On September 10, 2004, a little angel called Mariam Hamed from Palestine passed away in Mayo Clinic, Minnesota, following a three-year determined battle of treatment against cancer in Rambam Hospital in Haifa. As a Palestinian cancer patient’s family, the Hamed family had to go through a great lot of obstacles and hardships due to the lack of resources available for the Palestinian community, let alone the distorted image the community has regarding cancer and cancer patients. Through the cancer journey, the Hamed family had been witnessing other families facing literal misery and paradoxes: death and life; tears of joy and sorrow; and the unaffordability and unavailability of treatment.

Having to witness and live such an experience, Mariam’s eldest brother, Mohammad, who was always by her side, and was only 15 when she rested to eternal peace, by her side all the time, Mohammad decided that something must be changed as from pain arises hope. Mariam’s death made him vow to change this situation for no other cancer patient will have to go through what his sister and family had to go through. Until he reached the legal age of 22 at which he can establish a nonprofit, he volunteered, individually, in supporting cancer patients, and wrote a booklet about the journey of his sister’s fighting cancer, which he ended with a promise to establish the Mariam Foundation to help cancer patients in their treatment journey, along working on the way the local community perceive and talk about cancer.

In 2012, after reaching the legal age, and after 7 years of extensive planning and studying on how to establish a nonprofit, Mariam Foundation was officially established making it the first Arab nonprofit for fighting cancer in the country. Since then, Mariam Foundation has been offering its services to every human being regardless of their ethnicity or background. Mariam Foundation offers cancer patients and their families 360-degree support and care of their wellbeing to facilitate their cancer treatment and battle. Mariam Foundation has become more of a second home for cancer patients, and the main address for support. Mariam Foundation offers numerous services to cancer patients including an array of both financial and emotional support; security of medical treatments that are not covered by medical insurances; daily companions for children cancer patients in hospitals; and many more.

Over the years, the foundation has built strong bonds and partnerships with hospitals and healthcare services around the country, becoming the main, most reliable nonprofit for these institutions and the institutional medical system, which contributed to gaining a huge trust and following in the community as reflected in active interaction with the foundation’s news, events and activities.

At the same time, Mariam Foundation works on raising awareness of cancer and the significance of early detection through medical conferences, festivals, lectures delivered by specialists at the foundation, hospitals, clubs, schools and more, and to tremendous and distinct segments of society. Those objectives are fulfilled by tailored projects designed to meet the exact needs of cancer patients and audience, were carefully planned to make patients feel at home, and not fear cancer. On contrary, our projects are not limited to only support and help cancer patients, but rather to entrench the notion of victory against cancer, which is not less important than the treatment itself, yet a fundamental part of it.