The little Rwandan 4 year old boy arrived at 57357 on the 12th of October 2014 with his vision impaired because of a severe eye infection , one of his legs swollen, his body covered with white patches and bleeding from different parts of the body. He was assigned to pediatric oncologist consultant Dr. Sonia Mahmoud who diagnosed an MDS case which is a severe form of Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) necessitating first an initial aggressive chemotherapy treatment, then an allogeneic bone marrow transplant (i.e. bone marrow from another person or sibling).
After exactly a year and 8 months spent in Egypt in the care of Hospital 57357, Manzy has successfully completed his treatment and is now in the follow-up phase. He is ready to return to his country Rwanda. I met him with his mother and his brother, the bone marrow donor, as they were picking up their plane tickets from the 57357 Foundation.
Manzy is so cute in his smart three piece celebration suit. I complimented him on his outfit. He looks much healthier than when I last saw him a year and a half ago; he is fuller and is not wearing the sunglasses to hide the patch around the eye anymore.
Manzy you look so neat! Are you happy to be going back to Rwanda?
No! I want to stay here! I do not want to go home! Answered Manzy with half a smile. I was perplexed.
His mother tries to explain: they took such good care of him here at 57357. He was so spoilt by all the doctors and the nurses! When I had to stay with him for two whole months inside the bone marrow transplant unit, the nutrition doctor would come regularly to inquire about his culinary wishes
What were your feelings inside the transplant unit? Scared? Shaky? I asked Manzy’s Mother.
She answers: Not at all, from day one Dr. Alaa El Haddad, Head of pediatric oncology and the transplant unit was reassuring me every day that Manzy was going to be fine!
Before leaving 57357, they had to say goodbye to Manzy’s guardian angel and physician, Dr. Sonia Mahmoud. Manzy wears his suit jacket he had taken off because it was a particularly hot day. I follow them into the office and watch them as they were taking a beautiful souvenir picture.
And then unexpectedly Manzy’s Mother hugs Dr. Sonia and sobs in tears of joy and gratitude. This was an intensely emotional scene that left us all speechless.
A solidarity chain has been formed around Manzy with the first link being his physician in Rwanda who at the recommendation of her counterparts in Boston guided the father to take him to Hospital 57357 where he could receive quality care for free. The second link was Egyptian Ambassador to Rwanda Nameera Negm who enabled Manzy to be rapidly flown into Egypt to receive treatment at the Children’s Cancer Hospital Egypt 57357 in Cairo. The third link is his physician Dr. Sonia Mahmoud whose commitment and dedication carried him through the bone marrow transplant and the severe eye infection he had developed. The fourth link is definitely the team of nurses, physicians and healthcare professionals who are the backbone of 57357’s operations.
But the fifth and most important link remains to be all of you donors and partners of 57357 who believe in the worthiness of our mission: the provision of free quality care and cure to each and every child with cancer who comes our way.
A special thank you to our partner Egyptair who are flying back Manzy and his family to Rwanda for free within 57357’s cooperation protocol agreement with its sister African nations.