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Meet Karen

July 2017

It was a beautiful summer day in Beirut when Karen first met Nour Arida; after following her for months on Instagram. “I am excited for our shoot today, especially with Nour, and it’s actually the first time I do a photoshoot.” – she said on the way to meet Nour.

A supporter of the Children’s Cancer Center of Lebanon (CCCL), and an admirer of the heroes there, Nour had been meticulously planning the shoot and preparing for months.

Walking the beautiful streets of Downtown Beirut side by side, confident and happy, nevertheless shy from turning people’s heads around, Karen has indeed come a long way:

Few days after celebrating New Year 2016, Karen had high fever that didn’t drop for more than 2 weeks!

Worried, her parents contacted the doctor and after some tests, the doctor confirmed 15-year-old Karen had cancer, Leukemia specifically.

She was quickly admitted to the Children’s Cancer Center of Lebanon (CCCL)'s inpatient facility for treatment and had to stay for 2 months, missing school and her friends.

It was a major change which was hard for Karen to bare and she needed all the support she could get.

Once vibrant and healthy with long thick hair, now pale and tired, with a totally new look… missing her hair. It wasn’t easy for Karen to face the world with her new reality, with her new battle against cancer. She stayed in her room all the time and refused to meet or play with anyone at the center.

Especially that her treatment wasn’t easy: she also survived a bone marrow transplant in August 2016.

However, thanks to the support of everyone at CCCL, the days passed and Karen responded well to her treatment and became stronger than ever. She started participating in all the activities at the center, making new friends and even studied while taking treatment at CCCL and sat for her official Brevet exams, just like all her friends; and passed with distinction and emerged stronger than ever!

More than a year and a half since her diagnosis, Karen has grown to become a confident, beautiful young lady ready to face the world and happy she’s finishing treatment later this year 2017.

During the photoshoot, Karen was a natural: taking poses with Nour, smiling and laughing!

A blessed recovery to Karen and thanks to Nour for making such a huge difference and to the Children’s Cancer Center of Lebanon (CCCL) and all supporters for contributing in saving kids’ lives and celebrating hope!

For 15 years already, CCCL provides the best treatment to kids with cancer at no cost to the parents and only dependent on donations, with an average cure rate of 80%. Needs are incredibly high reaching 15 million USD every year to continue treating kids.

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