Around five weeks ago I was diagnosed with a blood cancer: Acute Myeloid Leukaemia. It has been one of the toughest challenges of my life. Due to the seriousness of the cancer, I was immediately admitted to hospital (St. James' in Leeds) and am now several weeks into a three-month treatment involving a cocktail of chemotherapy and a host of other drugs.
I suppose that people in my situation react in a whole host of ways; some feel utter despair; others, a sudden sense of mortality and most, a bit of everything... As for me, I'm an optimist by nature and while different people look for strength in various places, it's my belief in God and prayer that have carried me through the challenges of cancer.
My name is Kamal and I'm a 32-year old 'Yorkshireman'. I'm an optometrist by profession, but my passion has always been in volunteering. I love working for my charity initiative to offer the gift of sight to sub-Saharan Africans with visual impairments. I've climbed mountains, run marathons, and had the opportunity to raise tens of thousands of pounds for several UK charities. Volunteering is part of whom I am and I was incredibly humbled last year when the UK public voted me as the 2014-2015 Guardian National Volunteer of the year. Over a decade of dedicating my life to volunteering has taught me an important lesson: you are only as desperate as your mind and heart allow you to be!
Cancer, Acute Myeloid Leukaemia in my case, has only deepened my love of volunteering and only heightened my realisation of how important charity is. So I’m challenging myself to complete a very special marathon for charity during my chemotherapy treatment: a marathon while confined to my five square-metre room, armed only with a pedometer and a smile.
And so I'm asking you to sponsor my 'Hospital Marathon'. Help me to raise £50K for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research (LLR). You can help advance the research for a cure, help those suffering from Leukaemia and support their loved ones.
To sponsor me and make payment direct to LLR, please visit my Just Giving page at the following link:
Alternatively you can text LEUK95 + the amount (e.g. LEUK95 £5) to 70070.
A penny or a pound, thank you and God bless.
You can follow me on twitter or contact me by e-mail if you would like to know more about my treatment and Hospital Challenge: