Judy Njoki: I beat cervical cancer

Cervical cancer vaccine
Cervical cancer vaccine

Judy Njoki, a 29-year-old mother of three was a new mother and basking in the joy that comes with it.

She had just welcomed her youngest child, but what she didn’t know was that her life was about to change in a drastic way.

In May 2013, Judy noticed that she continued to have a discharge despite it being four months since the birth of her child.

She sought treatment and was diagnosed with pelvic disease.

Despite the treatment, her symptoms got worse as the discharge became smelly and was mixed with pus.

This prompted her to seek a second opinion from a different hospital. It was here that her worst fears were confirmed. She had cancer!

Judy was diagnosed with cervical cancer, and her frequent interaction with doctors did little to restore her confidence in getting better as they bore more bad news than good.

To further her despair, she failed to raise Sh14,000 for further medical examinations and other related costs, a fact that left her bitter as days turned into months with little hope of raising the money for her treatment.

A fundraiser was organised by her friends and family to cater for the costs and finally she was able to receive her first treatment at St. Mary’s Mission Hospital, for which she spent Sh30,000.

The treatment did little to improve her condition so she was transferred to Cancer Care Kenya.

At Cancer Care, Judy met Dr Vijay who gave her hope that she could be cured and introduced her to Faraja Cancer Support Trust, who gave her the much-needed support.

Faraja Cancer Support Trust is a charity that offers free complementary therapies to cancer patients and their caregivers.

Founded in 2010 by breast cancer survivor Shaira Adamali, Faraja is a safe haven where patients receive hope, health and life.

Through Faraja’s medical assistance program, Judy’s radiotherapy treatment was paid for at a cost of Sh250,000 and she made a complete recovery.

She is now living a healthy normal life and can better take care of her family.

The statistics on cancer in Kenya are heart alarming.

Cancer accounts for 7 per cent (27,000) of deaths per year while an estimated 39,000 new cases are recorded each year, with 70 per cent – 80 per cent diagnosed in the late stages due to lack of awareness, inadequate diagnostic facilities, lack of treatment facilities, high cost of treatment and poverty.

The only way to detect cancer early is by getting frequent screenings for the common cancers such as breast, cervical and prostate.

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