Young leukaemia patient ‘takes control’ of train


(From left) Make-A-Wish volunteer Anke Freitag, royal patron Tengku Zatashah Sultan Sharafuddin Idris, Rapid Rail Monorail Line head of operation Adlan Ezanee Nordin, Mohd Ariffin (in white), Chow with Ahmad Wazif (second from left, first row) and his brother Ahmad Wafiq Mohd Amir (right). — Photos: MUHAMAD SHAHRIL ROSLI/The Star

LEUKAEMIA patient Ahmad Wazif Mohd Amir, seven, got a feel of what it is like to become a rail engineer when Make-A-Wish and Prasarana treated him to train rides on the MRT, LRT and monorail lines.

Ahmad Wazif, who was diagnosed with B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in 2017, was given a chance to experience being behind the wheel of a moving train when he was given access to the driver’s compartment.

There, he was also allowed to place his hand atop the driver’s as the latter moved the cab controller.

He was also given the opportunity to press the announcement and door control buttons.

Timid and overwhelmed by the cameras and onlooking crowd at first, his shyness ebbed as he proceeded from one station to the next.

The second of three siblings, Ahmad Wazif has always been fascinated with trains, said his mother Sazrina Ramli, who uses public transport to take him for medical treatments to Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Centre from their home in Semenyih. They board at the MRT Kajang station and alight at the Taman Midah stop.

“He looks forward to trains rides so much that he will wake up early to go to the hospital, ” said Sazrina.

His parents first noticed his fascination for trains when he started doing sketches during his chemotherapy sessions about three years ago.

Kuala Lumpur Monorail Line transit officer Ramli Masdar showing Ahmad Wazif the controls.Kuala Lumpur Monorail Line transit officer Ramli Masdar showing Ahmad Wazif the controls.

“The train sketches are very detailed and included track patterns, routes and station names, ” said his father Mohd Amir Mohd Azir, a system analyst who is currently pursuing a doctorate degree.

One of Ahmad Wazif’s drawings is printed at the back of Make-A-Wish T-shirts.

To make Ahmad Wazif’s wish come true, Prasarana treated him, his parents and two siblings to rides on the monorail, MRT and LRT lines, starting from the monorail station at Jalan Imbi and ending at the KL Sentral LRT station.

The two-day programme also saw him being taken on a tour of the Kelana Jaya LRT line depot to see how the trains are assembled, washed and maintained.

During the ride, Rapid Rail Monorail Line chief operating officer Mohd Ariffin Idris took Ahmad Wazif aside and gave the child his business card.

Mohd Ariffin was also heard telling Ahmad Wazif that he should call him when he was ready to join the public transport company, promising that he would ensure a place for him.

The company chief then carried the boy in his arms and proceeded to show him the daily routes traversed by the trains.

Make-A-Wish Malaysia chief executive officer Irene Tan said it was a blessing to collaborate with Prasarana throughout the whole process of making Ahmad Wazif’s wish come true.

“Every wish differs and we hope to be able to continue granting them as there are about 20,000 Malaysian children who are diagnosed with critical illnesses, ” she said.

Also present were Selangor princess Tengku Zatashah Sultan Sharafuddin Idris, the royal patron of the non-profit organisation, chairman Chow Mei Mei and vice-chairman Datin Linda Ngiam.

After the tour, Ahmad Wazif, his family and Make-A-Wish volunteers were treated to lunch.


   

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