Battling cancer has been toughest encounter in my childhood, says 16-year-old boy

Emmanuel Kipkemoi, a form two student who has been battling cancer for the past ten years. August 14, 2019.[Mercy Kahenda, Standard]

Emmanuel Kipkemoi, a Form Two student, is full of life as he plays with his younger brother at their home in Sachangwan.

One can hardly tell the 16-year-old is battling leukemia.

He hopes one-day cancer will go into remission after enduring a journey that began after it was diagnosed when he was five years.

“Fighting cancer has been the toughest fight I was subjected to at a young age. I never knew how to walk the journey. I believe I will soon emerge a winner,” says Kipkemoi. The most difficult experience has been taking drugs and injections.

The student at Sachangwan Secondary School recalls playing with peers at Elimu nursery in Nakuru town when he felt dizzy and lost consciousness.

He was rushed to Rift Valley Provincial General Hospital and after several tests, doctors could not diagnose any ailment.

Confused and worried

However, he gradually became weak, lost appetite and his blood levels dropped.

For More of This and Other Stories, Grab Your Copy of the Standard Newspaper.

Doctors at the level five hospital took samples to Aga Khan hospital for further tests.

After two weeks, results were out - Kipkemoi was diagnosed with leukemia.

His father Kennedy Kirtur was confused and did not understand how his son would suffer from a disease he thought was meant for the rich.

He was referred to Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) for specialised treatment. However, he had to wait in the queue because of the high number of patients.

“Being admitted to KNH was so traumatising. There are times I watched children I played with die from cancer and some could hardly smile because of pain. I knew I would die too but I kept hope alive,” he recalls.

His father transferred him to Gertrude’s Children’s Hospital where he was admitted for four months. Kipkemoi’s story was published in one of the dailies, attracting a Catholic Missionary from Turkana County who helped him seek specialised care in Madrid, Spain.

Bone marrow transplant

His father accompanied him to Spain. Kipkemoi was admitted to Lapaz University hospital in Madrid where tests were done before doctors recommended a bone marrow transplant.

In 2013, Kipkemoi traveled back to the country after successfully undergoing the procedure and chemotherapy.

He goes for checkup at Aga Khan Hospital twice a year as he waits for doctors to declare that cancer has gone into remission come 2022. However, Kipkemoi has developed post-cancer disorder associated with effects of chemotherapy.

The disorder has made him lose memory that has affected his studies.

He was flown out of the country in April for checkup at Lapaz University hospital in Madrid.

“My son’s memory has highly been affected because of cancer treatment, for example in school, he is very slow. He is on drugs that I hope will help him recover. It has been a long journey,” he says.

Do not miss out on the latest news. Join the Standard Digital Telegram channel HERE.

Emmanuel KipkemoiLeukemiaCancerSachangwan Secondary School