After 25 years of marriage and three daughters, Taj and Carmen Hosein are
sharing a battle for their lives.
Carmen was diagnosed with breast cancer in June. In September, Taj was told
he has lung cancer. Both are undergoing chemotherapy.
They sat together on Thursday in the living room of their Sunrise home, two
bald people, bringing each other tissues and finishing each other's
''This is the first time we had to care for each other from an illness
point of view,'' said Carmen, a nurse. ''It was a double whammy.''
Cancer and chemotherapy have weakened the Trinidadian natives, drained
spirits at times, stolen their hair and kept them out of work. The
treatments, prescriptions and doctors visits are sapping their savings.
On Sunday, fellow Muslims will hold a fundraiser to help with the medical
''It's important in this community to reach out to one another, to assist
each other as members of the Islamic community, as members of a particular
jamaat [community],'' said Farzan Mohammed, a member of the Caribbean
American Islamic Association, which is organizing the fundraiser.
Mohammed hopes to raise $5,000 from the 50,000 to 75,000 Muslims who
religious leaders estimate live in South Florida.
Carmen, 56, and Taj, 54, who is an imam at several mosques, have focused
more on paying for their children's college education than on their savings
Their daughter, Shantel Atisha, 24, graduated from Florida International
University in Miami. Another daughter, Saauda, 23, attends FIU. Saaisha,
17, goes to college next year.
Carmen's chemotherapy sessions cost $400 each. Taj hasn't received a bill
yet for his chemotherapy. Co-payments for medication and visits to
specialists range from $10 to $25…
Doctors discovered a lump in her breast during a routine mammogram in
March. She underwent surgery on June 25 -- the day after the couple's 25th
wedding anniversary -- at Westchester General Hospital in Miami.
The night before, the two stayed home together