Thursday, October 22, 2020
Interviews

Mind, Body and Soul

by BTM

Sun, 04 October 2020

Mind, Body and Soul

The story of a young Bahraini battling cancer

Receiving a devastating medical-diagnosis can, undoubtedly, be mentally and emotionally draining for most. However, there are some that prove that strength and resilience are more than just skin-deep, running through our hearts and giving us the undying will to live. This couldn’t be truer than in the case of 27-year-old Mohsen Faleejim, who recently received a cancer diagnosis, but made waves across social media in Bahrain with his tell-all video about his diagnosis and consequential treatment.

Mohsen, better known as ‘Falee’, owns and runs a thriving fitness business in the Financial Harbour known as the Discipline Sports Academy. “I’d started my career as an Aircraft Engineer but always wanted to share my knowledge of fitness with others. Hence, at the academy, we use calisthenics as our main sport to get people fit and healthy while educating people of what our bodies are capable of. We have since grown to have over 100 members between the age of five and seventy,” he said, adding that he loves teaching what he calls “monkey business” which grabs people’s attention and makes them love staying fit.

The Diagnosis
“I started feeling proper symptoms about a year and a half ago but always felt like it was another stomach disorder.”

Despite his healthy lifestyle, Mohsen was sadly diagnosed with a rare form of cancer known as Desmoplastic Small Round Cell Tumors Stage 4 (DSRCT) in May this year. “As time went by, I started getting more and more bloated in the belly with symptoms including nausea, unexplained heat running throughout my body, lack of sleep and energy,” he said, speaking about the experience.

According to Mohsen, DSRCT is a type of soft-tissue sarcoma which causes multiple tumors to form in the abdomen and pelvis area. “Since July 7th, I have been receiving treatment in Germany and have finished a few cycles of chemo-therapy,” he added.

Receiving a devastating medical-diagnosis can, undoubtedly, be mentally and emotionally draining for most. However, there are some that prove that strength and resilience are more than just skin-deep, running through our hearts and giving us the undying will to live. This couldn’t be truer than in the case of 27-year-old Mohsen Faleejim, who recently received a cancer diagnosis, but made waves across social media in Bahrain with his tell-all video about his diagnosis and consequential treatment.

Mohsen, better known as ‘Falee’, owns and runs a thriving fitness business in the Financial Harbour known as the Discipline Sports Academy. “I’d started my career as an Aircraft Engineer but always wanted to share my knowledge of fitness with others. Hence, at the academy, we use calisthenics as our main sport to get people fit and healthy while educating people of what our bodies are capable of. We have since grown to have over 100 members between the age of five and seventy,” he said, adding that he loves teaching what he calls “monkey business” which grabs people’s attention and makes them love staying fit.

His Strength
“The biggest change has been getting used to not being able to live as normal as I did while the greatest challenge is leaving everything behind, and focusing on recreating myself,” he said.

Mohsen draws strength from talking to survivors, being inspired by people’s stories and learning from friends and family to cope with and overcome the challenges he faces. “My wife, wanting to live for her and her support is my biggest motivator. I stay positive because I am not afraid and have faith. I have an army of people being there for me and couldn’t be more thankful,” he said.

The Response
Since his diagnosis, Mohsen posted insightful videos about his diagnosis, treatment and more on his Instagram account which received well over 60,000 views with the numbers growing daily. This was in addition to a post highlighting his partnership with a Bahraini sportswear brand, Valour Apparel, in a campaign to raise funds which will go towards the cost of his treatment. 

“I partnered with Valour Apparel to design a shirt that raises awareness and builds hope for those fighting cancer. The yellow ribbon stands for Sarcoma and the message is simply to live. In addition to helping me raise money to help with my treatment, we intend to reach a goal where I would be able to support and contribute to other cancer patients,” he said.

“The response to the collaboration has been surreal! Everyone has been helpful and gone beyond what I have initially thought of. That I truly appreciate as it is sweet and generous of them,” he added.

The Community
Cancer patients face several challenges on their journey back to good health and Mohsen believes that people could help ease their pain in a lot of different ways. “I do not think we need a shoulder to cry on but instead need hope, love and support. We have many things to do as cancer patients and being helped with our hospital visits, appointments or simple things such as going to the grocery store and bringing us what we need,” he said.

Since cancer patients normally go through huge changes, and in essence have to stop their lives, people can help with finances in whatever way they can. “It’s not just about the treatment being sponsored. Most importantly, our mental health and the way we feel. Positivity, laughter and a stress-free treatment is priceless,” he said.

What’s next?
Mohsen hopes to grow the Discipline Academy community to help him put a smile on other patients’ face as well. “I hope people can learn to not be afraid of cancer and understand that it can be beaten. To be more aware of what it is like to be a cancer patient so they could better help a cancer fighter. Maybe even do a nice gesture for a random person and think of what they would need if they were in their shoes,” he said.

“My goal now is to first overcome this, then spread awareness not just about fitness but health and wellness in general,” he concluded.

If you would like to order your Valour t-shirts, contact Discipline Academy through Instagram using the handle @academydiscipline. T-shirts would be pre-orders and delivered in October. To reach out to Mohsen to share your stories or chat, you may reach him on @faleenation on Instagram.

#CANCER AWARENESS MONTH #INTERVIEWS #BTM OCTOBER 2020 #CANCER

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