I could not believe when I heard the news. I was arguing with disbelief that he is a young man and just about to start his life. Mubashir is my first cousin, the eldest son of my Mom's younger brother Nawaz Janjua. He is known to everyone for his warm smile and his beautiful singing voice.
I remember the day he was born back on an autumn day in the late 80's. "Wow, this is the most beautiful baby, I have ever seen". Indeed he was one of the cutest little children we had ever seen. Even though he was born with his right arm and leg slightly paralyzed, Mubashir's disability never deterred him and he continues to face the challenges of life with smiles and determination.
Just a few weeks after he turned 29, he started to have major pain in his body, especially in the joints. When the pain did not go away with painkillers, he decided to go to the doctor. The doctors did some tests including a blood test. The blood test revealed a 90% infiltration of blast cells: a case of Acute Leukemia.
The doctors decided quickly to take action and the first round of Chemotherapy was prescribed. This took a few weeks and he has just finished his Chemotherapy. The doctors have advised that now is the time to take quick action and proceed with a Bone Marrow Transplant. The family rushed to get other members of the family tested and, thankfully, his younger sister had a 100% match.
Life throws lots of curve balls at you. At this point, the only hospitals in Saudi Arabia that do this kind of Bone Marrow Transplant do not offer treatment coverage for people working in Saudi. The cost of doing this treatment in Saudi is no less than anywhere in a western country. The cheapest and most viable option is to do this in Pakistan where the family holds its original citizenship. Unfortunately, Pakistan does not provide health care like here in Canada.
The hospital selected for this treatment is The Agha Khan Hospital in Karachi. Here the treatment costs are more affordable than in Saudi, but still hover between 6-7 million Pakistani Rupees (approximately 70-80 thousand Canadian Dollars, nearly 60 thousand American Dollars). The family, together with community and extended family support, has already arranged some funds, but we still need a lot more to get the treatment started.
Unfortunately, time is short and I am reaching out to all my friends and family to give their best support.
Please give your best support today and do whatever you can to help us reach our goal. Every little bit counts, your support will go a long way in saving a life.
Anas & Kathy Rana on behalf of the Janjua family.
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