COLUMBUS, Ohio, May 25 (UPI) -- A Muslim girl who ran away from her parents to join a Christian couple she met on the Internet is suffering from cancer, her Florida lawyer says.
Fathima Rifqa Bary has been living with a foster family in Ohio after a Florida judge ordered her returned there. John Stemberger, who represented her in 2009 when she was trying to remain in Florida, said she is to have a third operation for uterine cancer Thursday, the Orlando Sentinel reported.
"The only reason she wants this to be known is she wants people to pray for her," Stemberger said.
Rifqa ran away from her parents' home in Columbus in July, going to Florida by bus. In Orlando, she stayed with Blake and Beverly Lorenz, both evangelical pastors, and said she was afraid members of the mosque where her parents worship would kill her because she had become a Christian.
Jamal Jivanjee, an ordained minister in Orlando, sent an e-mail message to Rifqa's supporters saying she needs the support and prayers of many people during the surgery and the chemotherapy that will follow.