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Hamza Iskander leaves behind a legacy of hope
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 27 - 01 - 2017

Hamza Iskander was a fighter. Known by all for his infectious smile, he survived multiple heart surgeries as a child. As a college student, he was diagnosed with cancer and he decided to fight cancer with a smile. Through the tough and the easy, through the pain and the comfort, through the happy times in his life and the sad, Hamza Iskander always had a smile on his face and he was always grateful to Allah.
He started the campaign and it caught on in all places of the world, cancer patients repeating his message, "I fight cancer with a smile."
When asked how he was doing, he never said anything but, "Alhamdulillah, all praise and thanks to Allah," – even when he was undergoing chemotherapy.
He spread the message of hope and optimism. He taught us to look at the beautiful things in life and to never give up. He taught us that family was one of the most important blessings we have, and that we should cherish, love, and respect our siblings and parents. I will never forget when I was interviewing him for a newspaper article; in the middle of our discussion his phone rang.
He hesitantly looked at his phone and said to me, "I'm sorry, I have to take this call. If it was anyone else I would not have interrupted our interview, but it's my mom. I have to answer my mom's call."
After battling cancer and recovering, Hamza Iskander graduated from college and he remained active in establishing a support network for cancer patients. He raised awareness on taking a more holistic approach to cancer treatment, involving the mind, spirit, and faith in Allah along with standard medical procedures.
On January 24th, 2017, Hamza Iskander passed away as the result of a chest infection.
On social media, friends, family, admirers, supporters, and fans of Hamza have been posting pictures of his charming smile and sharing their memories of Hamza.
Abdul Wasey Naik wrote, "You inspired a lot of people, strengthened a lot of cancer patients, and taught everyone how to live life to its fullest no matter how hard it gets. You were full of life. You fought and won the battle of cancer with a smile."
"You've left us with a legacy which has touched many souls. Your legacy will remain, we will smile through our pain," wrote Nada Al-Nahdi.
Anas Mukhtar commented, "A man might die but his idea will continue to live forever. May your soul rest in peace Hamza Iskander."


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