She first noticed an odd black patch on her baby’s stomach when she held him for the first time.
However, doctors assured Sylvia Atieno that it was a birth mark that would gradually disappear as baby Stanley grew older.
Eight years later, Stanley’s body is a sea of moles and folds of dark skin threatening to cover every part of the body. Ms Atieno noticed that the ‘birth mark’ was growing when Stanley was still a toddler.
She took him to hospital where he was given medicine, but the spots continued to spread to his hands, feet and face.
From a spot, the dark blotch extended to cover the stomach, back and groin area. The growth has now formed folds around the young boys waist and back.
This makes it difficult for him to bend or sit comfortably on a chair.
Ms Atieno’s life has consisted of monthly visits to Kenyatta National Hospital.
“Every time I go to hospital they give me pain killers and advice me to feed him well. Last month the doctors told me that it was a mole disease and that there is no cure,” she said.
Born in 2001, Stanley is the first of three children born to Ms Atieno and her husband who works as a casual worker in Dandora. Unlike other boys his age, Stanley is quiet and withdrawn.
While his classmates at Dandora Primary School play and run around, Stanley often watches from the sidelines.
“Sometimes I play with my friends but when my body becomes too painful I stop,” murmured the shy boy. He has two friends who he loves to play football with, he said.
In class, Stanley said he cannot sit for long hours because his body becomes sore. During lessons he keeps shifting and standing to ease the pain. The itching causes extra discomfort.
His class teacher, Ms Grace Mbaria, describes him as an average student.
“Sometimes he goes out to play like the other children, but other times he stays back during physical education (PE) lessons,” she said.
Stanley’s mother fears that it may not only be his education that suffers. “He does not sleep well and eats very little,” she says. Since sitting on the sofa can be painful, he spends most of the time on a carpet laid out especially for him.
During one of the visits to hospital when the doctor was explaining that nothing could be done, young Stanley burst into tears. His mother recounts: “He asked me ‘Why is my body different from the other children?’”
“I assure him that one day he will be better but he cried ‘But the doctor said I won’t get better’. I didn’t know what to tell him,” said the sad 24-year-old mother.
It is such frustration that drove her to cross the border in search of a traditional medicine man. Accompanied by her sister, and the little boy, she packed her bags and headed to Tanzania.
“The herbalist was visibly shocked when he saw Stanley,” she narrated. “He did not say what he though it was but gave me some syrup, ointment and soap which I was to wash him with.”
The travelling and medicine cost a fortune for the young and struggling family. The three got stranded in Tanzania and had to ask a friend to send them money for transport back.
For two months she diligently administered the syrup, spread the ointment and bathed her first-born in the herbs as instructed. There was no improvement.
With the doctors and herbalists having failed her, an exasperated Ms Atieno has only one request: “I want to know if there is anyone out there who knows what this disease is.”
She asks for specialists or even people who have the disease to tell her of what treatment to administer to her son.
“All I give him now is painkillers like Brufen, which only stops the pain for a while,” she added.
Her two other children are very healthy so she does not understand what went wrong.
Of her visits to Kenyatta, he says: “I wish they could refer me to someone else instead of always prescribing painkillers.”
Finding help has now become a community effort with the primary school’s headteacher, community health workers and neighbours joining in.
“We are all trying to get help for the child,” said Terry Wayua, the neighbour who alerted Nation to the boy’s plight.
Efforts to reach dermatologists at KNH for comment were futile as one was out for the weekend and the other could be only seen by appointment.
Such a rare case
But a consultant physician, Prof S. Bhatt, who had a look at a photograph of Stanley could not hide his shock.
“I have never seen something like this before,” exclaimed the veteran doctor.
He said in his 30 years of service at the University of Nairobi and the national hospital, he had not come across any case as extensive and rare as Stanley’s.
“If he has been coming to Kenyatta for the past eight years I am surprised no one has made any diagnosis”.
Moles, he said, would have already been surgically removed.
Although he could not give a diagnosis from a photograph and also because that was not his area of speciality, the spots to him indicated a skin disorder, probably cancerous because it keeps growing.
A sample of the tumour would have to be taken for testing at their laboratories.
He offered to forward it to the Dean, School of Health Sciences, as a possible research case.
“The University would be interested to take up such a rare case. They have the facilities and specialists at their disposal,” he said.
U.S.-Kenyan Trade Relations in the Spotlight
The African Growth and Opportunity Act was created to increase the number of goods, like those farmed by Margaret Wanjiku in the village of Kawangware in Nairobi, traded between Kenya and the U.S.Read more>>>
Tearful motherhood-Elizabeth Mbete’s contact
We thank you all for your interest in the plight of the family of Elizabeth Mbete) mentioned in the story Tearful motherhood.
NTV Tells us that they were able to track down Elizabeth after her plight was brought to their attention by a social worker named Faith Kimemia. For those who would like to talk to faith, her phone # is 254 725 410 332.
Through NTV and with the help of one of their staff Ephantus Mwangi,Diasporamessenger was also able to contact Elizabeth Mbete and we are happy to give her contact information as follows:
Equity bank Kimathi Street
You can also send her money through moneygram then call her on:-
There may be times we feel we are not blessed, times when
our troubles surround us. When we feel that way we should
take a good look around us, for then we will see many others
who have much less then we do. So counting our blessing
should be a daily event.
Now It is important to remember that our many blessings are
from our Heavenly Father. Therefore we should count our
many blessings and thank Him for them daily; ALWAYS GIVING
THANKS TO GOD THE FATHER FOR EVERYTHING, IN THE NAME
OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST. ( EPHESIANS 5:20 )
Now the following words sums this up much better then I could!
They are the written words of an old song. I hope that you will
enjoy it as much as I do.
DRINKING FROM MY SAUCER
I’ve never made a fortune
And its probably to late now,
But I don’t worry about that much
I’m happy anyhow.
And as I go along life’s way
I’m reaping better than I sow.
I’m drinking from my saucer
‘Cause my cup has overflowed!
Haven’t got a lot of riches
And sometimes the going’s tough,
But I’ve got loving ones around me
And that makes me rich enough.
I thank God for His blessings
And the mercies He’s bestowed.
I’m drinking from my saucer
‘Cause my cup has overflowed!
Oh, I remember times when things went wrong
And my faith wore somewhat thin.
But all at once the dark clouds broke
And sun peeped through again.
So Lord, help me not to gripe
About the tough rows that I’ve hoed.
I’m drinking from my saucer
"Cause my cup has overflowed!
If God gives me strength and courage
When the way grows steep and rough,
I’ll not ask for other blessings
I’m already blessed enough.
And may I never be too busy
To help others bear their loads,
Them I’ll keep drinking from my saucer
‘Cause my cup has overflowed!
From a song by: Michael Combs
Therefore; THANKS BE TO GOD FOR HIS WONDERFUL
GIFTS. For through Him all blessings flow indeed. Amen!
( 2 CORINTHIANS 9:15 )
Thou shalt not upload: Ten Blogging Commandments
Church leaders have drawn up a new set of the Ten Commandments aimed at delivering “God bloggers” from the temptations of the blogosphere.
Alarmed by the extent to which religious blogs can descend into vitriol, senior evangelical clergy are calling on bloggers to obey the new commandments or risk perdition.
The commandments, based on those delivered to Moses by God at the top of Mount Sinai, were drawn up at a “Godblogs” conference in Kennington, southeast London.
They have been engraved on cyberspace tablets by the Evangelical Alliance, the leading Christian umbrella group founded in 1846 that represents thousands of churches of most denominations nationwide.
The commandments order bloggers not to put your blog before your integrity; not to “make an idol” of the blog; not to misuse your screen name by using your anonymity to sin and to remember the Sabbath by taking one day off a week from blogging. They also order: “You shall not use the web to commit or permit adultery in your mind.”
Bloggers are commanded to honour their fellow bloggers and not to get too upset by their mistakes. They shall not murder the reputation of another blogger, shall not give false testimony against a fellow blogger and shall not steal the blog content of another.
Bloggers are also told to be content with their own creation and not to covet their neighbour’s blog ranking. Many thousands of blogs have sprung up in the past few years, offering easy access to online opinion forums to any user of the internet.
The “instant access” nature of most blogs means people posting comments often do so in the heat of passion and rarely stop to reflect, as they would if giving a lecture or writing a letter.
The result can be intemperate and sometimes foul language aimed at either the author of the blog or other commenters, or both. Blogs have also generated a new class of internet user, known as “trolls”, whose mission is to post as many defamatory and hostile comments as possible with the aim of driving away other users and destroying the blog, its owner or both.
Church leaders are growing increasingly concerned at the defamatory and inflammatory content of some blogs, which unlike newspapers and television are unregulated.
If unwisely moderated by their owners, blogs can generate virtual wars across cyberspace, with right-wing bloggers in America among the most extreme in their postings.
Christian blogs, for some reason, generate most hate-filled comments.
Krish Kandiah, executive director of Churches in Mission, said: “These commandments are virtual rather than set in stone, but are offered to the blogging community as a way to link the Ten Commandments with the art of blogging.
“In the ever-changing information age, what we need is wisdom for life, and God communicates wisdom to our culture through the Bible on every issue from social justice to social networking.”
Mark Meynell, senior associate minister for All Souls Church, Langham Place, said: “The internet is merely the latest step in the evolution of human communication — and so like any other new medium, it presents us with huge opportunities as well as challenges.
“It is essential that Christians make the most of it because we believe we have good news that is as relevant to those in cyberspace as it is for those in real space.”
Ten commandments for bloggers
1 You shall not put your blog before your integrity
2 You shall not make an idol of your blog
3 You shall not misuse your screen name by using your anonymity to sin
4 Remember the Sabbath day by taking one day off a week from your blog
5 Honour your fellow-bloggers above yourselves and do not give undue significance to their mistakes
6 You shall not murder someone else’s honour, reputation or feelings
7 You shall not use the web to commit or permit adultery in your mind
8 You shall not steal another person’s content
9 You shall not give false testimony against your fellow-blogger
10 You shall not covet your neighbour’s blog ranking. Be content with your own content .