BEIRUT: After a four year battle with leukemia, a bone marrow transplant will set a 23-year-old Lebanese Red Cross volunteer on the path to full recovery. All that stands between him and the procedure is $90,000 in hospital bills, something an online crowdfunding campaign is hoping to help tackle.
Simon Badaoui, a native of coastal town Batroun, began volunteering with the LRC when he was 17. Two years later, he was diagnosed with leukemia, though that didn’t deter him from continuing his volunteering.
“He was coming to the hospital and undergoing treatment while still going to LRC,” said a volunteer with LRC that asked her name be left off the record considering she also works at the hospital. The fellow volunteer described Badaoui as cooperative, helpful, and quiet.
His four-year struggle has been tumultuous as he’s relapsed three times to date and still fears a fourth relapse. That’s why a crowdfunding initiative has been set up to help expedite the process and get him the money needed to get the bone marrow transplant under way.
The campaign has currently raised more than 50 percent of the required $90,000 and more support is expected to flood in as soon as a bank account is set up in the next 48 hours. Once it is available the LRC volunteer said the account number would be shared on social media.
The marrow donor is Badaoui’s brother and the there is a 100 percent match in their bone marrow, but complications are still in the realm of possibility. Should the transplant be a success, as expected, the recovery process is just the beginning of a long trek toward recovery.
“The hardest part didn’t begin yet,” the LRC volunteer said. “Psychologically and physically speaking, all the pain of chemotherapy – the nausea and the vomiting – it’s not going to be easy.”
Badaoui and his family were described as being in relatively decent spirits, they still fear the prospect of a fourth relapse before the transplant begins.
“We hope this doesn’t happen but you never know if it can,” said the LRC volunteer.