It was November 2019 and Khurram and Sarah had just welcomed Imani into the world.
The first month was filled with all the hallmarks of new parenthood – jubilance, exhaustion and a blossoming love for their child.
But their world was turned upside down when Imani was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor at just 5 weeks old.
She underwent emergency surgery, but they were only able to remove about 60% of her tumor.
I prayed. I wept. I purchased my baby’s burial plot.
Then came a phone conversation with an oncologist at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, who said, "I've treated this before, and some people have been cured."
At St. Jude, Imani received chemotherapy that reduced the tumor enough to allow a new surgery to be performed.
The tumor was removed completely.
Families, like Imani's, will never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food.
Slowly but surely, she began to thrive and put on weight with the help of a feeding tube.
She began to roll over.
She began to smile.
After several more months of chemotherapy, Imani is out of treatment and back at home, growing bigger and stronger every day.
Khurram and Sarah are filled with joy and thanks for the milestones they’ve celebrated, milestones they once thought they’d never see: Imani’s first New Year’s, her first Ramadan, her first birthday and more firsts every day.
She has already amazed me in so many ways. I can only imagine what’s coming in the future but whatever she does, of course, I’ll be so proud.