Over 200 Patients, Families enjoy Ramadan Iftar Organised by FOCP
Annual Friends Of Cancer Patients event was held at JW Marriott Hotel Dubai
Sharjah-based cancer charity Friends Of Cancer Patients (FOCP), organised an Iftar event recently, for more than 200 patients and their families at JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai.
The Ramadan Iftar event, organised for the 11th consecutive year, was part of FOCP’s ongoing efforts to support cancer patients and their families and provide an opportunity for them to meet and connect with others who were in a similar situation.
This year’s Iftar event, coinciding with the 20th anniversary of the establishment of FOCP, included an array of entertainment activities featuring a fun-filled treasure hunt competition and religious contests that highlighted the virtues of Ramadan and its spiritual and health benefits.
At the end of the event, Dr. Naima Al Ali distributed gifts to the patients and their families. The sponsors supporting the programme were also honoured on the occasion.
HE Sawsan Jafar, Chairperson of the Board of Directors at FOCP, said, “The iftar programme is one of the most important annual events that we take a great interest in organising because it offers an ideal opportunity for cancer patients to meet and connect with one another in a spiritual atmosphere during Ramadan.”
She added: “Through the annual iftar event we seek to build unity and foster solidarity among patients, as well as to raise hope, reinforce a positive attitude and encourage them to continue treatment until they are fully recovered.”
Speaking on behalf of JW Marriott Marquis Hotel and the Dubai Marriot Business Council, Bill Kiefer, General Manager of JW Marriott, said: “On behalf of the JW Marriott Marquis Hotel and Dubai Marriott Business Council, it gives us great pleasure to support and be part of this special charity Iftar for Friends Of Cancer Patients. During the holy month of Ramadan, as we all try to reflect on significant causes and find ways to care for our community, it is even more important to offer support to those in need. It is also a reminder to celebrate quality time together at warm Iftar gatherings, such as this.”
Dr. Naima Al Ali praised the relentless support of Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohamed Al Qasimi, Wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah, Founder and Royal Patron of the Friends of Cancer Patients (FOCP) for her personal dedication towards the cause, in Sharjah and the UAE.
Dr. Naima said, “I am delighted to be a part of this Ramadan iftar that supports cancer patients and their families. This endeavour is not only aimed at providing moral support and hope to them but creates meaningful moments, while caring for those who are experiencing difficult times”.
One of the cancer survivors, named Nada, stated: “It was by coincidence when I discovered my lymphoma two years ago. I had the courage not to hesitate and sought treatment until I was fully recovered. During this period, I joined FOCP in a bid to obtain all the moral and financial support, which it was known for among a number of cancer survivors and patients locally.”
She added: “Throughout this support, my journey was filled with hope, positivity and care that helped me tremendously in defeating the disease. It has become my responsibility to share my story by taking part in such activities by FOCP, and to spread positive awareness to patients and survivors and give the same encouragement I had experienced to overcome this stage of their lives.”
The iftar event also coincides with the annual Zakat Ramadan campaign ‘I Deserve a Life’, which was launched by FOCP six years ago with an aim to encouraging all segments of the Emirati community – individuals as well as government and private institutions – to donate their Zakat during Ramadan for the benefit of FOCP, which in turn channels the funds to cover the cost of treatment for cancer patients who cannot afford it.
Over the past six years, the campaign has supported 800 patients by covering treatment costs for chemotherapy and radiotherapy, as well as surgical procedures and other urgent expenses patients incur throughout the stages of treatment and care. Donations can be made through online bank transfers, cheques, cash coupons and via SMS. Donation coupons of AED10, AED50 and AED100 are available for purchase at Zakat kiosks located in Sharjah Cooperative Society’s branches in Al Sweihat, Halwan and Al Qarain, from 10:00 am – 1:00 am throughout Ramadan.
Donors also have the option of depositing their contribution into FOCP’s ‘Zakatkm Elajohm’ local account no: 0011-364854-002 at the main branch of Sharjah Islamic Bank (International Bank Account Number ‘IBAN’: AE440410000011364854002).
Founded in 1999, FOCP was established to help alleviate the financial and emotional burden that cancer often imposes on patients and their families, and to promote awareness about the six early detectable forms of the disease; breast, cervical, prostate, skin, testicular and colorectal cancers. Apart from its awareness role, FOCP is committed to providing moral and financial support to thousands of patients and their families of all ages and nationalities across the UAE. Up to date, FOCP has provided support to more than 5,000 cancer patients and their families.