Just a few days before I left the UK for good back in January, a few representatives from the United Kingdom Lymphoma Association came to my house in Sheffield. I was one of the few people who had volunteered to be interviewed by the Lymphoma Association for the production of their latest video clip. The video is aimed at raising the awareness of the general public on the signs and symptoms of Lymphoma, a disease that seems to be on the rise lately.
I rang the Lymphoma Association about a month before the actual interview regarding my intention to volunteer and be part of the cast of the video. The criteria was quite specific; they were looking for people between the age of 15-30 years old who have had the experience of suffering from lymphoma. I knew then, that they needed people like me to volunteer. And so I did.
Lymphoma Association UK
A few days prior to the recording of the video, I was in two minds on whether I should proceed with the interview or not. This was due to the latest news I received from my doctor regarding my condition. Disappointed and gutted I was with this latest news, I was concerned that I might not be in the right frame of mind for the interview.
But I knew that being part of this video is important for me. Raising awareness on the disease, so that other people wouldn't have to thread on the same path as mine.
And thus I decided, that the show must go on.
Do You have These Symptoms?
All the other participants in this video are currently in remission from their disease. Some have been in remission for almost 10 years, another has been in remission quite recently. They are all cancer survivors, and they shared their experience after having successfully battled against their disease.
So when the team members of Lymphoma Association found out just a few minutes before the interview started that my cancer has relapsed, they were in silence. One of the crew member, politely asked;
"Mas, you don't have to do this interview if you don't feel like it. We perfectly understand it."
Even at that moment, I was still in two minds. But I know there can be only one answer. I told myself,
"These people came from a 4-hours travel to Sheffield just to do my interview. Without their effort and initiative, there will be a lot of people out there who will remain in the unknown about lymphoma. The time, money and energy that they spent might just save a lot of people's lives."
Ohh, silly me. Why should I let my emotions get over me? Come on Afzal, you are not going to let your disease take over you, are you?
"Don't worry Dave, I'm fine. I've been looking forward to do this interview." I smiled, and they reciprocated, saying
"You are one tough man, Mas."
I smiled again. "I hope I am Dave. I really hope so."
And today, having seen this video, I breathed a sigh of relief and thanked Allah. I hope a lot of people out there, will benefit from it. Although it may just be a short video, I'm sure the effect will be massive. Insha Allah.
Prevention is always better than cure!