FOCP offered me unwavering support for 3 years, which I believe nursed me back to health, says Majd.
Gulf Today, Staff Reporter
UAE-based Friends of Cancer Patients (FOCP) has been on an ongoing mission to advance its service to cancer patients and create a supportive environment filled with hope and optimism to help ease their burden and worries throughout their treatment journey.
“FOCP’s humanitarian efforts extend well beyond the boundaries of their headquarters to support those patients who are unable to reach them physically," says Majd, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007.
“After my diagnosis, I underwent chemotherapy at Tawam Hospital, and was simultaneously put on hormone therapy. This was followed by a mastectomy on my left breast. These lines of treatment were all successful and I was in a stable condition for 10 years with oral medication,” Majd explained.
Her health gradually began showing signs of deterioration, mainly due to the toll it had taken from the treatments and prolonged use of heavy medication. “Common understanding about the chances of breast cancer recurrence is that patients are at highest risk for three years after the cancer has been successfully removed from one’s system. I went in for regular follow-ups and continued my medication, which eventually impacted my heart rate. I made another hospital visit to report this and found out I that I had become anaemic. I went back to Tawam Hospital to receive treatment,” she continued.
This is when FOCP came into Majd’s life. “As I began another challenging treatment journey, I found FOCP right by me. They have offered me unwavering support for 3 years, which I believe nursed me back to health."
Having completed 20 years of operations this year, the cancer non-profit has recorded over 5,251 beneficiaries across the UAE since inception, and introduced as many as 170 new patients and their families to their support system within the first half of 2020.
Through leading campaigns and initiatives that propagate the importance of early detection under its ‘Kashf’ programme, FOCP has been a leading force in the UAE raising awareness about 40 different types of cancer. It’s most prominent campaigns include the Pink Caravan Ride – a breast cancer awareness campaign, which offered free screenings and clinical examinations to about 11,077 women and men in its 2020 edition, detecting 6 positive cases.
A cancer patient in need of support may reach out to FOCP at https://focp.ae/patientform/signup.php.
Majd has highly praised the efforts of FOCP in reaching out to patients incapable of visiting their headquarters. She also lauded all the activities they organise all year round to bring awareness, reassurance and smiles to patients and their families.
“Three years ago, I received a call from an FOCP staff member. In her calming voice, she invited me to the Umrah pilgrimage FOCP organises annually for cancer patients and their families in the UAE. Unfortunately, I was unable to join as my residency was up for renewal. This may be seen to many as one phone call, but to me this is a reminder that there is an organisation out there that knows my challenges, and is rooting for me to see me come back to health. I am more inspired than ever to continue on my journey of healing.”
Khawla Rashid, Director of Beneficiary Support Services at FOCP, commented: “Personal contact and regular interaction with patients builds a special companionship between us. It helps us boost their morale and overcome psychological issues they may be experiencing. For those patients who are unable to approach us physically, we are keen on reaching out to them, establishing a relationship, and keeping in touch to make sure they are going strong on their cancer treatment journeys.”
Help FOCP to help others
The coronavirus pandemic has exposed those afflicted by cancer to greater risks and vulnerabilities. Reminding the community that it is more important than ever to safeguard our community, FOCP has called on private and government entities, banks, donors and UAE residents to open their hearts during the month of giving, and bring hope to those battling this life-threatening disease.
Donors can visit https://focp.ae/donate-programs/ to learn about the different initiatives under FOCP they can support. Online donation coupons of Dhs10, 50,100, 500 and 1,000 are also available for purchase at www.focp.ae/coupon/.
In a bid to enable donors to make their contributions remotely in light of COVID-19, FOCP has also activated other remote contribution channels like bank transfers and SMS donations. More information about these can be found: www.focp.aeYou can contribute in achieving the vision of Friends of Cancer Patients (FoCP) Association by providing financial and moral support to cancer patients in the UAE, to support them during their arduous treatment journeys with hope, courage and positivity.
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