First of all I would like to salute the remarkable efforts the Shaukat Khanum Hospital is making to fight cancer. The environment at Shaukat Khanum is very surprising; the way this institution has broken all barriers between the rich and the poor is certainly commendable. Hygiene and cleanliness, management, discipline, the ambiance is spectacular. I found a certain glimmer of hope not only in its structure and building but by the interaction with patients there.

During my two weeks at the hospital, I’ve learnt some very important lessons that have given me a new perception about life. What my experience here at the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre has taught is that; ‘Only a cancer patient knows how special life is, its pure meaning, its importance and the fear of losing it! They are an example for us all, and teach us how we should all start living and not take anything for granted as life can be very short, each day should be lived as your last, so there is more to cherish and store in our minds.’

One of my most cherished moments was the day I saw a child, Fatima Ijaz, being discharged. That was a worthwhile moment. Her face was glowing with happiness and excitement not for a second did her smile fade. Just a few days back, I had seen her very sad on her bed, I had tried to distract her and thank Allah. However, I wasn’t satisfied, over the weekend after prayer I prayed for all the patients at the hospital and especially for Fatima. On Monday, I was stunned to see that Allah had accepted my prayers and she was sitting on the sofa, instead of on her bed, all ready to go home. That made me very happy and right there and then I thanked Allah. It was a joy to see that she had been cured. There are so many such stories. I hope that all of us have a chance to visit this hospital and meet the brave souls there and learn how to cherish and love life.

MEHROZE JALAL,

Lahore, October 4.