Refugee from Syria fights rare disease in Jordan's Cyber City

04 February 2013

30 January 2013
Cyber City, Jordan

A Palestinian teenager from Syria is battling a rare disease while languishing with his family in Jordan. Faris, 17, is one of many Palestinians forcibly displaced from their homes in Syria to Cyber City, a rapidly-expanding area housing refugees from Syria in northern Jordan.

One of a family of eight from the flashpoint city of Dera’a in Syria, registered Palestine refugee Faris was diagnosed with Hogdkin’s Lymphoma, a cancer of the lymph tissue, at the age of four.

As a Palestinian in Syria, before the conflict Faris was eligible for free medical assistance in Damascus, and has undergone 30 chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments to date. Doctors told parents Kamila and Adnan that their son was doing well, and predicted he had a 90-per-cent chance of full recovery. But the celebrations were cut short with the advent of the conflict two years ago.

Displaced, desperate

Despite their efforts to maintain a normal routine, the risk of violence soon made it nearly impossible for Faris to travel to Damascus for his treatment; exposure to smoke from heavy clashes and bombings in the capital posed a serious risk to his health, as well as a clear danger to any civilian.

In March of last year, the family was finally forced to flee to Cyber City, an industrial area currently housing Palestine refugees from Syria. Since then, 17-year-old Faris and his parents have been struggling to provide for his medical needs without an income. The family’s worst-case scenario came true recently, when Faris had a relapse.

“We must be thankful”

Desperate for help, Kamila and Adnan called on UNRWA. The Agency delivered, covering the substantial expenses needed for medical treatment.

Kamila is grateful for the assistance already given, and hopes that Faris will make the recovery he was promised.

The family is all too aware of the suffering of other refugees from Syria, she says. “We can only be thankful our situation is not as bad as that of others.”

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