Foundation for Cancer Care in Tanzania

Mary’s Story

Mary is one of those people who just exudes grace, strength and bravery. She is a breast cancer survivor, and is ready to go out and tell the world her story!

October 2016, Mary noticed a lump while doing a breast self-exam. With the support of her husband, they headed to Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre. After a biopsy was performed, Mary received the news that it was breast cancer. She didn’t let it get her down – Mary drew her strength from other women she knew who had successfully battled breast cancer.

Confident about the decision she was going to make regarding treatment at KCMC, Mary made a conscious choice to keep her cancer diagnosis quiet from her extended family and friends. She didn’t want outside opinions on how she should treat her cancer.

Mary and her husband decided to move forward with the treatment plan and have the recommended surgery as soon as possible. Mary’s strength and bravery was evident in her decision to have a mastectomy instead of just the recommended lumpectomy. Mary wanted to reduce her chances of relapse as much as possible.

Following surgery, the next step in her treatment plan was chemotherapy. Finding that KCMC was now offering chemotherapy was an answer to prayer – her husband was sick at the time, and she needed to stay in Moshi to care for him. Had the treatment only been offered in Dar es Salaam, the distance and time away from her husband would have caused Mary to forego her care.

In February 2017, Mary met with Dr. Furaha at the KCMC Cancer Care Centre. Together, they discussed the treatment plan, and all the possible side effects of chemotherapy. Mary continued to feel confident about her decision to move forward with the recommended treatment. After five long months, 8 cycles of chemotherapy and numerous blood draws and clinic visits, Mary completed her treatment. She responded so well to chemotherapy that she didn’t even need any additional radiation appointments. Now, with therapy six months behind her, Mary is still cancer free and feeling great!

Mary has become one of the Cancer Centre’s loudest voices, speaking at the prevention and awareness campaigns, and at World Cancer Day. She has a story to tell, and a message for the people: Don’t let fear stop you from seeking care from a doctor at a trusted medical facility. If you notice an unusual symptom, see a doctor right away to get it checked out, and don’t listen to the advice around town.

Mary believes she is alive and able to tell her story because of the Cancer Care Centre, and the convenience of having a treatment centre close to home. When others see her, they see hope. It’s why Mary is determined to spread her message across the Kilimanjaro Region!

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