Qatari child defies disease, wins gold medal at art fest
December 13 2017 10:28 PM
Abdulaziz al-Humaidi with his gold medal.
Abdulaziz al-Humaidi with his gold medal.

Doha

Abdulaziz al-Humaidi, a 12-year old Qatari boy living with a generic immune deficiency disorder, has become the first child from Qatar to win a gold medal at the International Festival of Paintings for Paediatric Patients in Ukraine.

Over 1,600 children from around the world entered the third international drawing competition, with Abdulaziz being selected as the winner in 10 to 14-year-old category.

The grade eight student who has been nicknamed ‘Mr Ambassador’ by his friends and family for to his charisma, outgoing nature, and patriotism towards his country.

“I learned about the competition from Dr Mehdi Adeli, one of my doctors. I did not hesitate to enter,” said Abdulaziz. “In addition to allowing me to show my love of painting, participating also let me share my appreciation for the treatment I received at Hamad Medical Corporation while also promoting my country. It is because of the care I have received at Hamad that I am able to live my life without staying in the hospital. I can travel, I can paint, and I can practise my favourite sport – football.”

Abdulaziz said he dedicated his victory to Qatar and to His Highness the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani.

Dr Adeli, a senior consultant in the Allergy and Immunology Department and HMC’s Allergy and Immunology Awareness Programme lead, said he informed his young patient about the competition because he knew of his love for drawing. He said he was confident Abdulaziz would be a good role model who could demonstrate how hobbies like art can positively affect one’s mental well-being.

“Abdulaziz is an excellent example for all of us of the importance of a positive attitude and the strong connection between a positive outlook and good physical health,” said Dr Adeli.

Dr Adeli explained that Abdulaziz has a congenital immunodeficiency disorder. Also known as primary immunodeficiency disease, individuals born with the condition have an immune system that does not produce enough antibodies to fight infection.

After completing his treatment in the United Kingdom, Abdulaziz returned to Doha and has been receiving care at HMC ever since. While he was initially given intravenous proteins, he was later switched to another treatment that allowed him to spend less time in hospital. The new treatment, immunoglobulin therapy, is administered under the skin and is considered a more comfortable and convenient option for most patients.

According to Dr. Adeli, the success of Abdulaziz’s treatment and his ability to effectively manage his condition has resulted in six other children at HMC receiving the same protocol.



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