Meet Ariam

Mahmud greets us with a smile, despite his tired look and obvious feelings of worry he introduces us to his wife Naarghita and son Ariam. Walking across to the bed where the family sit, the space is limited with families close by, children receiving treatment and medical teams moving between patients.

Ariam is one of over 300,000 children expected to develop cancer this year. Childhood cancer survival rates are as high as 80% in developed countries but as low as 10% in developing ones. World Child Cancer is changing this by training more doctors and nurses, supporting families emotionally and financially and raising awareness of childhood cancer to give more children the Gift of Growing Up.

“When Ariam first fell unwell we thought it was tonsillitis, there was another child that lived close by to us that had this illness, we were never expecting to be told he had cancer."

Mahmud’s smile vanished when he told us this, the weeks of worry he and his family have been through begin to reveal themselves in his eyes. 

“No parent expects to be told their child has cancer, Naarghita did not know how to react. What is a mother supposed to do when their child is suffering from this disease? I was very emotional, it was heart-breaking for us and we have been praying ever since that Ariam can recover.”

Being told your child has cancer can place an enormous strain on families. Ariam is being treated at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) which is supported by World Child Cancer.

“What can we do? We have been here for one month now but have no idea how long we will remain at hospital. We live many hours from here so whilst Naarghita stays at hospital I have tried to work when I can but I have to buy medicines, go to work and try and be here for my family all at the same time. I pray everyday for our situation to improve.” 

Many families are forced to abandon treatment due to the financial and emotional pressures of having a child with cancer. World Child Cancer is changing this by training healthcare professionals in developing countries like Bangladesh to identify and support vulnerable families to give them the confidence to complete treatment, ultimately increasing survival chances for children like Ariam.

By donating $4 today, you can pay for a parent, like Mahmud, to attend a parent support group session to help him cope with the emotional pressures of having a child with cancer.