OTTAWA: A Pakistani refugee survives cancer thanks to Church fundraisers.
Church fundraisers save a Pakistani Christian from the clutches of cancer. Adding to his dilemma he is a refugee in Canada fleeing from Pakistan. As reported Sam is a Christian seeking refuge abroad from Pakistan. He was diagnosed with cancer but survived because of Church fundraisers supported by generous doctors and hospitals administering him medical facilities for free. He said he was thankful to God when the Federal Court in Canada ruled that he was now allowed for health coverage from the federal government. According to the Federal Court’s ruling several immigrants and others who look for Canada’s protection are no longer be left in misery to face cancer, diabetes, pregnancy, essential surgery and other chronic health conditions alone with no medical assistance.
While expressing his gratitude Sam said, “I just thanked God. I sat on the floor and thanked God last week. I went to Church and prayed and thanked God. When I was in the cancer situation, when Jesus Christ gave me my health back, I talked to my wife and said ‘It’s not only Canada, its heaven. Around me are not just people. They are angels. They help me.’ So I hope this is a good place for me. God bless Canada.”
Sam’s case served as an argument for the Canadian Doctors for Refugee Care and the Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers who were presented before the Federal court. His real name however, is withheld for his security purposes yet was published in the court’s ruling and in several Canadian newspapers. Nevertheless, Sam is worried about the news stories published on the internet can be result in a serious risks to the lives of his wife and five sons in Pakistan. In a his refugee claim, Sam revealed how he was chased and shot by a cleric and two others who demanded he convert to Islam. At the time, in 1996, Sam was the lone Christian teacher at a junior high school in Islamabad. At the present his 20-year-old son is facing similar anxiety as he is being pressurised to convert to Islam if he wants to marry or go to university, he reveals further. At this moment that Sam is a permanent resident in Canada, and he hopes to bring his family to Canada.
Subsequent to the attack in, Sam and his family settled in another city in Pkaistan however he could not remain hidden for long. In 2004, he was found by the same who threatened him earlier in 1996 resulting in his flight from Pakistan to the U.S.A. He was rejected a refugee status in America when he eventually moved to Saskatoon, Canada. Sam fell ill and discovered he had cancer when he reached Canada worsening the situation he became destitute as he paid for the cancer treatment.
At his time of desperation the local churches stepped in to his aid. The director of migration services from the Diocese of Saskatoon Mr. Ellen Erickson fond out that there was just 46 cents in the emergency fund set up years ago to help refugees. The Holy Spirit parish in Saskatoon provided with $10,000 for Sam’s treatment. Royal University Hospital paid for the second round of chemotherapy treatments of Sam. Ultimately the provincial government agreed to pay for Sam’s anti-nausea medication on a one-off basis. Sam has been cancer-free since June and gets tested every four months thanks to generous efforts from the churches and doctors.
“It’s done. Now I’m good, enjoying my good health,” Sam says.