Dubai: A five-year old cancer survivor has decided to observe the fast during this Ramadan, much to the surprise of his family.
The brave-heart toddler from Dubai who had been through aggressive chemotherapy and surgeries for his cancer, is fasting this Ramadan.
Meet, Mohammad Nasir, a senior KG student of Dubai who finds joy in fasting. Nasir, the son of Sana Javed and Abdul Samad, Pakistani expatriates who are long-time residents of UAE, surprised his parents when he announced he wanted to fast.
Liver cancer at 18 months
Overwhelmed by the perseverance of her son, Javed told Gulf News: “I was surprised, as my son was diagnosed with hepatoblastoma, the most common liver cancer in kids when he was only 18 months old.”
Nasir who was admitted for treatment to Latifa and Dubai hospitals spent the better part of 2017 undergoing six cycles of chemotherapy and later an aggressive surgery to excise a large part of his liver. “Nasir spent most of 2017, in hospital, but he was such a patient and quiet child, he never ever bother me or cry. He always had the courage and fortitude to bear pain at such a young age,” recalled Javed the mother of three kids, Arousa, 9, Mohammad Nasir, 5, and Abdul Tawab, 3.
"It is only three years since the treatment and Nasir will be declared cancer free in a total of five years. Yet my son, influenced by his older sister who began observing the Ramadan fasts from the age of eight, decided to begin fasting this year.
His older sister inspired him
Javed recalled, “Nasir loves Arousa and was influenced by her keeping the Ramadan fasts last year. This year he announced he would fast too. As a young kid and a cancer survivor, he is exempt from this, but he insisted. He never troubled me all through his chemotherapy and surgery. Even as an infant, he was extremely calm. However, I was surprised by his patience and calmness on the first day of fasting. Sometimes, closer to the time of ending fast, my daughter does get restless, asking me when it will be time, but Nasir never once, look at the watch or ask me when it was time to end fast,” said Javed who has asked her son to keep only a few fasts this Ramadan.
Hope for mothers of cancer kids
Both Javed and Samad, the parents of the little child, overwhelmed by their little son’s piety and enthusiasm are feeling blessed. Javed said, “The reason I wanted to share this story was to reach out to those mothers who may be going through the same situation as we went through. I want to tell them, never be disheartened by any situation and always trust Allah’s plan. Nasir’s first fast in Ramadan taught us a lesson that with patience and prayers impossible things can be made possible.”
The shy toddler who is hesitant to talk to strangers, unequivocally declared, “I feel happy to fast. I did not feel hungry. I would like observe some more fasts and always observe Ramadan fasting.”
What is Hepatoblastoma?
This is the most common kind of liver cancer in children, which affects only two or three people in a million. In kids, it usually occurs within the first three years of life and usually results in the development of a malignant abdominal mass that causes swelling and is painful. While there is no known cause of Hepatoblastoma, some of the allied reasons attributed to its incidence are low birth rate and premature birth.