In the past month, Donald has graduated from middle school in the top 15% of his class, passed his national exams with flying colors, and enrolled extra classes to prepare for secondary school. They were milestones his father once feared his son would never see because, since March, Donald has been fighting cancer at Bugando Medical Centre.

“When we were about to come to Bugando, there were people who came to say goodbye. Three of his teachers came and they encouraged him, and Donald even cried because he was so good in school. So when he saw that he was getting sicker and that his peers were continuing in their studies without him, then he really cried. But now his dreams are coming back.”

During the first rounds of treatment, Donald was too sick to continue his studies. But after several long and challenging weeks in the hospital, he moved to the iCCARE hostel where he lives between cancer treatments. There, he loves to spend his afternoons with the hostel nurse, Donatha, and teacher, Jacqui, pouring over books and math problems (his favorite). “We have to give him extra homework because he just loves to study,” Donatha says.

Last month, the entire hostel celebrated with him when he passed his national exams—complete with a dance party—and Donatha helped him to enroll in a nearby school to continue his studies, even as he lives far from home. As he finishes treatment, Donald is making big plans for his future: “When I’m an adult, I want to be a doctor. Then I can help others.”