Meet the Author

Sajjad Iqbal, MD

Sajjad Iqbal, MD grew up in Pakistan and was raised by loving parents who imparted to him the importance of self-confidence, logical thinking, compassion, and perseverance-qualities that served him well through his personal and professional career. He immigrated to the United States in 1970, trained in prestigious hospitals in New York City, and spent thirty-five years running a pediatric practice in Ridgewood, New Jersey. He used his experience and expertise in the medical field-supported by the strength of his family and his unwavering optimism-to diagnose his own deadly cancer of the parotid gland, which all his physicians had failed to recognize. Iqbal has been married to his wife, Fauzia, for forty-two years. They have three children and two grandchildren.

His Story of Hope, Perseverance, and Survival

As an experienced pediatrician, Sajjad Iqbal, MD, had long enjoyed using his medical expertise to treat children’s illnesses and alleviate their parents’ concerns. Suddenly, however, he was on the other side of the divide.

As Iqbal began to battle severe facial paralysis, misguided and obstinate doctors became an obstacle to finding a correct diagnosis and treatment. Iqbal’s doctors believed that he had Bell’s palsy, a temporary, benign condition. But Iqbal rejected that theory. He knew enough about medicine and his own body to suspect a far more deadly cause—cancer of the parotid (salivary) gland.

Initially, Iqbal couldn’t convince the so-called experts to listen and his doctors rushed forward with a flawed treatment plan including unnecessary surgery.

Given a 30 percent chance of living two years—he has survived 15 years, overcoming repeated recurrences of cancer by charting his own course of treatment.

In this extraordinary memoir, Iqbal recounts how he advocated for his health and relentlessly fought for a correct diagnosis and treatment and then embarked upon researching and formulating the appropriate treatment plans when none were offered or available from the experts. As he reveals how he unraveled this medical mystery, facing repeated setbacks, you will be inspired to take charge of your own healthcare. Iqbal’s experiences convincingly show the importance of speaking up and pushing back against medical professionals’ apathy and arrogance.