Caring neighbors have turned their Airdrie street yellow in memory of “ray of sunshine” Rayhan Majid, as his family aim to raise thousands for a cancer charity in his honor.
Little Rayhan tragically passed away at the age of just four in April 2018, four months after being diagnosed with an aggressive medulloblastoma brain tumor.
Now residents of his estate in Cairnhill mark his anniversary each year with beautiful displays of flowers, butterflies and garden decorations in his favorite colour, along with rainbow symbols and lights.
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The close-knit community is supporting Rayhan’s parents, Nadia and Sarfraz, and his siblings Zak, 13, and Eliza, four, as the family raises funds to support research as well as highlighting the symptoms and increasing awareness among other families.
Rayhan’s family have set up an online fundraising page aiming to raise £4000 for Brain Tumor Research – and are so far three-quarters of the way towards that total and have broken through their initial target of meeting the £2740 cost of funding one day’s work by the charity.
Sarfraz and Nadia say the kind gesture by their neighbors “means the world” and thanked the community for their ongoing support to the family throughout the past four years.
Nadia said: “Rayhan absolutely loved yellow – he loved the Minions, Bumblebee from Transformers, and everything just had to be in his favorite colour.
“His anniversary is such a difficult time, but when we open the curtains and look outside to see all the butterflies in everyone’s windows and yellow flowers and decorations all over the whole street, it really helps and it’s a positive way to remember him.
“It’s so lovely that everyone does this and goes to so much trouble, and it really means a lot to know that Rayhan is still being remembered.”
Sarfraz agreed: “It’s outstanding – we’re blown away by what everybody does and by all the support, and we just can’t thank people enough.
“To see the whole community get involved like this is just fantastic and it means so much to us; everybody has been so supportive and has always rallied round and been there for us.
“Our whole estate is really friendly; everybody knows each other and all the kids have grown up together, and there’s such a really good community spirit here.”
Now an annual fixture in the Airdrie street, the yellow displays were originally the idea of resident Jennifer Clark – who is joined by neighbors at every home in helping to decorate their windows, fences, gardens and lamp posts for Rayhan.
She said: “We all want to honor and remember Rayhan. He was always out playing with all the kids in the street, and we all want to keep his memory of him alive.
“Lots of us who get involved in organizing the yellow display are mums; we can’t take his family’s pain away but we just want to do things to show that we’re here.”
Rayhan’s family document their memories and raise awareness on Facebook and Instagram pages Remembering Rayhan.
They have also previously raised funds for organizations including the Beatson cancer charity, Young People vs Cancer and the Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity, to “give back to all those who helped” during his illness and treatment.
His story and a special tribute from his family have also been shared aloud in the House of Commons by Anum Qaisar, the Airdrie MP, in a debate on research into childhood cancers and even directly with Boris Johnson at Prime Minister’s Questions when she asked for commitments on improved research and funding.
Nadia said: “We want to try to raise awareness of brain tumors so that other people know what to look out for – we didn’t know about this and when Rayhan was first having headaches it wasn’t recognized and it was only found when we took him to A&E after six weeks.
“Only one per cent of funding into cancer research goes to brain tumors; it’s so underfunded and there’s so much investment needed, so we want to fundraise in Rayhan’s name to help other families and do our bit to raise awareness of what to look out for.
“We’ve set the target of £4000 for this fundraiser because Rayhan was four and this is his fourth anniversary; four is a special number for us.”
She added of the yellow street displays: “It’s really nice for Zak and Eliza to see what everyone does – Eliza was only eight months old when Rayhan died, and she knows all about her big brother.
“All the kids in the street have all grown up together and are in and out of each other’s houses and the adults socialize together; everybody’s really brought together and it’s fantastic that everybody does this each year.”
The family’s fundraising donations page is at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/remembering-rayhan, and supporters can also text RAYHAN to 70085 to donate £5 to Brain Tumor Research.
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