- Posted June 7, 2012 by
The cry of a dying 'face' - Stella Kwami
My story is about a young, strong, courageous and hopeful lady called Stella Kwami. She is Ghanaian and has cancer. Please take time to read about her and support her cause.
Stella is a vibrant, promising young woman who attended some of the best schools in the country. After secondary education at the Holy Child School in Cape Coast she proceeded to the Ho Polytechnic after which she pursued a degree at GIMPA to pursue tertiary education. Stella earned a degree in Hospitality management but at the time of her graduation in 2010, the cancer had progressed and she was too weak to walk on the dais for her hard earned certificate.
The nodule on the face (pimple Scratch)
In the early part of 2010, Stella developed a pimple or nodule on her face. Like any young woman conscious of her face, she scratched and applied creams on it to clear the acne. The pimple did not disappear and after some weeks she noticed a swelling on the face where the pimple had been. She also experienced headaches and persistent cold and runny nose. Stella took this to the hospital several times and no specific diagnosis was made. Later that year, the right eye started swelling. This was reported to the Korle bu Teaching Hospital where a CT san was requested by the physicians. It was only after the scan was taken that it became evident that Stella had a tumour growing just behind her eye ball.
Initially the doctors explained that the tumour was benign but after a few months and many hospital visits, they advised and Stella started receiving chemotherapy. The chemo sessions became frequent when it was finally diagnosed as Basal cell carcinoma in late 2010. In mid 2011, Stella went on a medical tour to Lome, Togo where the Mercy Ship had docked to provide free medical services for the sick. She was told that the cancer had advanced and the tumour had affected a big chunk of her brain matter thus removing the tumour would make her lose her motor and part of her cognitive functions. They advised that she goes home and receive palliative care.
Lost job and expensive treatment
In 2011 Stella finally resigned from her job to enable her receive full treatment. Also the chemo sessions gradually made her very weak and she had to stay home. With no job and little financial support, Stella reclined one too any chemo sessions and resorted to traditional and ayuverdic medicines. The cancer grew quite aggressively from this point on and Stella last her left eye.
Facial tumour and Stigma
After losing an eye, poor and traumatised, Stella faced days of continuous curious stares from strangers and friends alike. She redraw gradually from social networks and cash-trapped and desperate for a miracle cure, She moved from church to church seeking help.... healing for her soul and body. Her mother supported her greatly and what really is a mother to do at this point. She stuck by her daughter when others were too busy rumour mongering on the causes of Stella’s deformed face and lost eye. To remain sane and safe from the endless stares and talk and sometimes silly questions, Stella stopped going to church too. Apparently she was 'cursed' that's why she had that disease which just won’t go away but that which was gradually eating away her face, her dignity and draining her energy and sense of living.
Resigned to die
The last straw that really broke Stella down was when a visit to the Mercy Ship in Lome, Togo revealed that the tumour had gone into her brain and any attempt at operating it will result in her demise. From then on, and with no chemo therapy, few friends to support, cash issues and a failing health, Stella withdrew completely from the society. She refused to respond to messages, calls, invitations to social gatherings, she was determined to die a quiet death.
Beacon of Hope.
As we, the HOPSA '99 Group, friends and classmates of Stella, got to know about her situations, we started in our own small way to offer her both financial and spiritual support. Today, Stella believes there's hope for her. And i believe it too. My wish is to see Stella happy again. Stella needs your HELP. Please visit STELLA KWAMI CANCER FUND on facebook for details on how to support. Thank you. God bless you.