Meet Faizal Khamisa, an on-air television anchor for Sportsnet. Devoting his life for his passion of sports, Faizal has a large place in his heart for the Sick Kids Hospital and Foundation. Why? because at age 16, he was diagnosed with cancer.
Faizal was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma, a type of cancer which created a tumor to grow on his heart. Despite the current situation he was in, Faizal decided he wasn't going to stop his education. He completed his entire final year of high school while undergoing chemotherapy. While losing all of his hair and feeling helpless through the initial phases of the treatment also came a sense of motivation. He looked around and saw many families and kids much younger going through an even more difficult situation. This is when Faizal knew cancer wasn't just a disease, but a motivation to work even harder and vowed to give back when and if he got in the position to do so.
Between school and majority of his time spent at the hospital or at home, Faizal amazingly completed his high school education and was accepted into the University of Western Ontario. Entering first year university, the chemotherapy treatment was still in progress. 2 days before heading to London, Ontario, Faizal was only just leaving bed rest and was re-learning how to walk again. He says it wasn't easy and was still trying to figure out how to be himself again. Being diagnosed with cancer didn't stop him from setting goals and trying to achieve them. As sports was a huge passion to Faizal, he started "The Sport Sofa" which ran off his Facebook feed and eventually evolved into a high traffic series including a blog, videos, podcasts, and editorials. Taking his passion to the next level, he applied to the College of Sports Media and before graduating in 2013, Faizal was offered a job at The Score as an On-Air Personality for Sportsnet.
Not forgetting his vow to give back when he was in a position to do so, Faizal still remembers his time at Sick Kids and all the kids receiving treatment for life threatening illnesses. Still to this day battling the side effects with on going surgeries and even a full hip replacement in 2014, he's created a campaign with a mission to put smile on every kid at the Sick Kids.
June 1st, 2016 marks the day Faizal has been declared Cancer Free for 9 years. He's been personally making annual donations to the Cancer Society since he was declared cancer free but this year Faizal decided he was going to do more. It's always been important to him to keep the environment feeling the way he did when he was a patient and continuing to keep the resources available to add joy to the patients lives. This month he'll be collecting toys for the kids and monetary donations for him to purchase the toys on behalf of the campaign.
All June I’m going to collect toys, colouring books, stickers etc. and in July we’re going to go to Sick Kids, and drop them off.— Faizal Khamisa (@SNFaizalKhamisa) June 1, 2016
In July, Faizal will be delivering the toys personally to Sick Kids. Faizal says, "I've never forgotten what I saw 11 years ago. I'm trying to help add some brightness to the lives of the kids, who deserve a lot more then that." We're glad there's people like you out their Faizal. Not many people have gone what you've gone through, accomplished what you have, and trying to create a better future for others. I'm sure we can speak for everyone when we say, Thank You Faizal Khamisa!
For more information or to donate to his campaign. Click Here.