Thursday, June 27, 2013 | FoCP gives beneficiaries a taste of ‘life at the top’

By Mariecar Jara-PuyodJune 27, 2013
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DUBAI: Everybody, even the sick, should live life to the fullest.

A special project of the UAE internationally-recognised charity organisation, Friends of Cancer Patients (FoCP), highlighted this on Wednesday, when 52 of its most active members in the last two years, spent a few hours to experience “life at the top” of world’s tallest structure, Burj Khalifa in Downtown Dubai.

“Everybody, even those with diseases, should live life to the fullest and must be given access to quality life,” FOCP secretary general Dr Sawsan Al Mahdi told The Gulf Today.

Also, the FOCP’s Pink Caravan-Medical and Awareness Programme director, Al Mahdi was interviewed before proceeding with the 52 members’ families and friends to the 124th floor of the 828 metre-high tower.

Pink Caravan is the initiative that aims at enhancing cancer awareness and early detection, particularly breast cancer, through country-wide data collection.

Al Mahdi elaborated that the Burj Khalifa trip, in coordination with the corporate social responsibility mission of the international real estate and property developer, Emaar, is part of FoCP’s beneficiaries’ bi-monthly activities.

“For us, they are beneficiaries and today is another form of the psychological support we give them,” she said.

Al Mahdi explained that psychological support is about encouraging the sick not to be “cocoons” but become active members of mainstream life because this helps them maintain their mental and physiological health.

Mounira Abdul Karim from Syria has been living with breast cancer for the past five years and is an FoCP beneficiary since 2010.

She heard about FoCP through a television programme, and she agreed with Al- Mahdi stating that “It is good to be with a group. I have become stronger in this journey.”

Her nephew and niece had joined her, and it was clear that that they were excited about being with their aunt and the novelty of the trip.

Another breast cancer survivor, Armida Valdez from the Philippines, underwent the sixth cycle of her chemotherapy in the UAE through the FoCP in 2010.

She asserted that being among people in the mainstream and workforce, even while suffering from her illness, helped her to maintain positive feelings of self-worth and confidence.

Valdez found that the FoCP was “very supportive,” and that the organisation does not discriminate.

It was a confirmation of what Al Mahdi had earlier told newsmen that FoCP’s mission is to assist all cancer-stricken residents of the UAE regardless of age, creed and race.

Emirati Amna Hamad Mohammad who is under treatment against leukaemia through FoCP and her 13-year-old daughter, Marwam, expressed happiness over their on Wednesday adventure.

Both believe that everyone deserves to be happy.

FoCP has so far helped over 900 cancer patients across the UAE for14 years under the patronage of Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohammad Al Qasimi, wife of UAE Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, Dr Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi.

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