Foundation for Cancer Care in Tanzania

Winner’s Story

Winner is like a beautiful butterfly, fluttering around the ward, spreading her beauty wherever she goes. Her pink, sparkly dress that seems to fit her personality perfectly! She brings so much life to the pediatric ward, a much-needed change in a place that sees far too much sadness and despair.

It’s hard to believe that almost a year ago, Winner was brought to the hospital to with increased swelling in her neck, constant fatigue, weight loss, and an overall feeling of sickness.

Based on the symptoms presented, and with no other further investigation done, Winner was told she had tuberculosis, and put on a six-month treatment regimen. She followed the treatment schedule, but six months later, she was still experiencing the same symptoms, with no improvement.

Winner and her mother returned to the same hospital, but this time, they were told Winner had typhoid and brucellosis, and was kept in the hospital for five days. When the doctor wanted to do a biopsy of Winner’s lymph nodes, her Grandmother demanded they be transferred to KCMC for further testing.

At KCMC, a biopsy of Winner’s lymph nodes were done, along with additional blood work, a bone marrow biopsy, lumbar puncture and a CT scan. When the biopsies were sent to Dar es Salaam for evaluation, Winner’s diagnosis was not tuberculosis or typhoid; she had Hodgkins Lymphoma Stage I.

Luckily, Winner was at the right place, and being treated for the right diagnosis. She and her mother met with KCMC doctors and immediately began a treatment plan consisting of chemotherapy every four weeks, for a total of six rounds.

Currently, Winner is half-way through therapy, and has experienced good and bad days. When she receives her chemotherapy, she must stay in the hospital for 3 days. The chemotherapy has caused her to feel very tired, nauseous, have fevers, and dizziness. Yet through it all, Winner has remained positive and kept her bubbly personality!

Despite missing a lot of school, Winner has been able to work on her exams and maintain her grades. She is anxious to be finished with treatment so she can return to school, play with her friends, swim and enjoy her childhood. Winner and her mother are so appreciative to all the doctors and nurses for everything they have done and the care they have shown them through this stressful process.

There is no doubt this little lady will live up to her name, and be a Winner at the end of this!

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