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October, a Celebration of Hope
 
I always knew I wanted “to help people” and, as clichéd as it may sound, healthcare seemed the obvious choice of a noble vocation. A dentist by profession my career over the years has taken me from medicine to corporate and now, philanthropy. What I never imagined was how rewarding managing our breast cancer program at Al Jalila Foundation would be. Through Brest Friends I have met the most incredible, brave, inspiring women who have fought the toughest fight of their lives and have come out of it stronger, more determined and with an unwavering commitment to help other women in the same situation.  
 
And just like that, October is here again bringing with it a wonderful outpouring of support from the community eager to do their part to support breast cancer patients in the UAE. We are delighted to see so many new partners come on board who have discovered Al Jalila Foundation’s work, and have been inspired to create #PINKtober events widening our circle of hope.
 
We are overjoyed to see the return of our partners who are consistently at the forefront of the fight against breast cancer and unfailingly, every year, lend their hearts and voices to champion the cause. These partners include schools mobilising their students to raise awareness; government organisations sponsoring campaigns; and corporates taking charge to lead fundraising initiatives. Some of the greatest highlights of the month are the #PINKtober sports events that have become a fixture on the calendar like the IGNITE Pink is Punk and the ADCB Pink Run; and we welcome newcomer XDubai’s Spartan Women’s Race.
 
#PINKtober draws greater crowds every year proving that support for the cause is steadfast and we are encouraged that the commitment continues to grow beyond October. Until a cure for breast cancer is found we remain united continuing medical research and supporting scientists working tirelessly to stop the disease.
     

Throughout the year, Brest Friends, the longest-standing breast cancer support group in Dubai continues to support survivors and patients, offering a safe space where women can come together to share their experiences which has been proven to be integral to the healing process. Read here about breast cancer survivors who depended on support groups to see them through their treatment.

Thank you for participating in our #PINKtober campaign and we look forward to  working with you to keep the spirit alive throughout the year.
 
Happy #PINKtober!
 
Nihal Aboushousha
Manager – Partnerships & Sustainability
Al Jalila Foundation
 

Emirati Journalists Shine Light on Mental Health 
 
Nahid Al Naqbi and Iman Ben Chaibah have successfully completed the Rosalynn Carter Mental Health Journalism  Fellowship program and graduated in the presence of former US First Lady Rosalynn Carter at the annual fellows meeting held in Atlanta recently. The program is the first mental health fellowship program for journalists in the Middle East launched in the UAE in 2016 by Al Jalila Foundation.
     
Journalists have immense power to inform, educate and influence society and their support is essential to raise awareness and create a dialogue about mental health in the region. The open dialogue ensures that people with mental illnesses are not marginalized, giving them the courage to seek help knowing that they are supported.
 
Rosalynn Carter said “These fellows can reshape how media in the Middle East covers one of the most significant, misunderstood public health problems.”

Click here to read more.
Transforming Lives
 
Sarah has renewed hope. 

Sarah, a high school art teacher from the UK, had been living in Dubai for 4 years when much to her shock she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
 
As an expat woman living alone in Dubai with no family support, Sarah continued working full-time and relied on colleagues and friends who helped her with transport and hospital visits throughout her treatment. Although the necessary chemotherapy treatments began immediately, she was shocked and overwhelmed to discover that her insurance coverage reached the limit
half way through her treatment and she needed an alternative means to fund the double mastectomy followed by 6 weeks of daily radio-therapy.
 
The added stress of finding money for treatment was very challenging and so she began to research charities in the UAE to help and this is when she discovered Al Jalila Foundation. With the support of Al Jalila Foundation Sarah was able to receive life-saving breast surgery and is now in remission.
 
“All of the doctors and nurses I have met in the UAE have been amazing. So knowledgeable, professional, caring and supportive. I do not think I could have had better healthcare anywhere else in the world. Dealing with cancer is physically, emotionally and financially challenging and having the support from Al Jalila Foundation contributing to my surgery was a huge help. Having to not worry about being able to pay for surgery meant I could focus more on staying positive, recovery and moving forward.”
Shaping the Future

Teachers empowering the nation.
 
October 5th marked World Teachers Day, which was established by UNESCO as an occasion to highlight teaching related issues through ‘appreciating, assessing and improving the educators of the world’. Poetically, the 2018 World Teachers Day theme ‘The right to education means the right to a qualified teacher’, coincides with the 5th anniversary of our flagship program, Ta’alouf (‘harmony’ in Arabic), which offers training to both parents and teachers of children of determination.
 
Through Ta’alouf Teachers Training, Al Jalila Foundation aims to empower children of determination by equipping teachers and principals with skills to broaden inclusivity in their classrooms by meeting each student’s individual learning needs. The complimentary program is open to teachers from all nationalities, from government and private schools across the UAE, and is delivered in Arabic and English.

Teachers have remarked how Ta’alouf has strengthened their practice and provided a culture of inclusivity within their schools. Dubai International School said: “As a result of Ta’alouf, we have a clear and shared vision, our policy is better developed, the staff are well trained and all stakeholders are involved. Ta’alouf taught us to be sensitive, empathetic and gave us the ability to identify and meet the needs of children.”
 
The Ta’alouf Teachers Training is now in its 5th cohort with 290 teachers from 55 schools having already completed the program.
Inspiring Innovation

Research transforming treatment. 

Breast cancer is the most common cancer affecting women in the UAE with incidences steadily increasing over the last 3 decades, constituting 38% of all female cancers. These statistics emphasis the vital need for local research to fight the disease.
 
Dr Ghaleb Husseini at American University of Sharjah, is one such UAE-based researcher who is leading a study through an Al Jalila Foundation grant that is focused on improving treatment methods for breast cancer patients.
 
Current practice in chemotherapy requires the use of high drug doses to increase the effectiveness on tumours, which also results in detrimental side effects on healthy cells. These side effects significantly decrease the quality of the life of the patient and result in life-threatening conditions. The project aims to prepare an ultrasound triggered, targeted drug delivery system for breast cancer treatment. The research investigates the ability of the system to increase the effectiveness of chemotherapeutic agents on tumor cells and to decrease their side effects on healthy cells.
 
To date, Al Jalila Foundation has awarded 7 grants for breast cancer research projects, comprising of 26 leading scientists with an investment of AED 2 million.

 
Click here to learn about Al Jalila Foundation research.
Ambassadors of Hope

Happiness is spreading a #HalaHeart.

As one of the nation’s most prevalent illnesses, cardiovascular health is a top priority for Al Jalila Foundation and World Heart Day,  September 29th, saw thousands of people come together to join us in the fight through the #HalaHeart initiative.
 
#HalaHeart is a beautiful home grown initiative inspired by an Emirati heart patient, Hala, to raise awareness on heart disease. Hala suffered from mitral valve prolapse and it was her wish to wake up from surgery to see her doctors and nurses all wearing a crochet heart as an expression of the love and support she felt throughout her medical journey. And so, the #HalaHeart movement began in solidarity with heart patients everywhere.
 
Volunteers came together from across the country to hand crochet hearts to raise funds to fight cardiovascular disease. Supporters wore their heart pins and shared it on social media spreading hope to heart patients and sending the message that together, heart disease can be beaten.
 
With the generosity and support of our donors we have already provided medical aid to 51 heart patients, including 44 children, of various nationalities living in the UAE. One of our remarkable patients, Marwa Al Mamari, was diagnosed with heart disease that led to a transplant and a long road to recovery. Click here to read Marwa's story of hope and courage.
Al Jalila Children’s Fund Setup to Save Young Lives

At Al Jalila Foundation we believe that health is the cornerstone to happiness and every child deserves the opportunity to grow up healthy, dream and realise their potential. Improving the health and well-being of children is a cause close to our hearts and we are proud to partner with Al Jalila Children’s Specialty Hospital, the UAE’s first dedicated children’s hospital, to improve the lives of young patients. The hospital offers a world where every child receives unparalleled paediatric care by some of the best physicians and healthcare professionals in the region. The Al Jalila Children’s Fund will ensure that sick children will receive the treatment they desperately need.

Donate here to help little children realise big dreams.

Tim Hortons’ #SmileCookieUAE Spreads Happiness Across the Emirates

Tim Hortons global #SmileCookie campaign returns to the UAE for the second year in a row in partnership with Al Jalila Foundation to save children’s lives. The proceeds raised from the Smile Cookie support Farah (‘happiness’ in Arabic), the paediatric program that provides life-saving treatment, funds cutting edge research and offers hope to countless children and their families.

Following the success of the 2017 Smile Cookie campaign that raised over AED 337,000, this year it aims to continue spreading smiles with wider consumer reach and raising even more funds to donate to Al Jalila Foundation.

Nilesh Ved, CEO and Chairman, Apparel Group: “We are humbled to be part of this initiative and support the Foundation’s mission to make a difference in children’s lives. We are always in search for opportunities to give back to our community and firmly believe that with our customers' help we can make this possible and effectively raise funds for Al Jalila Foundation.”

Get a smile to give a smile and make a difference
one cookie at a time! The Smile Cookie is available at all Tim Hortons’ outlets across the UAE until 16 October 2018.

Yogafest Dubai Brings Community Together to Empower Children of Determination
 
The Middle East’s most loved wellness festival Yogafest Dubai will return to Dubai Internet City from 15 to 17 November 2018,  with Al Jalila Foundation as the official charity partner.
 
Yogafest is a sustainably managed community wellness event supported by volunteers that brings teachers and students together to support great causes. In its 7th year, Yogafest will welcome more than 5,000 enthusiasts to participate in over 150 sessions centred around yoga, wellness and as always, sustainability.  

New for 2018 is the Ta’alouf Tent a platform for organisations and individuals to share inspirational stories of people who have overcome disabilities to live a life without limits.

To attend Yogafest you can register online with an optional donation. All donations are dedicated to support the Ta’alouf Parents Training program empowering children of determination by providing parents with life changing skills to better support their children with learning disabilities.
 
The festival runs over 3 days from Thursday 7pm-10pm. Friday 9am-7pm and Saturday 8am-6pm with the full ticket allowing access to all classes on a first come first serve basis. Click here to register.

Community Flashes

Al Jalila Foundation relies solely on the support of donors and the community and we pride ourselves on our 100% promise. 100% of donations are invested where it matters, to transform lives. Click here to support our healthcare programs. We promise to make your donation count!

2018 Copyright © Al Jalila Foundation. All rights reserved.

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Al Jalila Foundation · P O Box 300100 · Dubai · United Arab Emirates