Ahmed is a 19 year old boy who had a softball sized tumor in his neck compressing his airway, making it hard for him to breathe and threatening his life. He was terrified that he would suffocate and die but was unable to afford care in Iraq. The Iraqi Children’s Project first funded his chemotherapy in Iraq while he was awaiting visa approval, then brought him to Philadelphia for treatment at Jefferson University Hospital. He received state of the art treatment for Hodgkin’s Disease including additional chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and a bone marrow transplant.
His treatment was successful, his cancer appeared cured, and his prognosis is excellent. While he was in Philadelphia, he became friends with many of the medical students and often played soccer with them between classes. As well, he met some fellow Iraqis who were studying at the University of Pennsylvania, and valued having some friends from home nearby.