My Brother’s Battle With Cancer Inspired Us To Help The Needy27 Nov 2020
On Wednesday, my brother Abid would have celebrated his 50th birthday. Unfortunately, he was taken from us on the 18th September 2016, aged 45, after a six-week battle against the scourge that is cancer.
When Abid got diagnosed with cancer, we as a family were ill equipped to deal with it. We didn’t know much about the illness. Imagine our pain having to see Abid’s faculties dramatically disappear over those long and painful 6 weeks. We along with Abid realised that we were not alone in our lack of knowledge about cancer. In fact many within BAME communities had no idea what having cancer meant.
Abid’s dying wish was to set up a charitable foundation to help and support other families suffering from cancer. It is with this in mind that we founded the Abid Bashir Cancer Foundation (ABCF), however Abid said he would only support the Foundation under one condition: that he was to be the first person to donate to the ABCF. He donated a substantial amount to the ABCF and to date is the largest single donor.
Abid was very specific about he wanted the ABCF to do. Not only did he want to help fight cancer and support cancer sufferers, but he also wanted to help spread awareness of it in Muslim and BAME communities.
The aims of ABCF are to provide support in the following 4 areas:
1. Cure research – to fund research looking into the cure of cancer;
2. Care in the UK – to fund existing organisations/charities/hospices that offer palliative care and support to patients and families suffering from cancer;
3. International Cancer Hospitals – eg Imran Khan Cancer Hospital in Pakistan; and
4. Raise awareness – to help spread awareness about cancer specifically amongst BAME communities where knowledge is lacking.
While the Foundation’s main goal has been to raise cancer awareness, this winter it is doing something different.
In accordance with Abid’s wishes, we launched the Abid Bashir Cancer Foundation Winter Appeal. The goal is to collect food and other means of support for the most vulnerable and destitute within our community. Asylum seekers, the homeless and the needy are all among those we wish to support through our efforts.
Already, our family has donated 50 winter care packages to asylum seekers in Glasgow and helped feed the homeless, needy and asylum seekers in Bolton. Now we are looking to expand our efforts in these cities.
For Glasgow, we are holding a drive to put together Winter Care Packages, consisting of food, toiletries, winter wear and COVID-19 essentials for asylum seekers until January 21st.
We are also looking to provide emergency funds to help asylum seekers. These funds will be distributed by local charities and organisations and are intended to help asylum seekers use the money to help them buy essentials. The food vouchers, meanwhile, will be just for halal foods.
Meanwhile for Bolton, we are looking to help the homeless, needy, and asylum seekers by providing them with meals through a street kitchen until January 21st 2021. We will also be donating food to local foodbanks in Bolton.