Pediatric oncology treatment
Date of birth
Start of care
In November 2020, Kokou suddenly suffered from severe migraines and his right eye became noticeably swollen. A first brain scan revealed a probable rhabdomyosarcoma, the most prevalent soft tissue cancer in children. Unfortunately, the family could no longer afford to pay for further tests. When we met Kokou in February 2021, we sought the advice of several surgeons and ophthalmologists. In Togo, there are very few health care facilities that can treat children’s cancers. In 2006, the pediatric oncology unit at the University Hospital of Lomé was created with the help of the VICTOiR organization. It is in this unit that Kokou was admitted. Since February, we have been financing his hospital stay as well as all the medical examinations necessary to his care.
Kokou lives with his parents and has several siblings. His mom sells porridge and his dad is a mason. The mom is currently staying with Kokou at the hospital, so she is unable to work. Indeed, in Togo, a hospitalization requires the presence of a relative to take care of the patient. As Kokou’s dad also has difficulty finding work, they are now left with very little means to provide for their family’s needs.
April 26th, 2021
Kokou was discharged from the hospital, where he was treated in the pediatric oncology department. His doctors explained to us that the suspected cancer (rhabdomyosarcoma) had diminished greatly with the use of corticosteroids. So much so, that it is possible that this was an inflammatory disease and not cancerous. To confirm the diagnosis of cancer, a biopsy would have been necessary, however this was too dangerous, as the growth was located behind the eye. Therefore, the doctors preferred that Kokou go home. If he develops any symptoms (swelling, pain in the eye, loss of vision, etc.), he will be admitted to the hospital again. For now, Kokou is doing well, and he will soon go back to school. We donated a last food supply to the family, so that his mom could resume the small business that she used to do before Kokou was hospitalized.
April 5th, 2021
Kokou was not feeling well this week, due to digestive problems. We financed the medication prescribed by the doctors, and he is feeling much better. Regarding the treatment of his cancer, we are still waiting for the decision of his doctors. Edem, our Togolese volunteer, is still giving him lessons at the hospital. They get along very well and Kokou is happy to have him by his side.
April 2nd, 2021
Kokou has undergone several ophthalmologic tests (visual field and funduscopy) in order to assess the impact of the cancer behind his eye. This week, his doctors will meet again to discuss his treatment. Kokou and his mom are doing well. We bought them a fan, as they suffer terribly from the heat in their small hospital room. Our Togolese volunteer Edem continues to visit them three times a week and gives tutoring classes to Kokou. We have also donated food supplies to the family, as the parents currently have little income to provide for their children.
March 22nd, 2021
Financial support to the family
Since Kokou’s hospitalization, the family’s financial situation has been very complicated. His mom explained to us this week that she and her husband have very little means to provide for their children. Since she is staying with Kokou at the hospital, she hasn’t been able to work. We reassured her and decided to finance a monthly food supply. We will be donating 20,000 CFA francs each month for Kokou, his mom and his little sister, who are all staying at the hospital. To this, we will add 15,000 FCFA for the children who are in Tsévié.
Meeting with Edem
We have also decided to provide additional support to Kokou, thanks to a Togolese volunteer, Edem. Edem will visit him at the hospital three times a week to help him with his schoolwork, play with him and give him moral support. They already get along very well and talk a lot in their native language. Kokou and his mom are both very happy with this support.
Kokou has had a complete ophthalmologic check-up and a dilated fundus examination is planned for next week. We have financed the tests, treatments and eye drops. The treatment with corticosteroids also started this week. This treatment will help to reduce the volume of the tumor before starting the chemotherapy. The duration of the corticosteroid treatment cannot be calculated exactly, as it will depend on its effectiveness, as well as on how it is tolerated by Kokou. It is currently scheduled until April 11.
March 18th, 2021
Since Kokou has been hospitalized, we visit him several times a week and finance his medical examinations. We have recently financed a blood test and an extension assessment (chest X-ray and abdominal ultrasound). Fortunately, the latter did not show any extension of the cancer. We also financed a deworming treatment so that Kokou can start his drug therapy soon. We are currently awaiting confirmation of the final diagnosis, as a biopsy was not possible to perform due to the location of the cancer just behind the eye.