Through our partnership with Charity Launch come stories of resiliency in Northern Tanzania–stories of parents and children, of brothers and sisters, of grandchildren and grandparents who are fighting cancer in a country with few resources to put to their aid.
Tragically, resiliency isn’t all that matters in the fight against cancer–especially in Northern Tanzania, where 96% percent of the known cancer cases receive no treatment. The World Health Organization reports that within the next five years, cancer will become the leading cause of death in Tanzania.
That’s why the Foundation for Cancer Care in Tanzania is working to create the first modern cancer center in Northern Tanzania in partnership with the Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Center (KCMC). This facility will serve more than 11 million people and become a model for delivering modern cancer care to people throughout sub-Saharan Africa.
These stories speak the importance of our vision and our initiatives; we’re excited and humbled to share them with you.
A Parent’s Love
Elia was seven years old when we met him in the pediatric ward of Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre (KCMC) last fall. The village where his journey had begun just a few weeks earlier was impossibly beautiful and appeared to our western eyes to have been plucked off a Hollywood stage and set down at the base of Mount Kilimanjaro halfa-world away. The flowers and birds were challenged in beauty and number only by the many equally beautiful children who lived in the village, all of whom appeared to occupy themselves primarily with playing and singing.
Two Brothers in the Darkness
In the villages of rural Tanzania, life is simple, but nearly every essential task requires more than one set of hands. As a practical requirement of life, families are large. Siblings are especially important and the bond that seems to be the most important to the success of any family is the bond that exists between brothers.
The Loneliest Journey
The women’s ward at KCMC is more or less overflowing with heartbreak. Each room in the ward contains six to twelve beds, but often twice as many patients. To accommodate the extraordinary need, cots have been erected wherever there is space available – both in the rooms and in the hallways – giving the ward the appearance of a MASH unit in a war zone instead of a hospital in a small tourist town.
The Gift of Grandparents
Beati is the matriarch of a large Catholic family in Arusha, Tanzania, a city of more than a million people which serves as the jumping-off point for the many tourists who come to Tanzania to visit the country’s extraordinary game preserves. Beati’s family is involved in business, providing supplies and groceries to the local people who live in and around the city supporting the tourism industry. Although retail is not as lucrative as owning a safari company or Kilimanjaro outfitter, Beati’s family has enjoyed a level of financial stability that is uncommon in the country.