Up until last year (2014) I was your typical teenage boy – very active, loved sports and anything outdoors. While playing football on holiday I got tackled quite badly and banged my ribs, I didn’t realise at the time but it was the most important tackle I’ve ever received. I developed a lump on my ribs but instead of getting better over time, it became worse and more painful.
After a few tests we were given the news that nobody wants to hear – Cancer!
On the 18th September 2014 I was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma on my 10th rib – I was just 14 at the time.
During my journey I received 14 rounds of chemotherapy, I had surgery which included removing 3 of my ribs and a 6 week course of radiotherapy. All of these treatments had a dramatic effect on my health. Once my treatment was complete I reached a milestone – ringing the bell on Ward 84 to signal the end of my treatment, I then received a scan date for October 2015 and went home.
My joy was short lived, at my Aunties wedding on 7th August 2015, I began to feel unwell (more so than usual) my parents knew something wasn’t right and so I was taken into hospital for an unscheduled scan. The scan confirmed all of our worst fears; the cancer had relapsed and spread.
Throughout September my Mum, Dad, Brothers and Sisters & family did everything possible to make me feel comfortable and spent every moment of every day by my side. There was a lot of love in my house and a lifetime worth of memories.
On Saturday 26th September, I passed away at home in my mother’s loving arms, aged just 15 years old, surrounded by my loving family and friends. I had a Muslim funeral and was buried on Sunday 27th September 2015. I am at peace now and no longer in pain; from heaven I’m smiling down on you all.
Please support the Zak Vali Foundation so other families can say goodbye to children like me in a really special way.