“I feel like sometimes God puts you on a certain path. I used to pass by our own cancer center in Jordan on the way to my parent’s house everyday; it never even crossed my mind.”
“As of now, I have two titles; one is as a Princess and my most important title is mother of a cancer survivor. And both titles have to be put to work to do something good,” says Princess Dina at the World Cancer Congress 2018 in Kuala Lumpur.
HRH Princess Dina Mired of Jordan married HRH Prince Mired bin Ra’ad Bin Zeid, a member of the Hashemite dynasty. She has been Director-general of King Hussein Cancer Foundation for the last 16 years. Today she holds the distinction of being the first Arab elected president of the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC).
I have two titles; one is as a Princess and my most important title is mother of a cancer survivor. And both titles have to be put to work to do something good
Such confidence and wisdom stems from Princess Dina exudes confidence and wisdom. She willingly revisits the pain and heartbreak she once felt when her two-year-old son was diagnosed with leukemia 21 years ago.
“During the time of the diagnosis, I was a young mom. That was the last thing on my mind, is that my two-year-old child has cancer. Back in the day, we really didn’t talk about cancer as we so openly do now.”
“I knew something was wrong with my child because he kept on having very flu like symptoms. That’s how it exhibits itself but I certainly didn’t ever think it was cancer.”
“When we heard the news, of course there was shock, disbelief, fear and worry. I scared that I might lose the most precious that I had, my own child."
“There were a lot of tears you can only imagine. But after you do that for a couple of days, that’s when you have to snap out of the sorrow because there’s a child you need to help save,” says Princess Dina.
After nursing her son back to health, over the years Princess Dina fostered optimism and began her research for quality cancer care in Jordan. Beyond her investments in cancer research, she believed the way to provide better cancer care is through teamwork amongst the government, patients and private sectors.
“Many governments shy away from dealing with cancer because they think that it’s complex, difficult, challenging and it’s true! The world of cancer is. You need specific oncology nurses and doctors. The machines are always costing millions. Cancer treatment is costly.”
“Yes, it is a scary disease. Whether it’s complex or not, it is doable. The tools are there but we just have to implement them. And the biggest lesson is to take it one step at a time.”
“When we first started we had to tackle so many elements. It was very overwhelming; we didn’t even know where to start. But I always remind myself that even if you save just one life, it is worth it,” she adds.
Princess Dina smiles as she shares that her son is doing and feeling much better. Thus, as a proud mother to a cancer survivor, she’s out to inspire other cancer patients to never stop fighting.
“My vision as president is for everybody all over the world to have the rightful chance for proper treatment and a cure for cancer eventually. This is what UICC is all about. We want to fight and we want to advocate globally; to help countries work towards convincing their governments to actually implement beneficial policies to fight cancer on all fronts.”
“My message to anyone who is battling cancer, I would like to say that cancer does not mean the end. Seek great treatment, take care of yourself and follow doctor’s orders. Don’t shy away to seek support in family and friends to tell them what you need to feel better,” says Princess Dina.