My dad was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia in March 2016. It was the year of my wedding; marred by pain and uncertainty for my family, who hoped, begged and prayed for a miracle recovery for my incredible father.
He is a man who has worked hard, struggled for his happiness and succeeded by all measures of the word’s meaning. He came to Australia from Egypt at the age of 30 with my mother. They were newlyweds and Australia was their honeymoon; a home away from home that would mark the start of a long, happy life away from the religious wars and persecution that their home-country offered them.
Dad worked three jobs when they arrived, almost never sleeping to help provide and set up a life for his two children. I don’t recall a second as a child where I was disappointed about the life I had. He and Mum gave my sister and me everything.
It wouldn’t matter if he worked 24 hours as long as he could provide. He never asked for a single thing. He still doesn’t; always favouring our comfort above his own.
Dad was a man born with responsibility and duties to fulfil. His mum passed away when he and his brothers were still young and when she died, he became both mother and father to his brothers. He worked hard to ensure they would get premium schooling, marry and move on to live full lives themselves.
Family to Dad was and is everything, so when, after years of toil, he was diagnosed with leukaemia, he would fight. If for nothing else, he’d do it for his family, who couldn’t and can’t imagine a happy day in this life without him in it.