He was a warrior who made all efforts to stay alive and inspire hope in other cancer patients as he struggled with a disease that brought gloom to his family and turned his life upside down.
Maurice Ochieng Andere, popularly known as Danny Miles, shared his journey battling soft tissue sarcoma cancer on social media, braving the fight with sheer optimism.
Ochieng succumbed to soft tissue sarcoma cancer (cancer that develops in the supporting tissues of the body) yesterday, Tuesday, March 21, while receiving treatment at the St. Monica hospital in Kisumu.
He had lost his arm to cancer, lost his finances, and his friends and family but held onto hope albeit with an acceptance that his chances of staying alive were slim.
On January 19, 2023, he penned an emotional post to Safaricom, requesting the firm to take care of his daughter. He shared the pain he was enduring as he battled the disease.
He said he feared he had failed as a father and urged the company to take care of his three-year-old daughter. In his social media posts, he had vowed to continue fighting to stay alive.
“My young daughter has not started school yet…I was planning but I’m sorry I have failed as a dad. I am appealing to you to just help my daughter once I am gone because I can feel it,” he wrote.
Florence Akoth, his wife, was in tears as she recounted the last moments she spent with her husband and how he kept his hopes alive.
Akoth told The Standard how her world shattered a few minutes after 9 pm as she watched her husband breathe his last.
“He kept telling me that he is not going to die. He repeated it several times before asking me to take care of our daughter,” she said.
She said they had lived a lonely life after family and relatives turned their backs on them when Miles was diagnosed with cancer in February last year. “It has not been easy for me. We have only been surviving with the help of friends and well-wishers,” she said.
When they met in 2019 and decided to settle, the couple was hopeful and keen to raise their young family well. Like any young couple, they dreamt of becoming a successful family.
However, that dream was shuttered when Miles was diagnosed with soft tissue sarcoma cancer. Although they hoped and prayed that he will recover, their hopes sunk after the cancer spread, resulting in his arm being amputated.
“He was in and out of the hospital almost on a weekly basis. Every time he was discharged, it rarely took two days before he was admitted,” said Akoth.
The widow appealed to well-wishers to help give her husband a decent sendoff. She also claimed that they are yet to get a response from Safaricom as regards the passionate request by her husband.
According to his wife, Ochieng fended for the family with his bodaboda business until his left arm was amputated. He later operated a small M-pesa shop in the neighborhood to support his family.
Messages of condolences from friends dominated posts as Kenyans condoled with his family.
Additional reporting by Sharon Wanga.