Edinburgh Sick Kids Hospital presented with £21k by dad who lost daughter, 10, to cancer

A grieving father who lost his daughter to cancer has helped other children fighting the same illness by donating £21k to a children’s cancer ward.

By Shona Elliott
Wednesday, 24th November 2021, 8:05 am

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Raheen Iqbal from Leith, was only four when she was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in August 2014 after suffering from pain in her legs while walking to nursery.

After a six-year battle with cancer, including three relapses and extensive chemotherapy, Raheen died in August 2020, aged just 10.

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Raheen Iqbal in Edinburgh's Sick Kids Hospital undergoing treatment.

The tragic loss of Raheen is felt deeply by her whole family, including father Zahir Iqbal, 46, mother Aisha Zahir, 37 and younger brothers, Yahya, seven, and Hasaan, four.

Remembering his daughter, Mr Iqbal said his “happy and bubbly girl” took great joy from playing with dolls while undergoing “harsh” chemotherapy treatments at Edinburgh’s Sick Kids Hospital.

In memory of Raheen, the grieving father has raised £21,188 by climbing Ben Nevis.

This week Mr Iqbal presented the cash to Sick Kid’s official charity, in the hope that it will be used to buy toys for the young inpatients.

Raheen Iqbal with father Zahir Iqbal, 46, mother Aisha Zahir, 37 and younger brothers, Yahya seven and Hasaan, four.

“I have nothing but respect for the children on the cancer ward. They are going through such harsh treatment but as long as they have games and toys to occupy them they just carry on as normal,” said Mr Iqbal.

“My daughter was very strong and resilient, she lost her hair and her mobility through harsh treatment but she just carried on as normal.”

Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity (ECHC) said the cash will make a real difference to the Sick Kid Hospital’s patients.

Deputy director of fundraising, Victoria Buchanan said: “We are enormously grateful to Zahir for choosing to support ECHC and raising such an outstanding amount for the Lochranza ward in loving memory of his daughter Raheen.

Sick Kids Hospital Staff delighted to receive donation.

“This phenomenal donation will make a real difference to children, young people and their families going through the toughest of times at Edinburgh’s children’s hospital.

“We could not continue our vital work without wonderful supporters like Zahir and we would like to say a huge heartfelt thank to him and his family and friends for their incredible dedication and kindness.”

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