Saleem: I received treatment at Shaukat Khanum Hospital for bowel cancer in 2016

“I am a doctor myself but the shock of hearing the word ‘cancer’ still shook me to the core.”

“I can never forget that first drive to Shaukat Khanum Hospital in Lahore. My wife was taking me there, and I sat quietly in the front passenger seat the whole time. We entered the front gates and made it up the driveway. We parked in front of the Walk-in-Clinic, and then both of us broke down into tears. For half an hour we could not step out of the car. My wife had fears. I kept recalling all the times I dropped money into Shaukat Khanum Hospital donation boxes. All this happened last year when I was diagnosed with colon cancer.

Qazi Mohammed Saleem received treatment at Shaukat Khanum Lahore in 2016. He kindly shared his story with us, of this difficult time in his life, in order to give heart and courage to others who might be facing what he has.

“We lived in Skardu and had come to spend winter vacations in Lahore. It was during this time that I was not feeling well and had to see a doctor. Eventually the doctors told me about my diagnosis. I am a doctor myself but the shock of hearing the word ‘cancer’ still shook me to the core. No matter how many times you have heard the word ‘cancer’ before, when it is uttered for you, your world comes crashing down.”

“My treatment plan was that I would have surgery first, followed by chemotherapy sessions. Alhamdulillah, my surgery went well. Then the chemotherapy sessions started: from February 2016 to August 2016 I underwent seven sessions. During this time I realized that Shaukat Khanum Hospital is a part of me and I am a part of it.”

“We know that everything here from the staff down to the hospital policies are in line with international healthcare standards. But what really stands out is the humanity you encounter. You go in there with pain and are welcomed with a warm smile and reassurance. The staff and doctors do everything they can to make you feel at ease and give you strength. Everyone receives this same treatment, regardless of their background. I believe that’s the real spirit of humanity.”

“I still come to the hospital for check ups. But since that first time, I have never wept again. The staff and my fellow patients have given me a new courage. I salute the supporters, the staff members and the founder of Shaukat Khanum Hospital –for carrying forward this noble cause.”

Cancer is such a frequently used word. But no matter how many times we’ve heard it, it is terrifying to hear if you are the one being diagnosed. At Shaukat Khanum Hospital, part of our work is to raise the spirits of our patients, and give them the strength to battle this disease. At IKCA, part of our work is to garner a community that enables us to support people like Saleem through what is often the most difficult time of their lives. Compassion and ‘khidmat’ are at the core of this foundation. This is why Shaukat Khanum Hospital means so much to every patient that walks through its doors.

Thank you for giving us the means and the strength to support our patients in their time of greatest need, many of whom are among Pakistan’s poorest. It wouldn’t be possible without you.

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