Muhammad Iqbal Shah’s application to extend his studies for a year was approved by his university. The extension was for a reason. Iqbal has to juggle his studies and, at the same time, take care of his younger brother who is being diagnosed with stage four lymphoma cancer. Iqbal, 29, is a third-year Product Design Engineering student at Universiti Malaysia Perlis.
The siblings now stay at their relative’s house in Seri Iskandar, Perak. Since their parents have passed away, they have to fend for themselves. The first time Iqbal extended his studies was due to financial constraint. He was doing odd jobs from June last year till February but had to quit as he had to attend to his 28-year-old brother, Muhammad Ikhwan Shah.
“I noticed the symptoms back in 2016. His glands were swollen. My relatives kept sending him to the clinic but all they did was prescribe him antibiotics. Then, it began spreading to the left and then all over his body. He was officially diagnosed last November. He called me a week before I came back to our home in Parit. When I came back, his stomach and legs were swollen. I immediately brought him to Hospital Raja Permaisuri Bainun, Ipoh,” said Iqbal.
“Ikhwan began chemotherapy treatment in December last year. He was warded at the hospital for three weeks before I decided to stay in Seri Iskandar. I was given a logbook by the doctor to jot down my brother’s progress after each visit. We need to bring the logbook to the hospital each time for the doctors to note down his progress too. Ikhwan has to undergo six chemotherapy cycles, each cycle consisting two sessions,” he continued.
The hospital provides a daycare ward, so patients need not stay at the hospital after a chemotherapy treatment. The monthly expenditure, inclusive of traveling and food, comes to around RM200.
Before being diagnosed, Ikhwan was studying in Kuala Kangsar. He wants to be a religious teacher. His daily routine includes injecting medicine first thing in the morning, more medicines at 8am followed by supplements at 11am. He does light hand exercises. He used to be a lot weaker before but Ikhwan can now walk with a little assistance from big brother.
According to doctors, Ikhwan’s cancer is curable but he requires plenty of tender loving care. The two brothers are optimistic that something good will come and this has raised their hopes.
To date donations and contributions have been coming from well-wishers but they need more to see them through.
Readers wishing to chip in are most welcome to do so. Please remit your donations to Bank Islam Account Number: 08013023681843. If you want to see the brothers personally drop by their place at: No. 24, Jalan Iskandar Bestari 7, Taman Iskandar Bestari, 32610 Seri Iskandar.