NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 21 – The story of Rose Nasimiyu Wegesa, a nine-year old girl battling with cancer is one of courage and hope.
It is one that not many people – both young and old – would have the nerve to tell with such positive attitude, let alone add humour to it.
“I am feeling okay, am not feeling bad,” she starts off an interview with Jeff Koinange on K24’s Capital Talk.
In December last year, Princess, as she is fondly known by her family and friends was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a type of cancer which originates from white blood cells. Since then, life has not been the same for her.
The little girl now has to go through 16 courses of chemotherapy. She is currently having her sessions at the Gertrude’s Children’s hospital every two weeks. This costs between Sh50, 000 – Sh60,000 per session depending on her condition.
“They put you on a drip for eight hours and then after that I always feel nausea, I vomit, I can vomit like 12 times a day and after that I feel a little better,” the young girls recalls of her chemotherapy sessions.
But she is putting up a brave fight.
She has even written a song “I believe” which gives an account of her feelings and her hope for a brighter future ahead free of cancer.
“I decided to write this song so that I can help my parents pay for my chemotherapy which is very expensive and I also want to encourage other children out there who have the same condition,” she goes on to say.
Rose explains that her condition started with a painful swelling under her arm. She was taken to hospital where she was given some antibiotics for five days but it didn’t go away.
On going back to hospital, she was given other stronger antibiotics for another five days but that also didn’t work.
“I was told that I had to go through a Fine Needle Aspiration (FNA), where a needle is inserted on the lymph node to suck out the fluids. When tests were carried out on the fluid, the doctors could find nothing,” she goes on to explain.
“I was told the other option was to do a biopsy where they remove the tumour for testing.”
That is when she was diagnosed with cancer.
“First they told my mum and she started screaming, shouting and crying. So I asked her, mum, what’s wrong? She didn’t even counsel me; she told me right on my face that I have cancer,” the young girl remembers adding “The first thing on my mind was death because what I knew about cancer is that it is a bad disease.”
Two weeks ago, Rose’s hair started falling off due to the effects of chemotherapy.
“I looked like I had Mohawk, so I had to shave all of it and I didn’t want to let go of my beautiful hair but I had to,” she says in jest.
Although she skips school a lot due to her chemotherapy sessions, she is still a top performer.
The young girl wants to be a paediatric oncologist and a model when she grows up.
“But if they poke my beautiful skin (for chemotherapy) how can I be a model?” she wonders.
She believes she will live to see another day when she can stand up and talk for those suffering from cancer like her.
“Feed your faith and your fears will starve to death,” is her parting shot.
To make contributions to Rose, you can M-Pesa on 0724-55 17 54 or contact Rose’s mother on [email protected]