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Dhs11,000 donated for diabetes as birthday gift
By Ashraf Marhally March 11, 2015
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DUBAI: Pamela Durant is an American national who has been living and working in Dubai with her family for ten years. On her birthday, she decided to do something unusual. She invited her friends to celebrate the occasion with her husband, Dr Sarper Tanli, a medical services consultant. Pamela told everyone that she does not need gifts but cash money. After she collected around Dhs11,000, she donated the money to the Society of Friends of Diabetes, which is concerned with the awareness of diabetes at the Health Education Department at the Supreme Council for Family Affairs in Sharjah.

She said that she did so to send a message to her community about the necessity and importance of volunteer work and about the need to raise awareness of diabetes, especially Type 1 Diabetes, which affects children. Her remarkable initiative is marked by the fact that her 7-year-old son was diagnosed with diabetes since he was 20 months, although none of the two families has a history of the disease, but as she said it was the will of Allah.

Iman Rashid, Head of the Health Education Department at the Supreme Council for Family Affairs, Khawla Al-Haj, Head of the Society of Friends of Diabetes and her Deputy, Dr Elham Al Amiri, Head of the Diabetes and Endocrine clinic at Al Qassimi Hospital, who follows up with Pamela’s son, in the presence of all the members of the Society invited Pamela to the Council Headquarters to thank her for taking the initiative. They honoured Pamela on Monday morning at the Supreme Council for Family Affairs.

Al Amiri thanked Pamela on the move which is needed by all the local community, away from the material interest, but rather for the moral result embodied in raising communal awareness. This is the goal each society focuses on. Al Amiri wished that Pamela would be a model for every member in the community.

Pamela said that if someone wants to change something in the world, they should start with themselves and not rely on others. She added, “I divide my duties between my practical life and being a mother of a child with diabetes. In the first days of discovering the disease, I took a long leave from my job to stay with him until I became accustomed to his new situation. I advised mothers of children with diabetes to familiarise themselves with it, to learn how to deal with it, and more importantly, not to make a child with diabetes feel fear or discomfort. Instead, diabetes should be dealt with like any other habit which the child should be taught how to handle.”

On the other hand, Iman Rashid and Khawla Al Haj honoured Obaid Tunaiji, the Goodwill Ambassador, for his donation of Dhs20,000 to the Society.

Tunaiji always contributes to the programmes and activities of the Society of Friends of Diabetes. He said that the donating is a national, social and humane duty, not something imposed on the people of this good country. He added that Allah has blessed him with a lot of blessings and it was his duty to help any needy person.

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