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From 20 months to 20-years – life beyond childhood cancer for survivor

Sep 16, 2022

2 min read
16 September 2022
23:30

Zafar Mahomed was only 22 months old when he was diagnosed with cancer. Two decades later, he is living his best life, like many other children.

Zafar was 20 months old when his sunny disposition changed; he developed a permanent limp and had lingering flu-like symptoms. His parents took him to a doctor, who initially believed they were too soft on him. But his condition deteriorated, and blood tests confirmed the terrible truth – Zafar had leukaemia.

Radio Islam International discussed with cancer survivor Zafar Mahomed his journey with cancer.

According to Zafar, negative memories about the whole experience of living with cancer are a blur as he only remembers himself as a happy child.

“I think being at such a young age, you have not developed or exposed to a lot of things. Instead, you just used to go to the doctors for check-ups and procedures, and that becomes a norm, it becomes part of your life because that all you are exposed to,” he said.

Looking back now, Zafar said he now understands why he had to go through all those dark phases he experienced for his life to flourish as it does now. Hence, he now welcomes all the challenges he went through with a smile and a clear understanding.

The fourth-year pharmacy student at the University of KwaZulu Natal said he aspires to inspire and help the children who are going through the same thing he went through or even worse.

Adding that, he wants to be a symbol of hope to them.

He said the whole experience has completely changed his outlook, as he is now a happily married man.

He said: “Looking back; if I had to ask anyone where I would be 20 years later, no one would have said a 20-year-old Zafar would now be happily married and studying towards his dreams; being in that state, you never get to look or think about the future.”

Zafar expressed his gratitude to his parents, who played a huge role in his life and where he is today. Although it was difficult for his parents to see their son in that state, they were very understanding and supportive.

Zafar said he is forever grateful to his doctor, Dr Monica, who jumped in when he was incorrectly diagnosed and ensured that he got the correct and best treatment for his condition.

[LISTEN] to the podcast here

 

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