The family of a girl with an abnormal growth in her neck is seeking medical and financial assistance.
Margaret Kerubo, 15, developed a swelling that has become cancerous. Her father, James Onserio, said Kerubo got a pimple when she was about two years old in 2005.
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“The swelling started out as a pimple and when it grew hard, we thought it was a boil. When it did not show any signs of growing smaller, we sought help and she eventually had her first surgery in 2007 to reduce the swelling,” he said yesterday.
Kerubo’s condition did not change and she had three more operations, the last one on May 29 this year at the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH) in Eldoret.
Kerubo’s family, which comes from Bondeni village in Kanduyi constituency, was then advised to seek specialised treatment at Kenyatta National Hospital.
Results from a lab report showed a tumour on the right side of her face that was affecting the salivary glands. The doctors diagnosed it as a muco-epidermoid carcinoma.
According to oralcancerfoundation.org, the tumour usually forms a painless, fixed, slow growing swelling that goes through a phase of rapid expansion. It can be managed through surgery or radiation.
Mr Onserio said they had approached KNH for specialised treatment and were told the cost is about Sh500,000, with a repeat visit after three months. Kerubo will require three courses of treatment.
Charles Nyachoti, Kerubo’s uncle, said the family comes from a humble background and is unable to raise money for the entire treatment as they already have a pending bill in Eldoret.
Kerubo’s father is a cobbler and the family’s sole breadwinner. Her mother, Jackline Mong’are, cannot work as she lost her eyesight late last year.
The disease has disrupted Kerubo’s education at Moi DEB Primary School in Bungoma and she has even had to repeat Standard Six.
The school deputy head teacher, Wycliffe Oduor, said Kerubo has had to skip school on many occasions to seek medical treatment.