North Carolina U.S.A
Our Cancer Interest is "Breast Cancer"
In December 2018, I was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer.
I remember the day I found out about this dreaded diagnosis at such a young age of 34. I was terrified, I cried. I saw death! I had no known history of breast cancer in my family.
Over the years I have been eating relatively healthy. I wasn't overweight. How then?? Why??
My clinical team recommended a treatment course which spanned across several months. In February 2019, I started Chemotherapy and finished on July 8th.
A month later, I had surgery. My scars are still visible, reminding me of my yesterdays and how long I have come and still to go. In October 2019, I had radiation therapy. My body feels different and I am more hopeful than ever as i look to my last treatment - immunotherapy, to be completed in February 2020.
The journey thus far has not been the easiest but I have refused to let cancer hold me back, I have opted to DARE TO LIVE - to fight this head on.
PURPOSE... a word that I wrestled with over the past many months.
It tossed around my mind as I sat through chemo, session after session. I believed my answer to that was my determination to share my journey with as many people as I can.
To inspire as many as I can, to use my journey as a torch not only to shine a light on the way towards fulfillment but also as a symbol of optimism, faith and above all hope. This cannot go without my mention of breast cancer awareness to all who come across my path.
Over the year as I shared my pain, my difficulties and changes in my quality of life, I became exposed to the problems other breast cancer patients and survivors face.
Having been born and raised in Cameroon. I wondered many times the challenges faced by breast cancer patients.I heard stories before but now as a patient and a survivor, I very well picture their pain especially with specialized care not available.
I realized that women in Cameroon and most African countries facing similar medical situation as I am, do not have the resources to improve their quality of life while fighting breast cancer.
Many of these breast cancer patients and survivors lack the necessary resources to make this painful journey a little bearable. Resources such as medications, transportation to treatments and even beauty items such as wigs, caps etc are all not easy to have.
In my journey, knowing what breast cancer patients in developing countries such as Cameroon experience daily, I count myself fortunate to have received excellent care. I found that irrespective of the resources, one can put in place in these countries, there is a dire need to create breast cancer awareness at both grassroots and national scale.
By the time I got to ring that bell after my last chemotherapy treatment, it was all clear to me....the birth of Dare to Live with Anjoh Foundation which launched on October 5th, 2019.
The journey has been real, my road has been steep, there is a long way still to go ... I AM DARING TO LIVE!
DARE TO LIVE WITH ANJOH Foundation(D2L) was launched in OCT 2019. We have organized four free breast cancer screening events in Cameroon and the United States. During these events we detected lumps in several participants. We recommended follow up with their Primary Care Physicians. Participants were equally provided information about breast cancer. These events have helped most of our participants and their families become more aware of the possibilities and are more proactive.
We have published articles and vital information on breast cancer on our foundations social media space on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.
DARE TO LIVE WITH ANJOH Foundation (D2L) is making strides in Cameroon. Apart from the huge response and positive feedback we are getting from women, medical personnel, social media, breast cancer patients and survivors, we see a great increase in the number of articles and posts about breast cancer from our community back home and in the US.
Breast cancer patients are looking at their outcome differently. They have more hope knowing there is an organization out there spearheaded by someone who has walked in their shoes.
We have gotten recognition from a few other cancer organizations such as BC HEALTHLINE.ORG, MYSURVIVALSTORY.ORG and COUCHPENNIES.COM. Our community involvement landed us invitations to do interviews with media outlets and media tours such as CRTV and AB FM Cameroon to share our story. At D2L, we believe that every story deserves to be heard and every family deserves to be aware.
The rate of breast cancer diagnosis in Cameroon is extremely high! The statistics are not publicly available but the hospitals are crowded with new breast cancer cases daily. No one is talking about this. Women are dying in silence, in pain with no means for proper medical treatment.
Most patients are resorting to traditional treatments only or prayers for healing. Majority of breast cancer patients are diagnosed at advanced stages because of lack of knowledge on early detection.
With your financial support, we can help in providing continuous preventive education, awareness events as well as help to pay for treatment and help organize frequent awareness events.
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