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Ahmed after healing: in the art therapy workshop we encourage each other and forget that we are in a Hospital

    Being supported by family and friends is the biggest encouragement during harsh times. Since day one in 57357, my treating team was my second family who took care of me during the hardest ordeal of my life.

Being supported by family and friends is the biggest encouragement during harsh times. Since day one in 57357, my treating team was my second family who took care of me during the hardest ordeal of my life.

My name is Ahmed, I am 17 and my journey with cancer started a year ago. Before my illness, my life was full of joyful and delightful moments and youth activities. I went to an American school, played football with Almahala team, spend time with my friends every day and lived happily with my parents and my sister.

I remember the first day I felt pain. The day before, I was at a friend’s birthday where laughed and played with my friends. The next day after a football game with these friends, I felt severe pain in my shoulder. I used pain killers but the pain increased and within 48 hours I started getting fever, sore throat and cough.  I thought as well as my family and doctors that this was a common flu but the symptoms increased in intensity. The doctor requested a chest x-ray, when he saw the result he requested a CT. afterwards he told us that there was a tumor close to the lung. I was shocked and didn’t believe the doctor until he referred me to 57357.

I was scared, I went to 57357’s out-patient clinic feeling depressed. I was surprised by a doctor named Ahmed Mahdi who welcomed me with a smile despite my refusal to talk to him. After investigations and biopsy, I was admitted to the Hospital and started treatment with intensive sessions. It was a hard stage but doctors and nurses were always there to encourage me. They helped me to be stronger and to confront my illness. I started to deal with my illness, at that stage I cannot forget my friend Karawan, the clown, that nice person who used to make me laugh from the heart. He convinced me to take off the hat and go out to face people without shame. Regarding the art workshop, I used to meet my school and football team colleagues there where we used to draw, paint and laugh.

In 57357 I learned patience and optimism, I knew that as God permitted the disease to hit me , He also gave me the strength and the friends to help me through. I started to pray regularly, study and think about my future with football.

Thanks be to god, I recovered from  my illness and now I am in the final stage of treatment. I am supposed to come to the Hospital every month, but I come more often to visit the art workshop and meet Karawan and my friends, the volunteers. During my visits to the Hospital, I reach out to other patients, encouraging them as I know how scared they must feel. I want to help them just as I was helped before.