The Story of MAHAK

The story of MAHAK’s founding is a personal one. In 1989, Saideh Ghods’ 3-year old daughter was diagnosed with cancer. With the benefit of top-notch medical treatment and the support of her family, Ms. Ghods’ daughter survived. But other children are not so fortunate. As Ms. Ghods witnessed first-hand the challenges and heartbreak families endured as a result of this disease, she made a commitment: she would make a difference in the fight against childhood cancer. Thus, in 1991, MAHAK was born. The organization was registered as a charity institution in Iran to provide medical, psychological and social support to underprivileged children and their families afflicted by cancer.

MAHAK’s early years were committed to providing ad hoc assistance to children with cancer and establishing baseline funding in order to open a state-of-the-art pediatric hospital. In 1999, MAHAK garnered the support of Dr. Javid Karbassi-Zadeh and his wife, Ms. Afsaneh Dabiri. With their ongoing financial backing, as well as an outpouring of assistance from other community members, MAHAK opened its hospital doors in 2007While MAHAK’s primary focus is providing medical services to children with cancer, the organization believes strongly in a holistic approach. As such, MAHAK provides fundamental financial and social support to the parents of its patients so they are able to focus on their children’s treatments. MAHAK’s family-program support includes, for example, providing residential facilities for families traveling to MAHAK from outside Tehran.


Since its founding, MAHAK has been, and it continues to be, a non-profit, non-political and non-governmental charitable organization. It relies exclusively on the generous contributions of individual benefactors, corporate sponsorships, and humanitarian assistance. The organization’s goal is to continue to be a trusted charitable institution that provides the highest levels of transparency and accountability to its supporters.