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Mum calls on Ilford to help Maira fight cystic fibrosis

11:15 21 September 2016

Maira in the Texan children's hospital where she is currently staying.

Maira in the Texan children's hospital where she is currently staying.

Iqbal Junaid

The family of an Pakistani girl who featured in the Recorder last year are hoping to raise nearly £2 million for their daughter’s operation.

Ruthba Amin with her daughter Aqsa who also has cystic fibrosis.Ruthba Amin with her daughter Aqsa who also has cystic fibrosis.

Maira Junaid’s story came to light last year when Ruthba Amin, of Cedar Close, Ilford, set up a campaign to raise money for her to be flown to Britain to seek treatment.

Maira, 8, suffers from cystic fibrosis, as does Ruthba’s daughter Aqsa, and it soon became clear that she would need an operation in order to lead a healthy life.

Because the NHS gives priority to British citizens Ruthba is now trying to raise more awareness and money so that Maira can undergo a double lung transplant in America.

“I am so grateful for the NHS and wonder ‘what if that was me, and that was my daughter?’” Said Ruthba.

Maira shows she's still a happy child despite her illness.Maira shows she's still a happy child despite her illness.

“I look at Maira as though she is my daughter and wish for her the same as I wish for Aqsa and Lana.”

“That she gets to run around like every other child and gets to go to school to learn and play.”

Through social media campaigns and the help of Pakistani news stations, the Junaid family were able to raise $100,000 to deposit with the transplant centre.

However the operation alone will cost £1 million and a further £800,000 is needed to pay for anti-rejection medicines which are crucial for surviving the transplant.

“It’s a lot of money to spend on one person but if it was my child I would go to the ends of the earth and back if I knew it would save them, and so I put myself in Maira’s parents shoes,” said Ruthba.

“No parent should have to be in that situation where there is a treatment available but due to financial reasons you cannot access it,” said Ruthba. “Every life matters, no matter where you are in the world.”

If you would like to donate money towards Maira’s operation visit patients.transplants.org/mairajunaid.

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