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My family and me: Wasim’s story

Wasim Benkhadra

26 Oct 2018

Home > News > My family and me: Wasim’s story

Wasim Benkhadra, Head, External Communications, UAE


My wife, Hiba, was told she had Hodgkin Lymphoma on Christmas Eve 2017.  It was surreal being told news that I knew would change our family for ever.  We have three children aged 12, seven and four and straight away I realised that I would have to put my family ahead of everything else.

We’ve had a year of hospital appointments, three biopsies, 12 chemotherapy sessions and more. Without the option of flexible working, I wouldn’t have been able to continue in my role.  I got into a routine of working from the hospital on Wednesdays and adjusting my working hours to fit around school pick-ups and appointments.  But I think I’ve had the most productive year work-wise as my to-do list required a laser-focused approach.  What is it that needs to be said? How does it need to be shared? How can I get the maximum impact?  It’s been an eye-opening experience for me.

Wasim and family

I joined Standard Chartered in 2013 because I thought it demonstrated international best practice and I resonated with the message Here for good.  Once I joined, my manager encouraged me to take ownership and be accountable for my work while still providing a supported environment in which I could learn.  I have never been micro-managed – I’m empowered to make my own decisions and because I’m naturally a self-motivated person, that has worked well for me.  

The day after the diagnosis, Hiba arranged a family photo.  At the time I thought she was crazy – it was the last thing I wanted to do – but now when I look at it I feel it is my most treasured possession.  She recently had an operation to remove a tumour on her thyroid, and has been given the all-clear.  Every day I look at our family photo and it reminds me to cherish every moment in this life, be thankful, stop taking things for granted, and live each day in the moment.

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