Eight-year-old Marleen was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2017 by Kisumu Hospice. Hospice staff discussed Marleen’s treatment options with her family, recommending radiotherapy. However, despite both of her parents working the family have very little money to spare and were unable afford the high cost of treatment. They were financially assessed and the hospice enrolled the family on the national health insurance scheme with the premium paid by the project. Marleen was able to undergo radiotherapy, which significantly reduced her tumour and her chances of survival.

A year later she is still visited regularly by the hospice and the growth of her tumour is monitored. She is provided with a nutritional porridge to keep her healthy. She has just had malaria resulting in her being hospitalised but thanks to the family’s medical insurance paid by the project she received her care for free. She sometimes suffers with headaches and struggles to walk the 4km to her school, but Marleen is surviving, she’s happy and well and her family avoided financial crisis.

“Thank you for all the support you have given her, also transport to hospital and the porridge. I hope you are able to continue helping other children like her. Now she can walk and play, all because of the treatment, so thank you,” Marleen’s father.

Marleen’s story
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