I had the privilege of working closely with her whenever we would receive important guests at the Hospital. I was also involved with her on a couple of fundraising missions
I had the privilege of working closely with her whenever we would receive important guests at the Hospital. I was also involved with her on a couple of fundraising missions. From her, I learned how to push aside my pride and my ego in order to ask boldly people to donate for the cause. She never shied away of approaching the wealthy and famous for the sake of the sick children, her children. God only knows how hard it is to ask the” well to do” for money!
She was never after fame or glory, in fact, in all humbleness and humility she often wished I would replace her in reading official speeches or addressing an official audience. Her only concern was to rally more and more people around the nearest cause to her heart: the cause of the children with cancer. I always wondered how she managed to get the energy and time to be also involved with so many other worthwhile causes like the Association of friends of the National Cancer Institute, the Magdi Yacoub Heart Foundation, the Abou el Reech Children’s Hospital, the breast Cancer Foundation of Egypt, the Special Olympics Foundation………… The truth of the matter is that she could not refuse to extend a helping hand to each and every person soliciting her advice, experience and support in fundraising.
People often ask me how I manage to be working constantly around sick children with cancer, I answer them that it was difficult at the beginning but soon enough you get used to it. For Ola Ghabbour, the daily encounter with the children was a touching, intense and emotional experience she was keen not to miss on. On a daily basis, she would visit the wards and reach out to the children and their families listening carefully to their concerns.
In 2009, we were on a special fundraising mission abroad and she confided in me about her major concern of ensuring a second generation of dedicated men and women who would take up the huge responsibility of sustaining the continuity and advancement of the 57357 institution. Back then, she already felt that the first generation which she was part of was about to leave the stage….To honor her memory, acknowledge her work and efforts, and reassure her on the future of the children and the 57357 institution, we must all join our forces, carry the torch, keep up the good work for the sake of curing the children and ensuring the safeguarding and success of 57357.
Children’s Cancer Hospital Foundation
9 January 2013