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A Royal gesture worth emulating

Feb 01,2014 - Last updated at Feb 01,2014

On his birthday Thursday, His Majesty King Abdullah chose to pay a visit to young patients receiving treatment at the King Hussein Cancer Centre in Amman.

Accompanied by Her Majesty Queen Rania, the King spent some time with the children, whom he described as “brave cancer patients” and a source of inspiration for their courage.

“Just visited the children at the King Hussein Cancer Centre. Am truly humbled and inspired by their courage. May God always be with them,” the King tweeted shortly after the visit.

“Want to thank all the staff at the centre for their tireless efforts in caring for the patients and making it a global centre of excellence,” added the King, who presented these children and other patients at the centre with tablet computers.

The fact that the King chose this humanitarian visit for his 52nd birthday is so telling.

The visit is symbolic as the centre carries the name of a man so dear to the hearts of all Jordanians: King Hussein. It was called Al Amal (hope) Centre when it opened in 1997 as a non-governmental, non-profit centre dedicated entirely to cancer care. The name was changed in 2002 to honour the late King Hussein, who died of cancer in 1999, with the new name implying full Royal support for the project, which has ever since been expanding its activities and scope. Currently an expansion of the centre is under way at a cost of $186 million.

And most importantly, the King visited the centre on his birthday to offer comfort and encouragement to those young patients who are fighting for the chance to have a normal life just like other children. The King avoided all the celebratory fanfare that many other leaders have on their birthdays and chose to spend part of it with these children, opting to have a private celebration later with his family as depicted by a photo posted on various social media sites.

It was also a manifestation that the King was celebrating his birthday with a small segment of his larger Jordanian family that needs his and other people’s support, both moral and material.

Many can support cancer patients in their battle against the disease by extending a helping hand to the KHCC, which has been doing its best to offer all it can to its patients since its establishment.

Individuals and groups can donate for the expansion project by calling the KHCC at 06/5544960 or visiting www.cancerpledges.com.

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