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Bedridden by cancer, kid seeks N9m to battle illness in India




Taiye and Kehinde Salami were at birth called children of destiny. And quite early in life, the kids showed exceptional qualities and a promising future for the Salami family resident in Alakuko area of Lagos State.

Economic status of the family notwithstanding, it was quite smooth raising the twins until Kehinde fell slightly ill. Today, Kehinde’s fate hangs in a balance and largely dependent on cancer treatment in India put at the cost of N9m ($30,000).

Lying in one of the beds at the General Paediatric Ward, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja, Lagos, Kehinde, 13, could be mistaken for a male child. Her complete loss of hairs, slim frame and swollen neck were the telltale signs of her three years battle with cancer. She is indeed a complete contrast of her twin sister, Taiye Salami, a JSS 3 student at Nicholas Secondary School, Alakuko.

Her mother, Mrs. Salami told The Guardian that it all started as a small swelling on the neck of Kehinde around December 2012. Efforts to get rid of it took them to General Hospital in Ifo, and Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Abeokuta, both in the Ogun State, where Kehinde was diagnosed of cancer. With persistent strike action at the FMC and attendant delay, care had to be sought at LASUTH in 2013.

Six courses of chemotherapy at LASUTH shrunk the swelling, but only momentarily. With series of tests required, amidst incessant industrial actions at LASUTH and lack of financial wherewithal, treatment had to be delayed until June 2015.

According to the mother: “We were still asked for more tests in 2015. It was during that period that she could no longer walk. She had to go back on chemotherapy, beginning with two courses. Samples sent to India diagnosed her of Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC), which changed the course of her treatment.”

With seven courses of chemotherapy and no improvement, succour had to be sought abroad. Promises from Dharamshila Cancer Hospital, in India, came quite inviting for the caregivers. But with both parents currently out of employment, they can only count on well-meaning Nigerians to come to Kehinde’s rescue.

“I want Nigerians to help me with her treatment in the Indian hospital. She is a brilliant child. I don’t want to lose her. We have spent all we have,” the mother said amidst tears.

At the Dharamshila Cancer Hospital, Kehinde would undergo further diagnosis and cancer treatments including transplants. The mother can be reached on 09050508114.

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