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Cancer patient appeals for financial assistance

While most people would shudder at the sight of a nurse preparing a syringe for injection, to Jacob Opata it is a routine that he has been living with for years now.

His body is so much used to injection without which he cannot not get a wink of sleep because of endless pain.

Pain killers and injections have become his permanent companion, due to the Kaposi’s sarcoma cancer disease that has rendered him destitute.

According to the 39-year-old former employee of the Ugenya National Government Constituency Development Fund (NG-CDF), what started as an itch on his right leg has drained him and his family, leaving them poor.

“Initially, I thought that the itch would go away. I was wrong,” says Opata at his Karamogi village home in West Ugenya location, Siaya County.

He says that he has made several journeys to various hospitals, from Sifuyo health centre to Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret where, after several tests, he was found to be suffering from the disease.

The disease, according to the American cancer society, is a type of cancer that forms in the lining of blood and lymph vessels. It causes lesions to grow in the skin, lymph nodes and other internal body organs, the mouth and throat.

Opiata says that several trips in search of medication have eaten into the family’s little resources, to the point that he had to resort to selling his clothes to fund his journeys.

As he narrates his ordeal to the media, he pauses to massage his painful leg which is full of blisters.

“This is the life that I have to endure. If I cannot get the injection and the pain killers, I cannot close my eyes at night,” he laments, adding that on such occasions, he has to stay awake with a basin full of water where he dips his leg so as to cool it.

Opiata says that doctors have told him that the cancer he is suffering from can be controlled but only if he can afford the cost.

That is where the problem lies. When the itch came and developed into Kaposi’s sarcoma, he lost his job at the Ugenya NG- CDF.

With no stable income, he could not pay for the National Health Insurance fund (NHIF) and this meant that he had to dig into his savings and the meager family wealth that included a two cows and goats.

“I have sold everything to foot the medical bills. I began with my livestock, I then sold all the electronics,” he says, adding that he has now resorted to selling his clothes to foot the cost of painkiller tablets and injections that he regularly needs.

His mother, Teresia Opata laments over the pain they have to go through as parents watching their son undergo the suffering.

“He was everything to us and would always provide for our needs”, says 69-year-old Teresia adding that they have sold their property to help fund his treatment.

Teresia joins his son in calling on well-wishers to help him raise the required Sh550, 000 to foot the treatment bill.

Any assistance can be channeled through 0748194826.

By Philip Onyango

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