Suffering Children and the Drawers of Happiness*

It is 10 km to the school. The place is in a sunny and dry village in Yemen. The road is rough. No transportation service to take the children to their schools. This is the road that my children walk through to school. Three years of suffering from this distance to learn. Not just the distance but also the weather, and people teasing because my children have lamellar ichthyosis. Most of the people refuse to shake my children hands or hug them. They are afraid of such disease. This makes my children feel ashamed. The weather, in addition to the people, also hurts my children. As a father, there is nothing to do to help my children. It is difficult to stop people and we have no money to buy medical drugs to treat my children or at least to fight the weather.

What I can do is just to support my children how to deal with people teasing, laughing or walking away from them. The biggest difficulty we faced was the weather and the needing for money to buy drugs at least to help my children handle the weather, because my financial status is very critical. I have no salary. My country is in a war and both sides refuses to give us our salaries. So I decided to research for treatment or any solution that helps me to take care of my children on the internet. Suddenly, my heart started dancing and a smile was on my face. Do you know why? Because I was reading the FIRST website. The solution was there.

I sent them the first message for clarification. I did not believe the reply. They said yes you can apply. Still I was in a doubt. In May last year, they sent me a fund. Do you know what happened after that? On that day, I and my wife did not sleep because of happiness. My children lives changed along the previous year. We bought them the drugs and the medical preparation they need. Yes there was no cure for this disease but their lives changed. The previous year, They went to their school with happiness on their face. I hope this happiness continues this year.

Finally, my message to the donors. Your donations draw smiles on our children faces. If you do not see it or feel it, we feel it and we see it on our children faces. Continue your donations to FIRST. You and FIRST are the drawers of happiness on the children faces all over the world.

Ahmed's family was awarded funding through the Diya & Aliya Friends financial aid fund.






Diya & Aliya’s Friends (DAF) FundDonations to Diya & Aliya's Friends (DAF) Fund are always appreciated and enable FIRST to make this fund available to more of our members.

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*The Article, A drawer full of happiness, was published by Aanchal Jagnani on March 25th 2018 in the Hindu. The author, who was a marketing student, describes the happiness of seeing the old things in the drawer of an old dressing table after 25 years.
The lesson tells the story of two sisters who used to live in village with their grandparents, but moved to town with their parents after some time, then returned to their village. They found an old drawer that had been locked up for more than 25 years.

When they finally opened it, they found their old wooden dolls, discarded mascara, etc. and they were so fascinated and happy by seeing the items and could not help but remember their childhood memories.
The narrator wants to say through this incident that sometimes our happiness is within us locked and all we need to do is to unlock it.

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Neither FIRST, its Board of Directors, Medical & Scientific Advisory Board, Board of Medical Editors, nor Foundation staff and officals endorse any treatments listed here.  All issues pertaining to the care of patients with ichthyosis should be discussed with a dermatologist experienced in the treatment of their skin disorder.

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