Volunteering at Shaukat Khanum Hospital gave me a new perspective on life. My initial introduction was an overview of the outpatient department and I saw the pain and distress that a cancer diagnosis causes to cancer patients and their families. The majority of patients were poor and I was overwhelmed by the vital role that SKMCH plays in Pakistan. The majority of my volunteer work was in the SKMCH gift shop located in the outpatient department. My colleague in the gift shop was amazing in the way she communicated with the patients, always compassionate and kind. The play area in the gift shop provided an opportunity for the children to watch cartoons and to do colouring. The children were wonderful. Their energy, enthusiasm and strength gave me a psychological boost every day. The children never complained despite being ill. This was truly a humbling and inspiring experience.

Attending the Polo in pink cancer awareness event at Lahore Polo Club, demonstrated to me how a sports event can be successfully used to promote cancer awareness, and bring people together from different backgrounds for one cause.

Volunteering at SKMCH & RC taught many things. One in particular was why our Islamic faith makes Zakat a pillar in our religion, and the critical role this plays in giving dignity and mercy to our fellow Muslim brothers and sisters. SKMCH & RC provides equality and respect to the needy in Pakistani society. I hope to return to do further volunteer work. I would like to thank all at SKMCH & RC for giving me the opportunity to do volunteer work and get a very brief view of all the wonderful work they do.

MOHAMMED YAMIN,

England, November 16.