Friday, February 3

Leukemia child’s wish to be firefighter ‘fulfilled’



KOTA KINABALU: A 13-year-old leukemia patient has not let the scourge of cancer dampen his dream of becoming a firefighter.

Muhammad Faisul Iman Isma Yakub is very passionate about his aspiration despite his condition, said his older sister Farah Lyanna Yakub.

“The fact that he is diagnosed with cancer doesn’t stop him from wanting to help people. He told us he wants to become a firefighter because he wants to help people, especially in times of emergency and disaster,” said the 23-year-old.

Yesterday, Faisul got a taste of his aspiration when a team from the Lintas Fire and Rescue Station visited the Sabah Women’s and Children’s Hospital in Likas, under a programme organised by Children’s Wish Society of Malaysia (CWS).

Faisul, who typically rises at 8 am each morning, awoke at 6 am yesterday in anticipation of the day’s events, according to his sister.

The firefighters arranged for a fire engine ride as well as a fire extinguishing simulation, in which Faisul got to experience using a fire hose nozzle. He was also given the chance to don a fire suit while participating in the activities.

Lintas Fire and Rescue Station senior officer, Rozamshah Rahmat, said Faisul was very happy throughout the experience and showed great enthusiasm.

“From his facial expressions and him telling us his interest in a firefighting career, we could tell how very passionate he is about it,” said Rozamshah, who said that Faisul uttered the words, “Terima kasih abang bomba.”

CWS vice president, Teoh Teik Hoong, said Faisul’s wish was forwarded to the Society by the hospital, with whom they work closely for similar programmes.

Additionally, a surprise advance birthday party was held at the Sekolah Dalam Hospital (SDH), which was attended by Faisul’s family and friends from the palliative care unit.

“This is the happiest day. Everyone came here to celebrate with me. I’m very happy, it’s hard to describe how happy I feel,” said Faisul, when met by reporters during his surprise birthday gathering.

Faisul was diagnosed with Precursor B cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia at the age of six, and has since been receiving chemotherapy treatment at the hospital. He is now on palliative care.