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Cancer patients perform Umrah with help from friends

FOCP and Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities in Dubai take 28 cancer patients to Umrah

Dubai: Friends of Cancer Patients (FOCP) UAE along with Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department in Dubai (IACAD), has organised an all-expenses paid Umrah trip for 28 cancer patients and four FOCP supervisors.

The initiative stems from FOCP’s belief in the power of psychological and spiritual support for cancer patients — a move consistent with their multi-pronged approach to patient treatment, which seeks to inspire confidence in them and truly believe in their potential for a full recovery, the FOCP said in a press release on Friday.

The organisation covered all costs of the trip, made all arrangements and ensured all medical and wellness procedures for all patients were available.

Upon their arrival in Mecca, the group was under careful supervision of an assistant group of escorts who followed up on all their requirements and needs throughout the days of the Umrah. FOCP also dispatched its team to oversee the trip.

Amel Al Maazmi, beneficiary support & community affairs manager at FOCP, said the organisations works “to prevent patients from losing confidence because the patients’ trust in themselves, their treating doctors and their families is an essential aspect of their recovery … we strive to offer them the best possible psychological support too.”

“We sincerely hope that in this spiritual journey of performing Umrah rituals will yield great results, giving patients solemn time — we hope each patient’s self- confidence and faith in themselves and their positivity have received a great boost through this trip.”

Praising the initiative, Al Maazmi said: “It is not uncommon to see our national institutions take the initiative to provide aid and assistance to anyone in need. The initiative by the Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department reflects interdependence and cohesion deeply-rooted in the Emirati society. As we highly appreciate this initiative, we are confident it will cement ties of joint action that brings together official institutions and civil society organisations to support humanitarian work.”

Afaf Afiffi Al Sayyed, a breast cancer survivor, was happy to make an Umrah visit.

“Visiting the Kaaba and performing Umrah has always been my dream, which has become a reality thanks to Friends of Cancer Patients and the Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department in Dubai. This was one of the most memorable experiences of my life,” she said.

“The kind of psychological boost I have received after visiting one of the most holy lands for those who practise Islam is second to none. There are no words to express the blessed feeling and comfort people enjoy due to the sanctity of the place.”

Founded in 1999, the Friends of Cancer Patients (FOCP) aims to promote community awareness about the six early detectable cancers; breast cancer, cervical cancer, prostate cancer, skin cancer, testicular cancer and colon cancer.

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