Uber driver who lost her leg to cancer freely takes chemotherapy patients to hospital.
COVID-19 is a threat to everyone but individuals with pre-existing conditions like cardiac, respiratory complications and chronic diseases like cancer and diabetes are more vulnerable.
Cancer patients particularly have had to endure an extra burden in terms of sustaining treatment and getting medication in the wake of COVID-19 spread in Kenya and implementation of preventive measures that have affected economic viability of many sectors.
A cancer survivor.
Through the support of Baraza Media lab Micro Okoa grant Ruth Wanjiku, 23 or ‘Shiku the Warrior’ as her friends easily refer to her, is a Stage 4 cancer survivor, and a driver working for taxi-hailing company Uber.
Wanjiku lost her leg and her right lung to the effects of the disease. She was only 16 when she was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer.
Doctors told her she had less than a month to live but she is living one more day by another with unmatched optimism and inspiration.
Two years later she went back:
After the diagnosis which shook her, the doctor suggested amputation of her right leg. Two years later she went back for a check-up, only to get life-altering news.
The cancer had spread to her lungs.
After medication and removal of her right lung, Wanjiku was told that the cancer had gone into remission in 2019.
The doctors gave me 25 days to live, but here I am, two years later.
COVID really shook things up.
Wanjiku was grateful for the new lease of life and was beginning to be more encouraged before COVID-19 happened and turned lots of things upside down.
When the first case of the disease was recorded in the country, she was terrified knowing chemotherapy treatment could make one immunosuppressed thus more vulnerable to the disease.
Her business has been really affected.
I could not go out for days. I had to avoid crowds.
She explained Her Uber business was hard hit by the new restrictions limiting movement, having people stay at home and dusk-to-dawn curfew means she has few hours to work excluding the nights which are mostly peak hours.