment, Belal has 0% of cancerous cells in his blood, but medically he must complete the treatment protocol, which will last another 47 weeks.
“ In the past, being a cancer patient meant no hope – you were going to die soon, just as it was portrayed in the famous Egyptian movie, ‘My love for ever’, starring Nour El-Sherif and actress Pussy, who was going to die because she had cancer. Praise be to God, today, thanks to advanced science, the application of evidence-basedpractices and on-going education, 70% of our children with cancer are getting cured at 57357”, said Belal’s treating physician, Dr Eman Attya.
“I want to be a physician when I grow up. I will treat children for free as Hospital 57357 does”, announced Belal as his wish for the future. Belal then added, “ I love my physician very much. She calls me her ‘little friend’ and always gives me a toy”. What if she didn’t give you a toy, I asked. “I will still love her because she helped me to progress to being nearly cured”, he innocently replied.
“Belal makes an impression on you with his intelligence, endurance and receptiveness. Watching him, and many other children like him, I am given many lessons in life, said Dr Eman. Pediatric oncology is a tough specialization, as we treat children who are fighting one of the most dreadful diseases, cancer. All along their average 3 year treatment journey, the children teach us how to endure with a smile”,.
In contrast to the patience he always shows while going through his treatment phases, Belal now waits anxiously for the day he’ll be asked for his photograph to be hung on the board reserved for cancer survivors at his physician’s office.