By Vivian Ihechu
Lagos – In a bid to alleviate the intense sufferings of Nigerians who are diagnosed of breast cancer, a charity organisation, Built For God (B4G) Foundation, has intervened with the donation of some relief items for patients.
The NGO, on Dec. 14, Dec. 15 and Dec. 18 donated some prosthesis, bras and cash to cancer patients at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi-Araba, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) and EKO Hospital, Lagos, respectively.
Prosthesis is an artificial device that replaces a missing body part, which may be lost through trauma, disease, surgery or congenital conditions.
The Founder of B4G, Engineer Bosun Rufai, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the intervention, which started in 2013, was borne out of the experiences he had as a cancer patient.
According to him, cancer survivors should reach out to cancer patients by counseling, supporting and encouraging them.
“B4G Foundation birthed out of the experiences I had when I had the challenges of cancer in 2011.
“My cancer treatment was in the U.S and I was so favoured that my bill, which was supposed to be about 205 thousand dollars, was reduced to only five thousand dollars.
“The U.S government gave me a waiver of 200 thousand dollars; that inspired me.
“Also, when I was taking my treatment, survivors were coming to the facilities to counsel us, to tell us about the dos and don’ts of cancer treatment.
“Among those that were coming, was a particular man that was 25 years into having survived cancer treatment; that also gave me inspiration.
“I resolved that when I got back to Nigeria, I will do similar thing by going to hospital facilities, counseling patients and seeing how to help assuage the pain, cost and other experiences of cancer patients.’’
Rufai said that when patients related with those that had survived cancer, it lifted their morale.
“Cancer is a disease that can incapacitate one physically, emotionally and financially; so, those who are in that predicament need all the support they can get, especially from survivors.
“Oncologists, that is, doctors who have studied about cancer, know a lot about it, but they have not experienced it; they can only empathise.
“But, a survivor can relate with that pain and feeling because it had happened to him or her.
“The presence of and encouragement from survivors who reach out to cancer patients, just like it did to me, go a long way in giving them hope for survival,’’ he said.
The cancer survivor said that the foundation had reached out to over 1000 cancer patients, since its founding in 2013.
Rufai urged cancer patients and survivors to adopt healthy life styles.
“Cancer forms by virtue of our lifestyle.
“So, there is need for a cancer patient or survivor to change his or her lifestyle after completing treatment.
“Cancer patients and survivors should take away sugar, coffee, alcohol and cigarettes from their menu.
“If they want to drink milk, they should take plant based milk, milk from soya bean, tiger nut or beans and not milk from cow or goat.
“It is also important that they eat a lot of vegetables, fruits and drink plenty water,’’ Rufai said.
Dr Anthonia Sowunmi, Consultant Clinical and Radiation Oncologist, Radiotherapy Department, LUTH, commended B4G for the gesture.
According to her, the treatment for cancer is very expensive and requires the support of NGOs and well-meaning individuals to help increase the survival rate.
“We commend B4G foundation for the donation; they have come to put smiles on the face of breast cancer survivors by giving them prosthesis.
“Most times, when cancer patients are being treated, there are chances of cutting off one of their breasts, the one that is diseased.
“For the female, breasts are needed for cosmetic reasons, when they want to dress up.
“So, the prosthesis which are given were brought in from Canada and each costs about 40 thousand naira; a lot of them cannot afford it.
“The foundation also gave them bras to go with it; they also gave some of the patients money because a lot of them cannot afford money for their treatment.
“ I urge more NGOs and bodies to support the fight against cancer,’’ Sowunmi said. (NAN)