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This fundraiser ended on 04/10/12

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Our dad, John Mwangi, is being treated for a brain tumor in Kenya. Please help us raise funds for his medical costs and care.

On February 6, 2011 at about 6:30 p.m., my dad’s business in Nairobi, Kenya, went up in flames when a huge fire burnt down the mall where his clothes shop was located. All his ten sewing machines and his entire stock of clothes were burnt down. He had owned the shop since the early 1970s and it was his only source of livelihood. That is how he had managed to send us to school, pay his bills and put food on the table. Now it was gone. Just like that and in a matter of hours.

Like many people in Kenya, he had no insurance coverage for his business. There was no financial help from the government or from the City of Nairobi that owned the mall. He and many other traders affected were later allocated a temporary place by the city to start afresh. We came together with family and friends and managed to put together some money so he could buy and re-sell clothes. But the new business was a pale shadow of his former shop. It was small and exposed to the elements. All he could do was buy and resell small amounts of clothes while he waited for the City to rebuild the mall as promised. They are still waiting. But that is nothing compared to what was in store for him.

In December 2011, he started experiencing headaches, temporary memory losses, dizziness and numbness. We took him to Kenyatta National Hospital where he was misdiagnosed with brain tuberculosis and put on a treatment plan. But his condition got worse and soon he could neither walk nor use the bathroom without help. It was frightening to watch a mature, energetic and healthy man become totally incapacitated in weeks. It was clear his TB medicine was not working.

We took him to Nairobi Hospital. After hours of tests and scans, he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Dad had a brain tumor!

He had surgery three days later and was in Nairobi hospital for a few weeks. We paid more than a million Kenya shillings (over $12,000) for that hospital stay. But he was not going home. His doctor sent him to M.P. Shah Hospital to start eight weeks of radiation, chemotherapy and gene therapy. He is still in the hospital. A brain tumor is like a roller coaster. His condition fluctuates. There are days when he seems to be getting better to the point where he starts physical therapy. Other times he deteriorates or comes down with pneumonia or blood clot and they have to put him in the ICU. Our family is paying for all this and we have spent more than three million Kenya shillings (more than $ 36,000) and the bill is still rising because he is still in the hospital. We have spent our entire savings on this horrible disease.

Our family met with the doctor recently and he gave us Dad’s treatment plan for the next fifteen months. At some point Dad will go home but he will be coming to the hospital for radiation once a week for the next 15 months. The doctor told us to plan to spend a further five million shillings on his treatment and care because he will need long term care at home. We are trying to raise at least five million Kenya shillings ($60,000). Our family’s experience in the last one year has been surreal and I have found myself wondering why all this is happening to a good family that has always been nice and kind to everyone, God-fearing and charitable. But there are no answers to my many questions. My immediate task right now is to help my dad in any way I can. I live in the USA. I have spent all my money on his treatment and I have ran out of options. But I know there are good people out there who might want to chip in. I can only thank you in advance for your kindness. I hope some day I will be able to repay your kindness in some form. Thank you.
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