A cancer patient in Elgeyo Marakwet County scored a good grade in Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) despite having missed classes the whole of this year.
And when Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha released 2019 KCSE results, Ivy Jepchumba was in a hospital in Eldoret battling the cancerous condition.
Jepchumba has been in intense pain and her parents had even contemplated letting her skip sitting her examination but she insisted she would write the papers.
With the cancerous condition – Rhabdomyosarcoma, that affects soft tissues and muscles, Jepchumba of Sing’ore Girls, an extra-county school in Elgeyo Marakwet County, defied all odds and scored a mean grade of C (plain) with an aggregate of 42 points.
The girl registered for the examination early in the year but never stepped in class as she was in and out of hospital managing her condition.
Unlike other candidates who received their results with joy, Jepchumba who hails from Ngechek location in Chesumei in Nandi County was in hospital in Eldoret where her parents take her daily for the management of the condition.
Jepchumba told The Standard at St Luke’s Orthopaedic and Trauma Hospital in Eldoret that she never expected to get good scores.
She scored C+ in Kiswahili, English C+ and Maths C+, Chemistry C (plain), Agriculture C-, Christian Religious Education (CRE) C-, Physics C- and Biology C-.
“I never attended any lessons in Form Four to enable me prepare for the examination but I am grateful to God for what I have managed,” said Jepchumba, who is eyeing to pursue a nursing course.
Her parents Jackson and Eunice Chepkwony have spent over Sh1.2 million to support their daughter.
According to Jackson, they are in need of over Sh3.1 million to enable her undergo specialised treatment in India as recommended by doctors, which is beyond their reach and are now appealing for support.
Jepchumba, who turned 18 on November 11, scored 394 marks in 2015 KCPE from AIC School in Nandi and was selected to join Sing’ore Girls.
“While in Form One, a small swelling like a pimple developed on my left hand, between the elbow and the armpit. It grew into a tumour that prompted me to seek medication at Mosoriot sub-county hospital in Nandi,” she explained.
She said the condition disappeared only to recur in 2017 while she was in Form Two and was referred to Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH) Eldoret for further medication. Since then, she has been in and out of hospital.
According to Eunice, her fourth born daughter has since been in frail condition and unable to attend classes over the last two years.
“From the samples sent to Lancet Laboratories in South Africa for testing, she was confirmed to have cancerous tumour that affected her left hand,” she said.
She further said Jepchumba has gone through 14 circles of chemotherapy. The girl has also been subjected to radiotherapy sessions.