13-year-old Chiderah Needs Your Help For Post Cancer Treatment

By KayCee July 17, 2014 07:57

For 13-year-old Miss Chidera Onuoha, life has been very cruel. The young girl lost her right leg to cancer of the bone two years ago. The leg was amputated from the thigh in April 2012.

But another calamity struck Chidera two months ago. Her father passed on at a time the family was looking for money so that she could complete her post-surgery treatment for cancer.

As gathered from her medical reports, Chidera, who hails from Uzoakoli in Bende Local Government Area of Abia State, still has some cancerous cells in her body. It was further learnt that she must undergo radiotherapy for the post surgery treatment. She currently needs N1.5 million to complete the treatment.

In an encounter with Daily Sun at a recent programme, organised by the Children Living With Cancer Foundation (CLWCF), at the Avi-Cenna Schools in Ikeja, Lagos State, she said: “I thank God that I survived the bone cancer. I also believe that God will use Nigerians to preserve my life. I need to complete my treatment and medical advice stated that I would need N1.5 million for the treatment.”

Chidera also explained the genesis of her ill health. Her words: “Sometime in 2012, I wanted to go and take my bath. The floor of the bathroom was wet and I slipped off. I fell and my right leg got injured. Later, it swelled. My mother took me to an Ijaw man, who is a traditional bonesetter to treat me. He treated me for three months, yet I could not walk, even I could not use crutches. So, there was no improvement.

“Then, my mother took me to another Ijaw healer. The second Ijaw person is a woman and she treated me for another two months. There was a little improvement because I started using crutches. But, anytime the woman came to massage the leg, I usually felt very terrible pains and I would shed bitter tears.

“My mummy then complained to the Ijaw woman about the very terrible pain I was having. At this point, the woman called a nurse in order to know why the pain was very severe. The nurse examined me and said they should take me to a hospital. So, we went to do X-ray.

“Later, my mummy took me to Gbagada General Hospital, Lagos, where I was admitted for 35 days. The hospital conducted series of tests on me and referred me to the National Orthopaedic Hospital, Igbobi, Lagos. At Igbobi, they did more tests and discovered that it was cancer.

“By this time, the leg had become too swollen and had gone terribly bad. So, the doctors recommended amputation. But the leg was too big because it had swollen; I had to undergo the chemotherapy, which I did for seven times to reduce the size of the leg before it was cut off.

“If I had gone for the surgery with the leg as big as that, maybe I would have died. The amputation was carried out in Igbobi. I was admitted into the hospital in April, 2012 and was discharged in February 2013.”

Chidera disclosed that she underwent chemotherapy nine times in the hospital before she was discharged, adding that the pains of undergoing chemotherapy was better imagined than experienced.

But Chidera has not begun the post surgery treatment because of paucity of funds.

She continued: “Now, I need to continue the treatment after my operation. My father died two months ago. He was a driver with an inter-state transport company. My sickness finished all his earnings. My mother is not doing anything again because she has to be with me all the time and help me. Now, I’m learning how to walk again with my crutches. I know my governor and other people can help me to get well again. I want to go back to school.”

Chidera’s mother, Mrs. Blessing Onuoha, has now appealed to individuals and corporate organisations to help in keeping her daughter alive. She also lamented that lack of money has prevented the family to do the burial rites for her husband.

“The burden has overweighed me. When this tragic incident occurred, we thought it was a minor thing. Little did we know it could be this big and cost my daughter her leg. We have spent a lot and all that we ever have. I have gone to many people and to several churches, looking for help.

“A church that visited us when my daughter was in the hospital gave us N100, 000. I went to Saint Vincent de Paul of Saint Mary’s Catholic Church, Ajegunle. Members of the church also visited us several times and assisted us in many ways and donated over N170, 000 towards my daughter’s treatment,” Chidera’s mother stated.

She noted that lack of money has also made her and Chidera to live in a shanty near a canal, adding that feeding has become difficult for them.

But she pointed out that her recent encounter with Mrs. Nneka Nwobbi of the Children Living With Cancer Foundation (CLWCF) has brought hope to her family, giving her consolation that the milk of kindness in some Nigerians has not dried off.

“Mrs. Nwobbi has been helping my children and me. My husband left me with five children. They are all still too young. I want Nigerians to help me because I have nobody to support me,” she said.

Chidera can be reached through her mother, Mrs. Blessing Onuoha, and through First Bank Nigeria Plc account number: 3022828821. They can also be contacted on telephone number: 08035202166.



By KayCee July 17, 2014 07:57