She needed Sh800,000 for a cancer operation, but she does not have the disease

Sixty-five-year-old Khadija Bashara (right) with her daughter after being screened in Nairobi's Eastleigh area. She travelled from Tana River County for screening. [Graham Kajilwa, Standard]
Khadija Bashara did not know how she was supposed to feel.

The doctors had told her she was cancer-free, but she still felt sick.

As the globe marked World Cancer Day yesterday, Ms Bashara went for screening at Nairobi’s Eastleigh area out of desperation.

She needed a doctor who would charge her family less than what had previously been quoted.

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And after some tests, she came out more shocked and confused.

“I have been told there is no cancer,” she said in a whisper, almost trying to convince herself it was a lie.

“They want me to do more tests but trust me, I am not sure if I will go for that operation.”

For almost four years, the 65-year-old has been battling cancer, a diagnosis that was made at a private hospital in Mombasa.

At first, she was informed it was ulcers and was put on medication. But the symptoms did not subside.

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Then came the diagnosis that she had cervical cancer.

Her blue faded rubber shoes are a testimony of all the hospitals she has been for treatment - from Hola in Tana River County to Makadara in Mombasa, and now in Nairobi, where she was examined at St Mary’s Hospital and later referred to Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH).

It was at KNH, the country’s largest referral facility, that she was scheduled to undergo an operation to cost her Sh800,000, which her family cannot afford.

“I was told my uterus is filled with water and it has to be drained. The operation was to take place at KNH. But I do not have money,” said the mother of four.

“I told the doctor if there is no cancer then that means the chemo may have worked.”

world cancer daycervical cancercancer heroes