"Maram Solidarité"… a mother’s battle!

"Everyone worries about getting cancer, but no one ever thinks it could happen to their child. My daughter Maram was two years old when she was diagnosed with terminal cancer. When she was diagnosed, I wished with all my heart I could have it instead of her," remembers Manel Gharbi.

How would you introduce yourself, Manel?

It’s hard to know how to introduce myself... Whether as vice-President of the charity "Maram Solidarité", as a Tunisian woman brimming with life and love, or as a mother grieving the loss of her child...
I’ll introduce myself as all of them, because I am first and foremost a WOMAN but also a mother and the founder of a paediatric cancer charity.


maram solidarité tunisie femme
International Solidarity Week 2015: a day spent with the charity "Maram Solidarité" at Institut Salah Azaeiz hospital in Tunis.


Could you tell us your story?

When we were told that our daughter was sick, our world came crashing down. We were happy, we had an older daughter, Malek, who was 4, and 2-year old twins, Fares and Maram. We couldn’t afford to take our daughter abroad for treatment. My husband and I did everything we could, we created a charity and raised 300,000 Euros in just two months. A lot of people from around the world made donations, and Orange Tunisia was the first to donate. My husband and I both worked for the company, and the management and staff have been at our sides throughout everything. My husband still works there, in fact...
We took Maram to France for treatment, but tragically it was too late...
Our angel left us orphaned.
She died one year ago today, and the pain is still there. We still miss her. But I’ve decided to keep going. Maram is gone. Maybe! But her charity is still here... for good.

Could you tell us about what you and your charity are fighting for?

My love has kept me going, and my struggle to help my daughter has turned into a struggle to help all sick children. With "Maram Solidarité", we work on helping children get care, sending doctors to study in Europe’s top research centres, making sick children’s dreams come true, and supporting the impoverished families of sick teens... Our greatest success so far was the restructuring and restoration of the paediatric oncology unit of Institut Salah Azaiez hospital in Tunis.

Our charity is now building a 1000 sq. m day hospital to serve children with cancer and rare diseases, as part of the Tunis bone marrow transplant centre. This new project will give 6,000 Tunisian children the chance to enjoy their daily lives while receiving the treatment they need - a better place to keep on living, to survive!
Is there life after death? YES, there have already been several lives saved since we lost Maram...

This journey has taught me that pain can give birth to hope, and suffering can bring forth life.

Post a comment


This forum is moderated before publication: your contribution will only appear after being validated by an administrator.

Who are you?
Your post
  • This form accepts SPIP shortcuts [->url] {{bold}} {italic} <quote> <code> and the HTML code <q> <del> <ins>. To create paragraphs, simply leave blank lines.

On the same topic

See more On the same topic

Frédéric Walch is an IT expert at Orange, in Lyon (France). For 9 years, he has also volunteered to help women to get back up to speed with digital technology. Frédéric...

Formed in 2007 with the support of Orange and the Orange Foundation, Orange Solidarity is our largest digital partner-association. The association oversees the action...

Because being alive means sharing”: Solange Akoua has taken the Orange Côte d’Ivoire Télécom Foundation’s motto to heart. Hired in 2001 in Abidjan by the Orange Group, which...