As our 2nd newsletter arrived in my inbox today the Malawi Project is slowly becoming more real. There are many reasons for doing this trip – the following story is why we are raising money.
Newsletter excerpt from Emma Hogg May 7th 2014:
“Only four and a half months until the event! How exciting…!
Oscar Gerard 3Here is a story about one of our Malawian patients that I hope will inform you further on the work World Child Cancer does and highlights the importance of your support. Your efforts make a very real difference to the lives of children with cancer.
Oscar is a little boy who lives with his parents and 2 siblings in Mangochi, southern Malawi. Oscar’s mother noticed a swelling in his tummy. She took Oscar to the traditional village doctor who gave Oscar some herbs which he told them would make Oscar vomit. Three days after taking these herbs Oscar hadn’t been sick and started crying with pain. His grandmother took him to the local hospital but the doctors couldn’t find anything wrong.
After another couple of visits to hospital he was transferred to the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (QECH) in Blantyre. It was at the QECH that Oscar was diagnosed with Wilms’ tumour – a type of kidney cancer. He was put on a 9 week course of treatment involving surgery and chemotherapy. He stayed in hospital for 3 months and his family had to sell two goats to provide enough money for travel.
With the support of a twinning partnership funded by World Child Cancer an effective local treatment protocol for Wilms’ tumour has been developed. Using surgery and relatively inexpensive chemotherapy drugs survival rates can be increased from virtually zero to around 50% over a few years.
Oscar continues to make good progress and visits the hospital for annual follow-up appointments.