Throughout his ongoing battle with cancer, Smail had to stop and resume studies several times, marking a total suspension of three years.
Rabat – Moroccan student Smail Hammiche passed his Baccalaureate exam this year with merit. He did so five years into his battle with cancer, including three years of suspension from school.
Smail scored 16/20 in the final note of July’s baccalaureate exam. He tested in the Life and Earth Sciences branch.
The young Moroccan began his battle with cancer at the age of 16, when he started experiencing chronic headaches, nose bleeds, weight loss, and other bizarre symptoms he did not understand.
Doctors failed several times to identify Smail’s pathology. They gave him painkillers after every false diagnosis, claiming that it was just a classic headache.
Finally, he fainted in the bathroom of his aunt’s house in the middle of the night.
Smail’s aunt found him lying on the floor with a bleeding nose, which was too alarming for doctors to ignore.
A specialist gave Smail medicine to take, and within a week, a tumor quickly grew in his neck.
The tumor was badly positioned inside Smail’s neck, and the danger led him to refuse surgery. However, doctors biopsied the tumor and sent the sample to a laboratory.
Lab tests revealed that he had cancer in the nasopharynx, the upper portion of the pharynx, behind the nose.
Smail Hammiche’s emotional chemotherapy experience
Smail Hammiche started his chemotherapy sessions in the last year of junior high school. His weakened body could not endure the requirements of school and lessons.
The young man found support among medical staff and other patients who underwent chemotherapy, which burnt his skin and caused hair loss.
Smail witnessed the death of two roommates in the hospital who had become his friends, adding to his emotional battle.
Hammiche revealed to Morocco World News that he still cries whenever they cross his mind. He felt alone when they passed, and some other family members did not bother to call him on the phone and give him the support he needed.
Emerging as a public figure to support others battling cancer
The continuous emotional struggle led Smail to think about finding new friends. He found comfort in social media, where he made virtual friends. “I made [a] new family from Facebook,” said Smail on his Facebook page.
He also created the account to motivate other cancer patients by sharing details of his experience, raising awareness, and creating a supportive community space. On the page, Smail describes himself as a motivational speaker, influencer, and cancer fighter.
The campaign that Smail launched on Facebook has since gone viral. His page now has almost 170,000 followers. Several celebrities have taken an interest in his story and the bravery he has shown during his ongoing battle, including Moroccan media figures and actors.
The celebrities include Hassan Foulane, Amina Rachid, and Abdelkebir Rgagna, among others.
Smail Hammiche’s Baccalaureate victory
Throughout his ongoing battle with cancer, Smail had to stop and resume studies several times. His multiple study suspensions totaled three years.
As the Baccalaureate exam approached, Smail paused his motivational campaign on social media for three months to focus on his studies.
The 22-year-old told MWN about his long-time dream of joining Morocco’s forensic police force. This goal gave him the proper motivation to rise from the ashes of chemotherapy and orient his energy towards studies.
“My dream to work with the scientific police made me want to resume studies and get my Baccalaureate certificate,” he said.
“I developed [my dream of becoming a scientific police officer] by watching the Moroccan TV series “Al Kadiya” (The Case), but now I realized that my health condition won’t allow me,” said Smail.
However, another dream emerged from his several meetings with Moroccan press: That of becoming a journalist.
“… but another dream was born, because of my motivational lecture process with the media and the press.”
Smail did not only manage to resume his studies, but he scored very good marks. Hopefully, his success will open doors for him into the career of his dreams.
The aspiring journalist gave MWN some other hopeful news, that the treatment has helped eliminate 75% of his cancer. “The doctor appointments are still continuing, and side effects are still being treated.”
Celebrating his success, Smail wote in a Facebook post: “After three … years of tides, the dream of holding the Baccalaureate has come true, despite the health issues that I have lived, I finally got it, with 16/20.”