Mohamed (left) is 18 years old and recently he completed his final A level studies with 3 A’s, in Physics, chemistry, math’s and a distinction two in general paper and ICT. This achievement ranked him as one of the top best students in Uganda. What is even more incredible is that this young man has been fighting cancer since he was in Primary 6, and was undergoing treatment during this time. “I did exams from the hospital bed and excelled! What a miracle”.
“I have 7 brothers and 6 sisters. I first noticed pain in my right ankle in 2013, which I managed with painkillers. I sought medical care due to the pain and swelling and it continued to get worse so I finally went into a general hospital. My mother sold charcoal in order for me to get further treatment and also borrowed some money from friends to meet the costs of staying at the hospital. A biopsy was taken and it confirmed I had liposarcoma cancer.”
Treatment was unsuccessful and in 2021 I was referred to Uganda Cancer Institute (UCI). I arrived with some books and clothes and the first night he slept on the verandah and the next day I was referred to New Hope Children’s Hostel.
‘My mother stayed with me at the hostel during my chemotherapy. I was able to study for my exams in the nurses’ room at Kawempe. Once I had a great improvement in my leg my mother requested to go home as she was the bread winner and needed to care for my siblings. Kawempe took over!
‘I am very grateful to my family, school staff and to New Hope Children’s Hostel doctors, nurses who supported me during my chemotherapy treatment. If I had not had the support from the hostel to access my treatment, daily meals, safe accommodation, and above all emotional support I don’t know how frustrated I could be. After finishing my cancer treatment KHC offered me an opportunity to volunteer as back home there was not much for me to do or even expect. I am so thankful for having come across such a wonderful organization and people. Long live New Hope Children’s Hostel at Kawempe Home Care.
Kawempe Home Care has benefited a lot from the ICPCN programs in many ways and these include;
- The education programmes on the ICPCN website have expanded our palliative care nurses’ skills and clinical officers in caring for children with cancer holistically which is physically, psychologically, emotionally, and spiritually. as an important aspect in alleviating the children’s distress.
- The ICPCN online programmes i.e. webinars and website information have helped me to educate families and caregivers of children with cancer about the myth and misconceptions attached to cancer that hinder them from seeking medical care and hence leading to delayed diagnosis or death. This has changed their thinking and improvement in seeking for medical care for their children, and some caregivers have become advocates for cancer treatment in their villages.
- The information from the ICPCN newsletters and website keeps KHC updated on important events like the commemoration of the International Childhood Cancer Day, World Hospcice and Palliative Care Day, the hats on for pediatric palliative care awareness campaign, upcoming palliative care conferences etc. This information has enabled KHC to participate in many of these events.
This story was published with permission from Kawempe Home Care.
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