These Two Malaysians Battling Cancer Met On Twitter And The Rest Is History
"We're both going to survive, okay?"
In 2018, local writer Azira Baharum was diagnosed with cancer after suffering from various symptoms
The 27-year-old Seremban native, affectionately known as "Egy", had been suffering various symptoms over three years. She was eventually diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma Cancer in September 2018 after numerous biopsies.
When the news struck, Egy immediately felt the need to take it to Twitter so she could alert her friends.
Her inbox was suddenly flooded with thousands of messages from concerned strangers, but one message in particular caught her attention.
The DM on Twitter was from a sweet lady who wanted to introduce Egy to her brother, Izham, who - at that time - was a cancer survivor in full remission
A full remission means that all signs and symptoms of cancer have disappeared.
As Egy was looking to be inspired from others who have fought the same battles, she wanted to know if people like Izham had tips for adapting to a lifestyle that was new to her.
She did not know that it was going to be the beginning of their love story.
As fate would have it, Egy and Izham both frequently had doctor's appointments on the same day
Egy told SAYS that they had their first date at the hospital. Izham showed her around and they even got their blood tested together.
Since then, mundane hospital visits quickly turned into romantic dates the both of them looked forward to.
"It's really nerve-wracking to go through chemotherapy. There's just something about the room and looking at all the medicine that always makes me nervous," Egy told SAYS.
"But when Izham accompanies me, he's always so full of courage and thanks to him, I got through all my chemo sessions."
There were times when it was hard for him too. He got dizzy and nauseous but he stayed anyway. I realised there and then, Izham is someone who is willing to sacrifice his time, energy, and even his health, just to make sure I get through my struggles.
After 12 rounds of chemotherapy, Egy was told that her tumour had cleared up and she only needed a final scan to declare her cancer-free.
However, within a few weeks, the couple would be dealt with devastating news.
In March 2019, a tumour was found in Izham's chest and thorax after being cancer-free for three years.
Later in April, Egy collapsed before doctors could confirm that she was cancer-free. The doctors announced that the cancer had relapsed. She, too, had a tumor in her chest and thorax.
To show their support, Egy's friends came together and started a crowdfunding campaign to ease the costs of the couple's treatment - which makes up a grand total of over RM350,000.
The campaign received a lot of attention, including from Neelofa who shared Egy's cause and called for the public to help the couple.
After going through so much together, Egy and Izham decided to tie the knot last weekend in a small ceremony
Their solemnisation took place on 3 August in Seremban.
Egy told SAYS that, following their marriage, the couple's lives have merged and they now even share the same doctor.
While most newlyweds dream of a romantic beach getaway for their honeymoon, the couple have spent their time going back and forth from the hospital the day after their wedding.
However, they said that as long as they're together, everything feels okay.
The couple is more determined than ever to fight cancer together, and have launched their own Instagram business to support their medical treatments while also documenting their journey
Egy regularly shares updates about their battle on her personal accounts.
In a video that has netizens in tears, Egy can be heard saying, "Baby, we're going to make more videos, just in case," before her voice breaks and she continues, "either one of us do not survive."
Izham smiles at her and says, "We're both going to survive."
Despite getting help from the crowdfund campaigns, Egy and Izham are still determined to earn an income by themselves. They have started an Instagram business called 'Senja Lawa', where they sell charming accessories such as cute rings and handbags.
This power couple looks forward to raise more public awareness on cancer
Their Instagram @ejamzegykickscancer follows their journey and acts as a platform for them to inspire others who are in the same boat to keep pushing through.
"There is a lot to talk about when it comes to cancer but Izham and I want to focus on the importance of having a strong support system and good mental health," Egy explained to SAYS.
"We want to spread positivity and have people understand that cancer is treatable. Don't ever lose hope," she added.