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Mum in T-shirt drive to fund daughter’s cancer treatment

‘Time running out’ for leukemia patient Sarah, 19 who needs Dh300,000 treatment

Image Credit: Photo courtesy Masinas family
Sarah Masinas needs cancer treatment and her mum is selling t-shirts to raise money to pay for it

ABU DHABI An Abu Dhabi phone operator struggling to fund her cancer-stricken daughter’s treatment has appealed for urgent aid while planning to sell charity T-shirts.

Filipina Rosalie Masinas said 19-year-old Sarah needs about Dh300,000 in leukaemia blood cancer treatments. That figure dwarfs the Dh13,000 she hopes to raise by selling 130 custom-made T-shirts for Dh100 apiece. The T-shirts which highlight cancer suffering are being arranged by her sister in the Philippines.

“I told her [mum], ‘no need to spend more... I got leukaemia. You’ll drown in debt, but I may still die”
-Sarah Masinas
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“Sarah’s life’s at risk, she needs a bone marrow transplant (BMT) as soon as possible. But we can’t afford it, the combined monthly salary between me and my husband — a mechanic — is only about Dh7,000,” Masinas said.

Hiding her illness

“My daughter didn’t want to see a doctor when she had fallen sick at first, to save us money. She said ‘Mom, I’ll just use the old antibiotics I have.’ We didn’t know she had leukaemia,” Masinas added, bursting into tears.

Sarah was diagnosed with leukaemia in late 2010 after travelling to her home city Manila for college.

Masinas had just lost her previous job as a hospital clerk. Sarah said in an open letter: “I was chatting online with my mother when I told her, ‘no need to spend more for my treatment, I got leukaemia. You’ll drown in debt, but I may still die’.

“My mother cried and said, ‘No, we’ll not lose you. We’ll get you back here in Abu Dhabi and you’ll be treated here.’”

Sarah initially overcame leukaemia after receiving chemotherapy at an Abu Dhabi hospital in Shaikh Khalifa Medical City (SKMC) in 2011. But the deadly disease returned earlier this year and she has been readmitted to SKMC.

“There’s no time, doctors say she needs BMT now. We can get it done cheaper at a hospital in India for about Dh300,000. But we’re not moving because we’re not financially able,” Masinas said.

“Please, someone help us. My daughter’s suffering.”

The debilitating illness has stalled Sarah’s dream of pursuing a career in radiology - at SKMC.

“Sarah had given me and her father a plaque and promised ‘you’ll see my name on it after I graduate college.’ She’s so passionate about it, especially after seeing her brother graduate,” Masinas sobbed.

Sarah’s 20-year-old brother, Rudolph, works here as an IT professional. Her letter added: “I got my second family in my [hospital] ward, D2B. All the care and love I got from them is really amazing.

“Hopefully God will give me complete healing, so I may continue with my studies and fulfill the dreams of working here in SKMC some day.”

Appeal: Help Sarah:

Those wishing to help the ailing girl can write to us at


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Those wishing to help the ailing girl can write to us at


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Latest Comment

You should try at Shoukat Khanam Memorial Hospital in Lahore, Pakistan,they are specialized in Cancer, and approx 70% treatment is free of cost or atleast very cheap as compared to UAE or USA. Please give a try, you may get something better there.


26 July 2012 12:56jump to comments