FUNDS APPEAL

Family seeks Sh2m for treatment of six-year-old brain cancer girl in India

Relatives and well-wishers have only managed to raise Sh500,000

In Summary

• Naomi Wangui was diagnosed with brain stem glioma tumour and obstructive hydrocephalus two years ago and put on medication.

• Now doctors say the girl needs to be operated on as the prescribed drugs have the potential of doing more harm than good to the once fun-loving girl.

 

Six-year-old Naomi Wangui. She needs Sh2.5 million for treatment in India.
SHE NEEDS YOUR HELP: Six-year-old Naomi Wangui. She needs Sh2.5 million for treatment in India.
Image: COURTESY

Doctors have stopped the medication of Naomi Wangui, the six-year-old brain cancer and obstructive hydrocephalus child we told you about on October 10.

They say the prescribed drugs - Astymin and Diamox - are no longer helpful and have the potential to do more harm than good to the once fun-loving girl, who now urgently needs Sh2.5 million for treatment in India.

 

This is money that her mother, Mary Wangui, does not have.

Mary, a single mother of two, told the Star by phone from the family home in Kahawa West that they and well-wishers have so far raised Sh500,000. 

The music and dance-loving Naomi was diagnosed with brain stem glioma tumour (cancer) and obstructive hydrocephalus two years ago and put on medication.

The hydrocephalus condition means that there is water surrounding the tumour.

Naomi's condition has rendered her immobile. She can no longer stand and her health is deteriorating by the day. She cannot join school. 

According to Mary, the child is prayerful and keenly listens to Bible stories. 

"We no longer go outside because she has lost her balance. She always needs support to walk. Her speech has also begun to deteriorate and her head has begun to swell," Mary said. 

 

The location of the tumour is the reason the family has been advised to seek treatment in India. Kenya doesn't have the equipment for use in the delicate operation.

"There is no equipment to do so in Kenya," the mother says, adding that she is optimistic that the operation will be successful as the medics have assured her that the tumour is in its early stages.

Naomi was born in 2014 without any complications. She was a healthy child, just like her 16-year-old brother, during the first three years of her life

Thereafter, Mary started noticing some changes whenever the child sat to watch television - she uncontrollably tilted to one side before sitting upright after a few moments.

At the time, the family did not think it was anything serious but became concerned when she turned four. "She was not only tilting her head but also falling when walking or when playing with friends,” Mary told the Star in the previous interview. 

The condition worsened a year later. This time she staggered, occasionally losing balance while walking. She also complained of blurry vision.

Mary took her to Kenyatta National Hospital where tests indicated that everything was fine. However, she was told to get a CT scan done and also referred to a neurosurgeon in the same hospital.

The scan showed that Naomi had progressive ataxia, a degenerative disease of the nervous system. The family was also informed of brain cancer. 

Progressive ataxia symptoms mimic those of being drunk, slurred speech, stumbling and falling. These are due to the damage in the cerebellum, the part of the brain responsible for coordinating movement.

The family and friends intend to organise an auction for items they no longer use to raise funds for Naomi's treatment. 

"If you have an old TV, radio, laptop, sufuria, camera, gas cooker, fridge - anything valuable please give them out for the auction," Stanley Njenga, the fundraising convener appealed. 

Contributions can be channelled to 0729201343 or Pay bill number 8013929. The account name is Peter Mburu (Naomi's uncle).