Cochin Herald|May - June 2020
HOPE Child Cancer Care Foundation was founded in 2016 as a result of a personal incident in Haris Kattakath and his wife Suhada’s life. They were in the U.S. on a family trip and on the day they were to return back home, their 10-month-old son Mohamed Naazim began presenting with a sudden unexplained loss of balance. In a shocking turn of events, the young boy was diagnosed with ependymoma, a form of pediatric cancer affecting the brain.
Feeling the pain of Cancer
Haris, until then, always thought of cancer as something that you read or hear about, but not something to happen to someone you know. The diagnosis came as a complete shock to the family. Initially, they figured that they would be back home after his treatment within a week or so, considering that they hadn’t first-hand encountered the challenges that came with cancer on the patient and the patient’s family. This is when they felt the unbearable pain of cancer.
Their journey began shortly after with the initiation of treatment in the U.S. in the St Jude children’s hospital specialising in the research and treatments of childhood cancer, postponing their return by a year.
Over the course of his treatment, they were put up in an area they were unfamiliar with. Many people reached out to help Haris and his family, offering all the support that they could. The hospital provided everything they needed in terms of treatment but the helping hand they received from the people around them highlighted the importance of support to the cancer patient’s family.
On their return back home, they decided to use the gratitude they felt for the helping hands they received, to reach out and give back to the community. They did the groundwork and conducted extensive research, identifying the gaps, speaking to doctors, NGOs, and affected families dealing with childhood cancer.
Finally, in 2016, HOPE Child Cancer Care Foundation was born. HOPE’s current board of Directors consists of the organisation’s Chairman Haris Kattakath, Suhada Pottayil, Mohamed Shafi, Dr Sainul Abdeen, Jojo Kanjirakadan, Riyaz Kilton and Zerin Boby.
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May - June 2020