These are some of our most heartwarming stories to give you a small peek of what we are so grateful to get to experience everyday!
Sayed, 3 years old … has leukemia … meningitis … coma … ICU … devastation 57357 … RTC workshop, Amani, the day that brought happiness, Sayed’s heart beats speed up with David’s violin.
Few days later Sayed could breathe without equipment … Wishes and prayers to overcome the crisis safely … Believing that God will support them … Sayed is still in a comma but his heart is fighting without words.
David went to Sayed again, the violin … once again David’s inner feeling guided him to play “you have the final word” hymn. It was his contribution to everyone, he played it in for more than one patient Medicine has its verdict and you say May God’s peace be with us; but Sayed believed that God would grant him recovery. With our prayers and faith in God’s mercy, five weeks later Sayed woke up and left the critical care. From the darkness light and hope emerge, just don’t lose hope, and be convinced of God’s mercy. Faith and conviction are in the heart
BY dedicated volunteer, Dalia Azman
I entered the workshop to see a different type of beauty, dark complexion, and big innocent eyes that speak the most noble language of all, the Children and humanity language.
Menna is a child from Aswan who is almost five years old. She is sitting by the handcraft activity table thinking of nothing but the sand and molding dough in her hands to use it to build a happy world. I was lucky to sit at the same table, I didn’t share her playing but was talking to my friend while looking at her and she was crying. I asked her: why you crying?, is it your mother, she said no, I asked is it your doctor, no, are you tired of sitting here, no, I said I have to know why you are crying to able to help you, she said I want a toy. She is a child who is distracted with simple childish things despite her illness.
I told her that I cannot realize her wish but I gave her an idea: Pray to god, he loves you and will help you. A minute later, I found visitors entering the workshop. I said to her do you think God has listened to your prayer, she said yes. The visitors handed out gifts to the children. Menna received a gift that she didn’t like, I told her to pray again. Ten minutes later there were other visitors from the army handing out gifts. Menna received a nice doll, she was so happy with a nice laugh on her face. I asked her how come God responded to her request so quickly? She just laughed quietly, maybe she couldn’t express it in words but she learned to pray to God whenever she needs anything. We made a deal that in her next prayers she will wish for healing.
Almighty God, there is a certain reason and wisdom for those children’s sickness, and you are the most merciful and the closest to them, please Grant them all healing.
By: Shimaa Mohamed
A 15 year old girl was given the name “the butterfly” by Mohamed Mostafa as she used to always sit next to him when she came to the workshop to make origami and learn how to make a butterfly. Is there another reason for calling her so! I believe yes.
At the workshop we try hard to converting pain and despair moments to happiness and fun moments through creativity.
The butterfly lived with us for about a year, but cancer defeated her and she passed away. Every child in the art workshop who gets to lose his battle against cancer, takes a part of our soul when he departs. A year after she passed away, her mother showed up. We were not then talking much about the butterfly. When the mother decided to come to the Hospital, I didn’t meet her. I know that in order for us to overcome the pain of losing loved ones, we stay away from places that were the sources of pain. I thought no matter goodness the mother found in 57357, she would not like to come back to it. She came to the workshop and took some photos of her daughter during the moments we spent together in the workshop. There were no tears in her eyes while she was looking at the photos and recalling nice memories with her daughter. When she left, while I was feeling sorry for her, she surprised me saying “today is my daughter’s first anniversary, and I preferred to recall happy memories with her while she was alive, other than visiting her cemetery.
I couldn’t hold my tears and I realized that she was not called butterfly just because she liked butterfly origami but because her soul was still flying in the place like a butterfly.
By: Shimaa Mohamed
From El Warsha Diary
Light emanates from the heart. You either choose to rise up to life’s challenges or to go through its pathways in solitude and loneliness. Hopelessness is weakness and coward fearfulness But Hope opens doors.
Did Hope open any door? Indeed it did for Malak.
Malak, an 8-year-old beautiful girl who up till 2 years ago enjoyed the blessings of seeing with her two eyes. But cancer is a dreadful disease: you do not know when it will attack you and what it will deprive you of.
It deprived Malak of her eyesight. I think the hardest thing for any human being is to lose one’s eyesight and to live in darkness for the rest of one’s life. I thought that losing your sight would also result in the weakening of all your other faculties such as walking, studying ….etc. Nevertheless, Malak‘s strength stems from a different source: her sight is lost but her heart is glowing. Malak is convinced that there is nothing wrong with her, she plays when she wants to, she goes to the art workshop to draw and color a world in her imagination. For me, Malak was a revelation and we all, the Warsha staff, are helping her to remain confident and carefree. But Malak’s greatest support is her mother who is determined to help her child progress and blossom despite being concerned about her safety. As such, she enables her to take swimming and karate lessons. Her karate teacher is proud of her and of her ability to learn fast. Moreover Malak is a studious girl and ranks among the top students in her class. Even after losing her eyesight, she resumed studies in her old school aided by a tutor instead of going to a special facility for blind students.
Thanks to her mother who is always there to encourage, support, strengthen, and love, Malak leads a normal and carefree life.
And you ask me: where is the feeling of incapacity that any blind person is liable to feel? I will answer you that this feeling is not in Malak; it is rather in us. Malak and her mom are the light that leads the way and guides us to the shores of Hope.
By: Shimaa Mohamed
Homes remain in the dark until mothers wake up.
A mother like none other.
Every day people who need tender care step inside the Warsha, nevertheless, this space is also visited by people who will inspire you by their determination and endurance and will teach you that the impossible is easily attained.
I came across her in the room next to the Warsha, she used to carry her 10 year old child on her shoulder and walk down the corridor and he seemed absent. One day I told her: the boy is too heavy for you to carry up and down the corridor, what is wrong with him?
He underwent a brain surgery, stayed for one month in ICU after which he was not able to talk, move or walk. They told me it would take a long time for him to recover, she told me.
I recall how she used to make him walk by holding him from under his arms and taping his leg with hers, telling him that he would soon be walking alone. It was as though each tap was resonating deeply in the boy’s subconscious to incite him to be perseverant and never to give up. Neither psychotherapy nor physiotherapy, but the love, faith determination and perseverance of a mother of modest background that enabled the child to walk again after 6 months. I remember I was away on a trip to the north coast when I received a phone call from her son who regained the ability to talk. the mother who is for me the ultimate example of courage and determination wanted me to be the first one with whom to share the joy of her son’s recovery.
Unforgettable story of a home that could have remained in the dark if the mother would not have awaken.
Life flourishes where hope abounds
Sun and Fresh Air
At El Warsha, we are accustomed to taking the children on camping trips. But for the younger ones we organize one-day trips such as the one we set up to Fagnoon village where the children get to play, sing, dance, paint and picnic outdoors.
At the end of a very enjoyable day, I received a phone call from the mother of a child who was with us on that trip, she was crying while talking to me. I panicked asked her if the child was safe. She answered that he was so happy and well that he forgot all about the terrible bone pains he endures all day long so much so that he returned home without feeling the need to take the pain medication I make sure he is always carrying with him.
It is the first time I see him so happy and pleased. He forgot all about pain and medication. This was an important lesson to remember.
With each new child coming to the Warsha, we learn a lesson and we learn the true meaning of endurance with every suffering mother we meet.
We are so happy for this mother that was able to sleep peacefully that day as she saw happiness instead of pain on her child’s face. At el Warsha, we promise to take good care of the child and his mother to keep seeing a smile on their faces as often as we can.
By: Shimaa Mohamed
Be full of life for the people around you
An encounter in the metro
Exceptionally, I took the metro from el Tahrir to Sayeda Zeinab station to come to the Hospital. Sitting beside me were a beautiful six year old girl and her mom.
Girl: How are you Miss?
Me: How are you? I missed you, you have disappeared?
Girl’s mom: we are in the follow-up phase, we do not come as often to the Hospital.
Me: Thank God, hopefully towards a full recovery.
Girl’s mom: My daughter loves you so much and she comes to the Hospital willingly to see you.
Me: She is a lovely quiet girl.
Girl’s mom: I too love you very much. You have made a big difference in my life.
Me: How is that?
Girl’s mom: As we were coming often for treatment, we used to pass by the Warsha and spend a lovely time there. Days went by and life turned its back on me. Like many mothers of children with cancer who get abandoned by their husbands to bear the responsibility of a sick child alone, my husband left me and divorced me. I had to find myself a job and I had never worked before. But watching you taking care of the children with so much love and giving in El Warsha, inspired me and I found myself a job as a nursery teacher.
You changed my life and opened up new horizons for me.
An example of a courageous, strong and enduring mother who despite the suffering and trials, will follow the light whenever it comes her way to brighten the lives of those around her.
It was no coincidence that day for me to take the metro.
By: Shimaa Mohamed