He knew a cure that could cure his daughter existed somewhere out there in the world, yet there was nothing he could do to help the little girl right in front of him.
Jawad, a hard working young man and his wife Sabahat anxiously awaited the birth of their third child. Abeera Noor, a seemingly healthy baby girl, joined the family on the 28th of October in 2009.
It wasn’t until three months later that Jawad and Sabahat began to notice that something just wasn’t right with their little girl. After a visit to their local doctor, Jawad and Sabahat, learned that their daughter had a genetic blood disorder known as thalassemia major.
Refusing to accept the life-long suffering and struggle that the disease would bring to their daughter, Abeera’s father began consulting as many physicians as possible. In the meantime, little Abeera was receiving weekly blood transfusions to keep her alive, since having thalassemia didn’t allow her to produce her own healthy red blood cells.
During one of his medical consultations, Jawad learned that thalassemia can be cured by a procedure known as bone marrow transplantation. He was elated; incredibly elated! His daughter still had the chance for a healthy life. However, his elation quickly turned to frustration, and then desperation when he discovered that bone marrow transplants were not available in his country and cost upwards of $200,000 in the countries that offered them. He knew a cure that could cure his daughter existed somewhere out there in the world, yet there was nothing he could do to help the little girl right in front of him.
It was then that Jawad heard about Cure2Children’s STOPThalassemia cure and prevention center in Islamabad, which opened in late 2008.
When Jawad came to the Cure2Children (C2C) center, for the first time he felt a sense of hope. He found a staff that worked with him to understand all of his options. Unfortunately, even the cost of Cure2Children’s bone marrow transplant was still too much for Jawad. For this reason, Dr. Sadaf, head of the unit, offered to have the organization absorb the cost of the medical staff and personnel needed to execute the procedure. Jawad and his family would only need to cover the cost of essential medicines needed by his daughter. They agreed to move forward with the bone marrow transplant and Abeera was admitted on the 9th of October 2012, just weeks before her third birthday.
Abeera received ten days of chemotherapy before her bone marrow transplant. Factors in many of the chemotherapy drugs decreased the chances that her body would reject the foreign bone marrow. Jawad and Abeera’s mom, Sabahat, were very irritable during their daughters first day of chemotherapy. They continuously worried if the doctors were paying enough attention to their child or if everything was running smoothly. It was a very tough period for them. After ten days Abeera Noor was transplanted with bone marrow from her older sister and moved to the post-transplant room where she stayed, with her mom, for the next thirty days.
Abeera is now 3 and a half years old and will celebrate her fourth birthday this coming October, as a healthy, thalassemia free child. Her parents no longer need to worry about paying for monthly blood transfusions or worry if Abeera will be able to grow properly without enough red blood cells.
Cure2Children works hard to ensure that a cure for thalassemia, other serious blood disorders, and pediatric cancers is available locally, affordably, and reliably. We do this by helping local medical centers start cure and prevention units that are autonomous and self-sustainable. Help us start more centers that give fathers like Jawad direct access to cures that can cure their daughters.