cancer patient

A Kenyan man by the name Eric Raikanya has left many in tears after he shared a sad story about his wife, who is battling with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML) type of cancer.

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Acute Myeloid Leukaemia is a type of cancer that starts in the blood-forming cells of the bone marrow. The leukemia cells are immature blood cells (called blasts). These leukemias are fast growing because normal blast cells divide quickly. But the leukemia cells don’t divide any more often than normal blast cells do. They just don’t stop dividing when normal blast cells would. Without treatment, most patients with acute leukemia would live only a few months. Some types of acute leukemia respond well to treatment, and many patients can be cured. (according to google).

Eric narrates how he and his wife went to a doctor for a regular checkup after she complained about bodily pains only for them to be met with a shock. Eric Raikanya is appealing to Kenyans to help him raise sh 7 million for his wife’s treatment.

Here is his emotional story. Go through:

“2 months ago.. It was supposed to be a routine visit to a doctor. My wife Linda had been complaining of some bodily pains and so, we decided to go get her tested…And the blood test results changed our lives. The tests spelt doom at that moment. Linda was crushed. I felt a deep, bottomless pit in my stomach.

Of course, I didn’t show it. First, because I am a man and a man is supposed to be composed – to be there for his family, and by all means, not break down. Second, because I didn’t believe what I was seeing. The sheet showed Linda had Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML). All I knew was that leukemia is a cancer of the blood. The other part, especially the “acute” felt like the monster called cancer had broken its chains, and was now roaming my wife’s blood.

I tried to haggle with the doctor – in my disbelief, I thought I would negotiate the results. Maybe get another, more bearable disease instead. We scouted the city and the internet consulting oncologists, pathologists, hematologists …and all “…ogists’ there are. The more we did this, the more reality set in… and the reality is that AML is quite complex cancer. Leukaemic cells/blasts were eating away red/white blood cells and platelets, leaving my wife weak, vulnerable to the smallest infections and severe blood loss. Amidst the flashing pictures of our 2 sons, I knew this was going to be a fight. I resolved we would all fight with Linda and kill this monster.

Eric Raikanya 's wife battling with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia cancer
Eric Raikanya ‘s wife battling with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia cancer

Speed was important, we started chemotherapy immediately. She spent a month in hospital. A month of great anguish…seeing my wife lose her hair, have difficulty swallowing foods, her complexion pale and difficulty in walking. My rock of strength was being ravaged. I still held on, I was being her strong man, with my sacred vows at the Holy Trinity Cathedral 8 years ago “…In sickness and in health….” Ringing in my mind.

 Eric Raikanya and his wife
Eric Raikanya and his wife before she was diagnosed with cancer

I have come to appreciate counselling, prayer and positive thinking during this period. I took heart and strength when I recalled the many times I saw my mum take care of my then bed-ridden dad, when we he was fighting prostrate cancer. When friends and strangers trooped to the hospital to donate their blood, I picked myself up and cheered her on.

She left hospital. And we were pregnant with hopes as we waited for the post-chemotherapy biopsy results. The results that would return our happiness.

But when the results came out, they were depressing. We are back to square one. Linda needs a longer chemotherapy… and a bone marrow transplant later.

I have tried to disguise my heartbreak and anxiety by playing normal, indulging deep into work and ensuring that my 2 boys (a teen and a 5-year-old) while soaking my pillow with tears and crying in the washroom, are not distracted by changes being witnessed at the house. Because I am a man.

But the budget of Ksh. 7 million that my wife requires is more than a typical middle-class man living in a rented house, who has an ailing mum and two boys can manage.

Also, read:

‘Cancer Has Taught Me To Be Patient, Kind And Rise Above Even When The World Comes Crashing Down,’ Narrates Survivor

The medical cover..well there is the issue of Chronic/Pre-existing conditions on ‘Individual covers’. I have exhausted my close friends and family in the last two months, and there is nowhere else to turn.

I am still a man, but this time I am crying in public. Please help me raise money to secure further treatment for my wife… I am all she has. She is all my boys and I have.

My name is Eric Raikanya… and this is my Story.

PAYBILL 351055
MPESA: 0721484067.”