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My cancer cannot be cured but I am managing it: Kibra MP

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At the age of 41, Kibra MP is one of the youngest Members of Parliament and a visionary who describes himself as an educator and humanist.

But in the recent years, at the turn of 40, when life literally begins, the inimitable politician has added another title to his checkered public life – a cancer warrior!

Away from the glare of the fast-paced public life, Ken Okoth has been battling colerectal cancer but still putting on a brave face to work for his people.And he admits the diagnosis came a little too late but he will pull through.

“I was diagnosed with stage four colorectal cancer with metastases to the liver,” he told the Sunday Standard.

Symptoms of ulcers

Colorectal cancer, as defined by Mayoclinic.com, is when cancer develops from both the colon and rectum.A 2017 study published by National Centre for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) found that 50 per cent of colorectal cancer patients develop metastasis disease of the liver, which are tumour growths in the liver, spread from cancer causing cells in some part of the body.

This diagnosis, however, was not easy to come by. For over a year, he presented symptoms of ulcers, at times bacterial infections and that is what he was being treated for.He was even put on drugs to manage stress. Okoth says that all that time, he was battling  abdominal pain and weight loss.

By the time his doctor ordered some advanced scans, the cancer was found at stage four. It was shocking news to his family.

“The fear of the unknown that accompanies a cancer diagnosis is immense. Cancer changes your life completely,” he says.

The only support system became his family, friends and the medical team.Last year, Okoth was put through vigorous treatment that involved combined radio- and chemotherapy to avert the impending risk of organ failure.

He responded well, he says, but that was just the beginning of his long-term treatment. Considering his cancer was discovered at stage four, he will have to take medication for life – a tablet each day.

“I will be using chemotherapy tablets that I can take every morning. Because my disease was discovered at a very advanced stage; it cannot be cured. It can only be managed,” he says.

Okoth admits that getting treatment for advanced cancer is not easy in the country, a challenge he has had to deal with himself upon recommendation by his doctors in Nairobi.He was given two options where he could seek advanced care for his liver: the US or Europe.

He settled for Europe.“I could not afford the US because it was too expensive. My wife is from Europe, where the cost is more affordable and I could get a residence permit quickly for the duration of the treatment. Sadly, not everyone is as lucky; we need to make cancer care in Kenya a national priority,” he says.

Statistics by the Kenya Network of Cancer Organisations, show that at least 40,000 people are diagnosed with cancer every year. At the same time, there are 27,000 deaths.

Of the types, oesophageal cancer is the leading killer as revealed by National Cancer Institute (NCI) boss Alfred Karagu.

He explains that the major reason is because many of the patients present themselves in hospital too late – at stage four – leaving little to be done to save their lives.

Also, the only way to treat oesophageal cancer, is by operation, which involves removing the affected part of the food pipe and replacing it with an artificial one, which leaves one with a poor quality life due to numerous diet restrictions.Kenya will join other countries tomorrow (February 4) to commemorate World Cancer Day.

Okoth said Kenya has very good healthcare policies, at least on paper, which include a national cancer strategy that later begot the NCI.“In terms of implementation we are far behind; so many patients cannot get care in country. Patients seeking treatment abroad are not guaranteed protection from exploitation,” he says.

Okoth says the country must endeavour to invest in human resource, equipment and medicine to enable access of cancer treatment.

This could be the reason the MP decided to draft a Bill to have marijuana – a controlled substance – legalised.

It has been documented by the American Cancer Society that smoking marijuana can help relieve the nausea experienced after chemotherapy.

The herb can also relieve pain.“Medical cannabis and cannabis oils are documented for being effective in pain relief and non-addictive treatment of certain symptoms and side effects. We need to empower doctors to safely prescribe medical cannabis in Kenya,” says Okoth.

Very expensive

Okoth says imported cancer drugs should be zero rated and value added tax on equipment like computerised tomography (CT) scans removed.

“The cost of cancer treatment is very expensive. Many families go into bankruptcy and sell all their investments to have it,” he says.

“One of the major expenses is the cost of moving away from home closer to your place of treatment and the lost income of a family member who becomes the primary caregiver.

”Above all, a national campaign on preventive lifestyle choices like smoking, alcohol, diets and exercise will go a long way. These, the MP says, should be accompanied with regular check-ups to enable early diagnosis.

Source: Standard media

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Murder most foul: Woman denies killing her ‘mother’

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Suspect is accused of stabbing elderly woman 15 times in the neck, chest and stomach

Bernadette Njoki Gachinga, 33, was adopted by Esther Wangari Kanuri at the age of three months after being dumped by her biological mother.

But, on the evening of February 23, 2014, Ms Kanuri was brutally killed by unknown assailants at her home in Kihuyo village, Nyeri town. The slain civil servant’s body was found by her husband, Michael Kanuri, lying in a pool of blood in her adopted daughter’s bedroom.

Ms Njoki turned out to be the prime suspect in the murder. It is alleged that she attacked her foster mother while she was taking tea in her living room and stabbed her more than 15 times in the neck, chest and stomach. She allegedly later dragged the body to her bedroom, locked it from the outside and escaped to Nyeri town.

Ms Kanuri, who was suffering from arthritis, had just arrived home from a church service at Kihuyo Presbyterian Church of East Africa.

Although Ms Njoki has since denied killing her foster mother, the court found that she has a case to answer.

During her defence at the High Court in Nyeri on Thursday, Ms Njoki admitted hating her foster mother. The court was told she made Ms Kanuri’s life a living hell after discovering she was not her biological mother.

Justice Abigail Mshila heard that Ms Njoki was a wild and indisciplined girl since her days in high school and was addicted to drugs like bhang and alcohol.

While being cross-examined by State Counsel Emma Gicheha and lawyer Gitonga Muthee for the deceased’s family, Ms Njoki admitted that she became errant and defiant to her foster mother after completing primary school education in 2001.

“I discovered that she was not my biological parent after snooping into a cabinet in the house that was always locked. I was 14 years then and I told my brother that we are adopted children. I became confused and escaped from home for one month to look for my biological mother but I later returned,” Ms Njoki said.

She admitted harbouring a grudge against Ms Kanuri for reasons she did not disclose. She said she was not bitter although Ms Kanuri had not told her she was adopted.

Ms Njoki is accused of stabbing her foster mother to death following an altercation caused by her indiscipline. The disagreement allegedly arose after Ms Kanuri asked her why she had not reported to her workplace in Nyeri town where she was operating a fruits parlour.

The prosecution told the court Ms Njoki, while in high school, wrote a letter to her foster father telling him how she hated her foster mother.

“Remember I wrote to you an SMS telling you that I hate mum. I was angry. I wish I got to know my real mother,” reads the letter.

Source: Daily Nation

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Diaspora

VIDEO: Kenyan-born Gospel Musician set to launch new DVD/CD in US

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BY BMJ MURIITHI

Renowned Dallas-based gospel arstiste, Lizz Ndung’u MD is set launch her latest album in Texas this coming weekend (Sunday February 24th, 2019) at Rhema Gospel Church: 2700 Warren Circle, Irving, Texas 76502 at 2:30 PM. 

The forthcoming album is titled “Ndimuirigire”  ( I am guarded) which talks about how God  protects His people by surrounding them with a divine hedge of fire.

Besides being a singer, the former Atlanta resident is also a song writer whose star has continued to rise since she launched her first CD six years ago.

Her first album titled  “kirigiriro” (Hope) was released in 2013 while the second album entitled “Ngai ndarikitie nawe” (God id not done with you yet) was launched in 2016.

“I consider it  a huge blessing to introduce an additional name in my third album, ‘MD’ which stands for my husband. My previous albums only bore my first two names, Lizz Ndung’u, but I have since gotten married and I thank God greatly for that,” said Lizz in a Press Statement sent to KSN this week.

The event, which will be presided over by Rev. Dr.  Solomon Waigwa will be graced by a retinue of fellow gospel artistes with popular Diaspora media personality Jeremy Damaris as the Master of Ceremonies (MC).

Lizz says the new album has already  powerfully ministered to her personally even as she looks forward to the launch. “God has been truly gracious to me and my family,” she says.

Her music is in both Kikuyu and Kiswahili and most of it is about giving hope and encouraging people to have courage as they face the challenges of life.

She says this new release will touch many in a myriad ways besides being a blessing to those who will watch or listen to it.

Lizz can be reached through her facebook  profile: @ Lizz ndungu. Her music Facebook  page  is @Lizznproductions while her email address is endungu95@gmail.com.

She and her husband Davis MD Maina  can also be reached via her phone number –404 751-6781

They welcome all friends and well wishers to Sunday’s event.

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Diaspora

STRANGE: Kenyan man in US says women reject him because he is a perfectionist, great cook

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A Kenyan man in Boston, Massachusetts in the US cannot find a wife because he is a great cook. Albert Kiage is not your average ‘hustler’. He has everything going for him. He has a good job, a string of real estate properties in the United States and Kenya and drives top-of-the-range SUVs.

His house is furnished with all the fancy electronic gadgets anyone would wish for in life. What’s more, Kiage’s says he has a balance worth writing home about in his bank account. What Kiage, however, lacks is a wife.

Not that he has not tried getting one. He is divorced once and has watched three women leave him because he is not only too clean, but also a great cook and a perfectionist to boot.

“I think I am an incurable germophobe, with an OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) that drives women away. I had constant wrangles with my first wife over small matters of hygiene and we divorced in 2007 after two years of marriage. I couldn’t stand her. I found her too dirty for my house. We just couldn’t cope,” complains Kiage.

Biggest problem

He says he has dated three women since then. In all the cases, he says, the relationships were serious and he hoped they would lead to marriage.

Unfortunately, that was not to be. “The problem has always been the same. The first one always complained that I am a perfectionist. The two other cases were almost similar, with one complaining about my insistence to cook all the time. Truth of the matter is she was a joke in the kitchen,” says the accountant.

His biggest problem with most women stems from the fact that he is an incredible cook. Having lived his entire adult life single, save for the short-lived marriage, he has perfected his cooking skills and can’t stand bad food.

“You can only eat out for so long,” he says. “As a gym enthusiast, you want natural foods which you cannot find readily when you eat out. I am also very keen with my diet, it has to be balanced,” he says.

Living alone has taught him many things, culinary-wise. He can whip up every discernible Kenyan meal, including chapatis. “In fact some Kenyan female friends even come for chapatis, cake and barbecues at my home over the weekends. They know I am good at it. We always laugh over my obsession for cooking and cleanliness, but it’s never that serious,” he says. This, however, comes at a cost. It has continuously kept potential wives away.

House wife

They come, settle, try to keep up with his standards, but many cannot. Partly because life is too busy in the United States for anyone to depend on homemade food every day of the week, and partly because Kiage must eat at home. He is able to do it. He doesn’t see why he should relent. Not that he chases them away. They just chicken out.

“They become increasingly uncomfortable, since I insist on cooking for both of us. I don’t mind at all. But many say, it is un-African,” he says. He says many women in America, whereas they are busy and crave independence, they still want a chance to play the role of a traditional house wife. And many are not ready to compete with him in roles that were traditionally considered to belong to women.

Kiage says his culinary skills must have been nurtured when he was young, when he was growing up with his father in Eldoret.

“I lived with my father and I used to do everything on my own. So I learned everything and became quite independent. Living as a bachelor only made me perfect the skills,” he says. He says he is praying and hoping to find a fellow perfectionist to settle down with.

Source: Standardmedia.co.ke

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