Adzo,13, Ghana

In March 2021, Esther* got a call at work to say that her 13-year-old daughter Adzo* was sick and had been sent home from school. When Esther arrived home, she saw that her daughter looked very pale and took her to the hospital, where she was told Adzo was anaemic.

When Adzo’s condition continued to worsen, her parents grew very worried. They took her to stay with family in Accra, Ghana’s capital – a 13-hour drive from their home in Bolgatanga. Adzo was admitted to Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital: a specialist cancer centre supported by World Child Cancer. Here she was diagnosed with leukaemia.

The hardest thing for me is having to stay away from my family to be at the hospital. I like to be at home so I can help with house chores like washing and fetching water. I also like to play Ampe [a local game] with my siblings and read books.”

Adzo

Her sister was shocked to see her in this vulnerable state.

I felt so sad and thought I would lose her because she was weak and wouldn’t eat anything. Before she got ill, things were going well, and we used to play together.”

Adzo's sister

Esther, Adzo’s mother, was a farmer prior to her daughter’s diagnosis but has since not been able to work. She told us:

When Adzo’s diagnosis was new, family and friends were very helpful. Unfortunately, after some time into treatment, they were not willing to help because they could not understand why Adzo had been ill for so long.”

Esther, Adzo's mother

World Child Cancer came to their rescue just in time to offer accommodation, transport, diagnostics, medication and family support. Esther expressed how grateful she was for this help:

It would have been very difficult without this support, I would have lost her. I used to be very sad, but the staff at the hospital made me feel better and encouraged me."

Esther, Adzo's mother

Adzo is now in the maintenance stage and is doing better. Her favourite subjects are science and English. She would like to be a doctor when she grows up so that she can help people who are sick.

Esther’s advice to other parents with children who have been diagnosed with cancer is to be strong and listen to the advice:

Things are better now. I have hopes that one day, my child will only have to come to the hospital once a year. As parents, we need to be strong not only for ourselves but to encourage the children too. Cancer is not a death sentence; you must follow the advice of the health practitioners.”

Esther, Adzo's mother

Join us to support children like Adzo receive treatment by donating here.

*Names changed to protect identities

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