At a time when most teenagers’ cares are confined to finishing high school and determining where to go to university, Zaid was also dealing with a very difficult situation; taking care of his mother, who was critically ill with breast cancer.
Zaid spent long hours at the King Hussein Cancer Center (KHCC) every day, sitting with his mother as she received her treatment, encouraging her and trying to cheer her up. Unfortunately, despite all the efforts, his mother passed away in the spring of 2008.
But the time Zaid spent at the center strengthened his resolve to help patients in their battle against cancer. Barely two months after his mother's passing, he was back at the Center - this time as a volunteer. “It was difficult for me at first, because the Center reminded me of the time I spent there with my mother, but I went anyway because I was determined to help cancer patients in honor of her memory,” says Zaid.
From then on, Zaid became one of KHCF’s most dedicated volunteers, making sure to spend time in the pediatric unit with the youngest patients so that they don’t feel lonely and isolated. “The community should do all it can to support patients not just financially, but also emotionally. Most pediatric patients used to come to the Center specifically to attend the Summer Camp, even if they had no treatment scheduled, just because the camp was so much fun for them. This really proves how essential it is to give cancer patients the motivation and the strength to keep on going.”
Zaid was one of the volunteers selected by the Foundation to accompany young KHCC patients to Italy to attend the Dynamo Camp, a camp especially designed for children recovering from treatment. “Seeing the children gain a lot of self-confidence was the highlight of the camp for me. It made me feel so energized and empowered, and I realized that it was not just the children who gained more confidence in themselves!”
Zaid is now a third year clinical pharmacy student at the University of Jordan and currently a pharmaceutical intern at KHCC in the pediatrics unit.
“Volunteering started out as my way of giving back to the community and honoring my mother’s memory, but it also made me a stronger, happier person. Just knowing that I helped make a patient’s day brighter, or seeing them laugh and smile, makes me feel so emotionally fulfilled. I learned that volunteering is not just about giving, but also receiving.”