By Promise Dube
A family from Lobengula West suburb in Bulawayo is holding a fundraising and awareness drive to raise funds for their 14-year-old daughter who has Osteogenic Sarcoma cancer and needs to fly to India for surgery.
The teen’s mother Samantha Ndebele, said her child, Ashely Nkosinothabo Sibanda, needs US$40 000 for reconstructive surgery on her lower jaw and supportive treatment in India.
So far, the family has only received ZWL$ 80 000 on Ecocash and £4 824, which has been raised on a GoFundMe platform.
“We kindly invite you to attend a fundraising and awareness function to be held at Mt View shopping centre in Lobengula West on Sunday, July 9 2023 from 10 am to 6 pm under the theme #HELP ASHLEY GET HER SMILE BACK#,” said the family.
Ndebele said the fundraising event is meant to help raise funds and make the general public aware of Sibanda’s plight.
“My daughter’s condition is still the same. There are no changes so far. Her doctor has stressed that Ashley needs the operation as a matter of urgency as the tumour is rapidly growing and has a tendency to spread to the lungs, which may be fatal,” said the mother.
Ndebele appealed for more funds, saying the family was desperate to have their daughter treated.
“We appeal to well-wishers to continue assisting us. No amount is little but we urgently need to raise more funds so that we raise the US$40 000 that will cover expenses to India, hospital stay, surgery and treatment,” said the tearful mother.
“Your presence at the fundraising campaign will be greatly appreciated.”
Sibanda was forced to drop out of Inyanda High School this year, where she was in Form One, due to ill health.
A medical quote of services in India provided to Sibanda’s mother shows that she may have to spend about 20 to 25 days in India, which will include a detailed evaluation of her condition, chemotherapy and surgical management, but this is dependent on the patient’s recovery.
The medical quote said the approximate cost of evaluation ranges from US$2 500 to US$3 000, chemotherapy per cycle ranges from US$500 to US$2000 while the surgical management is about US$12 700.
These costs may vary by 10 percent and can be high or low depending on the line of treatment.
The cost estimate includes hospital stay for the period mentioned, procedure cost, consumables for the period of hospital stay, investigations for the period of hospital stay, standard diet or meals, medicine for the hospital stay, doctor visits and consultations for the period of stay.
The estimated cost excluded hospital stay after the said period, Covid related investigations and associated treatment, cross consultation if any, ICU stay if required, CT/MRI and Complex lab investigations if required, Comorbidities charges, post-discharge hospital stay and international flight tickets, visa charges, cost of travel.
Those willing to help Sibanda can contact her mother Ndebele on +263 772 775 185, which is also registered on EcoCash.
Her home address is 4224 Lobengula West.