Never Give Up !!

received_10211073498426923My name is Ahsan Javaid. I was diagnosed at 11 years of age with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) Blood Cancer. The diagnosis was followed by a lengthy stay at the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre in Punjab, Pakistan, more than 100 miles from my home. I spent five years at Shaukat Khanum under treatment for the illness, avoided by friends and some family members who believed that cancer is contagious.
In Pakistan, if you say you have cancer, it destroys your social life,
During my treatment, which included painful spinal injections, I withdrew from school and completed my middle school examination as a private candidate. After being declared cancer free, I returned to school, but because of my classmates’ misconceptions about cancer, I spent much of my time there seated alone in the classroom. I was also discouraged by many people who told me that I was wasting my time and my parents’ money because I would likely die of cancer soon.
Despite this discouragement, I earned a bachelor’s degree in commerce from the Hailey College of Commerce at the University of Punjab, one of the best Business School in South Asia. While earning my degree, I spent my free time and vacations at Shaukat Khanum Memorial Hospital, this time as a volunteer.
Through my experiences and having survived cancer, I felt that I was specifically selected by God to inspire and give hope to others. I needed to encourage the patients to pursue their education and to let them know that they can achieve anything they put their minds.
After graduating university and ready to enter the workforce, still faced discrimination and discouragement, this time from prospective employers who were afraid to hire me because I had cancer.
“Those employers didn’t see qualifications,They only saw that you’ve had cancer.”
I returned to Shaukat Khanum Hospital, where I was hired as a marketing support officer.
In 2014-15, I attended College of DuPage through the Community College Initiative (CCI) program, a U.S. Department of State grant program that supports students for one academic year in the United States.
One of only 79 nominated applicants to participate in the CCI program in Pakistan, almost missed the opportunity because I had an accident resulting life-threatening injuries put me in surgery for six hours and kept me in the hospital for three weeks, without access to email and, consequently, the notification that I had won the grant award.
The whole time I was in the hospital, I was thinking about the scholarship,I had told the children in the hospital about the scholarship and I wanted to inspire them and prove that a cancer patient can achieve anything.
While at COD, I pursued certificates in Consumer Marketing and Organizational Leadership.
Now, I have returned again to Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre, but this time leading a Lahore Region for Sales and Operations of Shaukat Khanum franchises.
My story shows that cancer is indeed curable and with a strong will and determination you can beat anything no wonder if it is Cancer or negative social behavior.
* This story is published on College of DuPage official website as Student Spotlight in 2014