A MOTHER whose life was turned upside down after being told her one-year-old had leukaemia is getting ready to take on the Birmingham Great Run in her honour.
Amira Mumtaz, from Solihull will be lining up alongside hundreds of others on October 13 to take on the 13.1mile course through the city.
She will be raising funds for Cure Leukaemia which carries out research into the disorder and develop new drugs for patients.
Amira is taking on the challenge in honour of her daughter Aiya who was diagnosed with leukaemia just hours after she was rushed to Heartlands Hospital in 2017.
Amira said: “Aiya had always been a poorly baby who had struggled with different illnesses but we never thought it would be anything too serious.
“We had been to doctor’s so many times and they would say it was something viral and just to go home and keep monitoring her in case it got any worse.”
But one fateful afternoon saw a dramatic turn of events as Aiya turned the same colour as the laminate flooring and she was rushed to the doctors then onto hospital for blood tests.
Amira added: “The doctor said he wanted her to go for a blood test, and that was when I thought it must be something I’ve done, because I am anaemic and vegetarian.
“I had been giving Aiya meat substitutes but I was thinking, ‘oh god, because of this I have made her ill’.
Sadly however everything was not fine.
Within hours Aiya along with her parents were rushed to Birmingham Children’s Hospital for further tests to confirm the diagnosis.
She started her treatment within days and was in hospital for almost nine months as she suffered with infections including sepsis and a broken leg as her bones became weak.
In July, two-and-a-half years since the starting treatment, the four-year-old rang the bell at Birmingham Children’s Hospital to signify its end.
Amira said: “Every parent will say their child has gone through a rocky ride, but Aiya has certainly had it really tough.
“It has been such a rollercoaster, but she has just come through everything though in such an incredible way.
“She is so young, still only four, but the best way I can explain it is that she thinks all of this is just normal.
“And in a way, I am glad.
“She doesn’t understand how strong she has been or the enormity of what she has gone through.
“When she was poorly, she just knew she would have to go to the ‘nice hotel’ which was Waterfall House at Birmingham’s Children Hospital, or if she’s got to have a chest x-ray, or another procedure, she would know exactly what was coming and just get on with it.”
Her brother Zain, who has been diagnosed with autism and ADHD, would often go to his grandparent’s house while Aiya was in hospital.
He was given counselling and therapy to help him cope with the situation.
Amira said: “He has had to grow up so much, and that is hard to take as a parent when you just want him to be enjoying his childhood.
“I do look back and think how on earth we have all managed to get through this, but also, many times, I have thought about why I am sitting there crying when my two children have been so incredible.”
For more or to donate visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/amira-mumtaz