, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 19 – Throughout the month of October, the Capital FM family is celebrating breast cancer awareness.
We had the opportunity to catch up with Njeri Njuguna, a 33 year old breast cancer survivor of seven years. She is a woman on a mission to encourage members of the community to take preventative measures in fight against cancer in Kenya.
Njeri is the founder of Life Link Kenya, an initiative to promote education and prevention in the battle against the rise of breast cancer in Kenya.
She says, “not enough people are equipped with information to battle and prevent breast cancer. There are still many people that don’t have information to detect cancer.”
She founded Life Link Kenya four years ago with the goal of educating the public about cancer and reaching out to women in rural areas and women in prisons who typically do not to have access to information regarding cancer.
“If breast cancer is detected early, you have a better chance of recovery and survival.” She also wants to target youth at the primary classroom level. Njeri says, “information is well disseminated through children who tend to be vocal about what they learn in school.”
On Saturday, October 19 her organization will host ‘The Life Link Thika Breast Fest’. The event will kick off with a breast cancer walk to raise awareness for the cause. Through the sale of T-Shirts and pink beaded breast cancer ribbon pins, the organization raises funds to support cancer patients.
For all attendees at ‘The Life Link Thika Breast Fest’ there will be doctors and specialists giving open forums on breast cancer education and awareness, free breast checkups, and also pap smear exams by doctors on location. There will also be a session to hear directly from breast cancer survivors, which will include testimonials from both men and women.
She adds,”Cancer can catch up with anyone, kids, men it doesn’t discriminate, and that is why it is so important to continue creating open forums to educate people on how to do self breast exams and also disuses risk factors that may increase one’s likelihood of getting cancer. ”
In an effort to inspire and strengthen women that have been diagnosed with cancer, Njeri’s team pairs them up with breast cancer survivors of similar age groups together, from youth to elderly women, so women can hear from those that have been through the struggle and triumphed as a means encourage, support and motivate fellow cancer patients to still live life to the fullest.
“There are a lot of changes one goes through especially post chemo therapy treatment hair loss, your skin changes, memory loss, a lot on your mind, nail discoloration,” she said.
“I had never met a breast cancer survivor before I was diagnosed with cancer, all the people I knew would get cancer and die. The first time I met a survivor, I knew right then that I had to bring together all women that I knew, to share our experiences, because it might make our cancerous journey more bearable.”
” She adds, “Just because you are hit with cancer it’s not the end of life, it’s the beginning of learning how to fight.”