Meet Ibrahim

Ibrahim lays on the bed at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) in Dhaka. His mother looks worried as she places her hand on her son. The ward is loud with the sound of children crying, healthcare staff talking and hundreds of patients walking through the halls.

Nusrat tells us about her family, her three children and her husband. The family live far from Dhaka, over 300kms away so the busy city streets of Dhaka are a far cry from life at home. Their journey to Bangladesh’s capital started when Ibrahim fell unwell with a fever and his stomach began to swell.

Having very little money, Ibrahim’s family had to borrow a loan of 50,000 taka (£466) to travel to their local hospital and pay for their expenses including treatment costs. The loan put a huge strain on the family and worse still, the local doctors could not identify what was wrong with Ibrahim but knew it was something severe so they were referred to BSMMU, which is supported by World Child Cancer. It was here that Ibrahim was diagnosed with cancer.

Mothers like Nusrat are often forced to abandon treatment for their child simply because they cannot afford it. Nusrat is a house wife and her husband is a rikshaw driver meaning income is extremely limited. Whilst at hospital the family’s debts have been building with almost no income due to both parents having to be by Ibrahim’s side.

“My husband has not been able to work for three months. My sister-in-law works as a maid in a house and she has helped us with some money but it will not last.”

Being told your child has cancer is devastating but knowing you cannot afford to treat your child is even worse. World Child Cancer supports some of the poorest and most disadvantaged families in the world. By paying for essential travel and treatment costs, we can stop families from abandoning treatment which will significantly increase a child’s chances of survival.

“We have been at the hospital for four weeks now with no place to stay. I share the bed with Ibrahim and my husband has been sleeping where he can. He has left us now to visit his sister to have a bath but we have such little money I don’t know when he will return.”

Of all the challenges the family are facing, Nusrat’s only hope is that her son survives;

“My baby is unwell, this is the most difficult thing for me. So long as my son gets better I will be ok.”

Life at hospital is far from the family’s norm of life at home. Ibrahim would usually play with friends in their village with a smile on his face but that spark has been missing for some time now.

As another child is brought into the ward with more chatter coming from healthcare staff, Ibrahim continues to rest. His eyes are closed, potentially dreaming about life at home and seeing his friends once again.

You can help Ibrahim live through his dreams by donating today. World Child Cancer is working to raise awareness in local communities, train more doctors and nurses and support some of the poorest and most disadvantaged families in the world.

By raising awareness, Ibrahim would have received a faster diagnosis. By training more healthcare professionals he could have been treated closer to home. By supporting families, his mother would have one less thing to worry about. By donating £20 today you can cover the transport costs for a family living in rural Bangladesh to travel to Dhaka, ensuring their child receives the treatment they desperately need. Give before 30th June and your gift will be doubled by the UK government meaning you can support twice as many children.