Young schoolgirl Laraib Mahmood is the only person in the UK with a rare type of cancer.
The 10-year-old has shared an insight into the reality of battling leukaemia in a touching video
In February last year the youngster was diagnosed with the extremely rare Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL) ABl2.
Lairab has said “I have spent more than nine months in hospital and it has been an extremely tough journey,”
“Today I would like you to join me for 24 hours of my life.”
The inspiring video shows cheerful Lairab during her stay at Birmingham Children’s Hospital, and back at home as she struggles to eat breakfast and then take her medication.
“Laraib was a really healthy child,” says her older sister, Mavish Khalid,.
“She was really active and always out and about so, as you can imagine, her diagnosis was a huge shock for everyone.
“Laraib had a fever for over a week, with severe headaches. Then she began getting really bad body aches,” adds brother Hamzah Mahmood.
The little girl, from Hodge Hill, was taken to see her GP after school and Within the hour she was in an ambulance, being rushed to Heartlands Hospital.
It was then that her parents were told she had leukaemia, and the schoolgirl was transferred to Birmingham Children’s Hospital for immediate treatment.
“Breakfast time is such a struggle for her because she’s lost her appetite from chemotherapy,” says sister Mavish.
“Sometimes even just the thought of food makes her vomit.”
Lairab is always smiling and is passionate to share her journey as part of the charity Children with Cancer UK’s campaign.
At one point she even lost sight in one eye because her blood became too thick to travel into her blood vessels, but medics managed to save her sight.
Cliff O’Gorman, Chief Executive of Children with Cancer UK says: “With our 24 hours campaign, we want to demonstrate the reality that children with cancer have to deal with each and every day.
“This is not just the trauma and pain, but the incredible bravery and spirit shown by the children and families affected.
“We’re incredibly grateful to Laraib and her family for sharing their story. It highlights how far we have come with cancer treatment over the past 30 years since Children with Cancer UK was established, thanks to research and investment from charities like ours, but also how much more there is to do.
“It is crucial that we continue to invest in pioneering new kinder treatments like precision medicine that could improve survival rates in even the hardest-to-treat cancers and reduce the burden of toxicity for young cancer patients.”
For her bravery and determination to help others, Lairab has been nominated for Pride of Birmingham Awards 2018.