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

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Raheen Iqbal from Leith was just four when she was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in August 2014 after experiencing leg pain while walking to daycare.

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

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

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

Recalling his daughter, Mr Iqbal said his “happy and bubbly girl” thoroughly enjoyed 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 handed over the money to Sick Kid’s official charity, hoping it will be used to buy toys for the young hospital patients.

Raheen Iqbal at Edinburgh’s Sick Kids Hospital under treatment.

“I have nothing but respect for the children in the cancer ward. They undergo such harsh treatment, but as long as they have games and toys to occupy themselves with, they just keep going,” Mr Iqbal said.

“My daughter was very strong and resilient, she lost her hair and her mobility due to harsh treatment, but she just kept going.”

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

Deputy Director of Fundraising, Victoria Buchanan, said: “We are extremely grateful to Zahir for choosing to support ECHC and raising such an outstanding amount for the Lochranza district as a loving memory of his daughter Raheen.

Hospital staff of sick children welcomed the donation.

“This phenomenal donation will make a real difference to children, young people and their families who are going through the most difficult times at Edinburgh Children’s Hospital.

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

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