Mourni lives in Northeast Syria with his nephew, Deep, a boy of less than two years. He took Deep in to raise alongside his own children when the boy’s father left.
The family has been displaced several times by bombing and violence due to the ongoing civil war. Yet, each time they were forced to flee, they returned to Nahlia to try and rebuild their life. Their house was completely destroyed by aerial bombardment, so they now live in a much smaller house that is lacking in basic necessities. The family has no stable source of income.
Several months ago, Deep started to urinate blood. Mourni quickly took him to the closest clinic in his village. The doctor there delivered the devastating news that Deep had developed cancer in his kidney. The boy’s family found themselves thrown into a period of great difficulty. Given the extensive damage to the medical infrastructure in the area from years of violence, the family’s lack of resources, and Deep’s young age, they believed there might be no way to save him.
However, the family felt that they owed it to Deep to do everything they could for him. Closely following the advice of their doctor, they first scheduled a nephrectomy, the surgical removal of a kidney. The procedure was a success, but Deep still had to undergo a regimen of chemotherapy to ensure that any remaining cancer was eliminated from his body.
Deep’s doctors prescribed the chemotherapy drug carboplatin to conclude his treatment. However, the incredibly high price of the drug in nearby pharmacies rendered the family completely unable to afford the necessary quantity for a complete course treatment.
The family was again crushed, believing that they would not be able to finish their fight against the cancer. Luckily, one of Deep’s doctors told them about the Orient Medical Complex in Idlib. To their disbelief, Orient had recently received a shipment from CMMB’s Medical Donation Program and partner, Multifaith Alliance for Syrian Refugees that contained the exact medicine needed. The family received the entirety of Deep’s course treatment for free.
As of the publishing of this story, Deep has been declared cancer free. Mourni thanks God that there was a way to find the medicine that his family member needed. However, he mourns for others in Syria who still cannot access cancer care.