Anita*, Aged 3, Sierra Leone

Anita, aged 3, was diagnosed with Wilm’s Tumour after her grandmother noticed a swelling in Anita’s abdomen.

Anita’s grandmother would have been unable to afford treatment. Found out how supporters like yourself are helping families like Anita’s to receive life-changing cancer care and treatment.

Anita Lahia* was aged 3 when her grandmother, Amira Sesay*, first noticed a swelling in her abdomen. Amira was told by others that it was a hernia so she resorted to herbal medication to treat it. Eventually, Anita was taken to the hospital where an initial scan was done. They referred her to the Ola During Children’s Hospital in Freetown (359km away) for treatment. Being a widow and a grandmother with no source of income, Amira struggled to send her grandchild to hospital; this was the only paediatric hospital where childhood cancer could be treated. Before diagnosis, Anita and Amira lived happily together and had a healthy, loving relationship. Amira’s family stability was impacted by her granddaughter’s illness, as she is the only person caring for her grandchildren after the death of her only daughter.

I had no hope of coming back with my grandchild as I had no money to pay for cost of treatment, but things were not as I thought. I met someone working with an NGO on arrival who promised to support us through the World Child Cancer project in the Ola During Children’s Hospital.

Amira, Anita's grandmother

Treatment for Anita commenced following a series of investigations and counselling at the Koidu Government Hospital. She was diagnosed with Wilms’ Tumour, a type of kidney cancer, and was sent to the Connaught Hospital for surgery. Amira stated that getting an appointment for her grandchild’s surgery was very difficult but that the NGO worker and his team helped to arrange everything. The cost of treatment, including the drugs needed for the operation, was covered by the NGO. The CT scans, blood tests, chemotherapy, surgeries, feeding and transportation, were made possible with the support from Cadith, Vales University, and World Child Cancer UK.  

Care for an ill child is all-inclusive, not just giving medicine but the emotional and psychological needs as well.

Amira, Anita's grandmother

With the support from World Child Cancer, Amira has seen a vast improvement in Anita’s health six months on from the beginning of treatment. Amira was also provided with psychological support and gained an understanding of what her grandchild was being treated for.

With the care and support from the team from ODCH and World Child Cancer I have come to understand that cancer in children can be treated. My grandchild will be cured and discharged home healthy.

Amira, Anita's grandmother

*Names changed to protect identities

Hearing the news that your child has cancer is devastating. With your help, World Child Cancer is able to provide financial and emotional support to children and their families at diagnosis and beyond, to limit the damage cancer causes.

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