After Rose Nasimiyu, We Got A 3 Year Old Baby Lexie

Baby Lexie seen in this photo availed by her family while she receives treatment in India

After an inspiring story of Rose Nasimiyu on K24 Television ( Like Her Facebook Page), a nine year princess who decided cancer will not bog her down. Women eNews Kenya sought to know how others are coping, so our writer Antony Aisi and Eric Akasa returned from a field assignment with an amazing story of Baby Lexie

She is three and a half years old, bedridden miles away from a family she has always known, her grandmother Dr. Margaret Oluka has made numerous trips to different offices and friends, homes to get financial help for her granddaughter.

Baby Lexie need a bone marrow transplant and the one person who would donate this to her is not compatible, Baby Lexie’s brother only had a 55% match in their bone marrows and this meant a search for one that could match from the various banks around the world.

Things changed for the better when Lexies Grandmom went to see Minister for Heath Prof Anyang Nyong’o after seeing his success story on local TV.

Read how the New Cancer Foundation is helping change the previously difficult situation for cancer patients

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After Rose Nasimiyu, We Got A 3 Year Old Baby Lexie

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By Anthony Aisi, Writer

Alexandra Ajowi, a three and a half years old leukemia patient, is miles away from home in India, away from a family she has always known.

Lexie’s grandmother Dr. Margaret Oluka has made numerous trips to different offices and friends, homes to get financial help for her granddaughter who is in India. She longs to see her granddaughter back home well.

It all started in September 2010 as Margaret and her family were preparing for a quiet and relaxing end of year get together. Lexie suddenly developed chicken pox, it developed even in the eyelids and she later came down with flu, fever and a bad chest pains.

On being rushed to Nairobi Hospital with a body temperature of 42 degrees Celsius, Lexie was put through a bone marrow test and was diagnosed with leukemia. Ninety nine percent of her bone marrow had been taken over and she had a HB (hemoglobin) count of 3.

Angela, Alexandra’s mother who is a doctor was directed to a hospital in Johannesburg, South Africa by a fellow doctor who had had leukemia but had recovered. As much as its sounded as a relief at first, the terms that were dictating the visa process proved to be an uphill task.

They had to pay 4 million Kenya shillings upfront before they could obtain a visa to travel to South Africa. This did not happen despite the efforts by friends who raised funds and only managed to come up with five hundred thousand shillings. “In the meantime the baby was terribly sick, we had to put ice on the baby to lower her temperature,” says Margaret. By this time the insurance cover could not take up the medical expenses and the family had to find alternative sources of funding.

It was however fortunate that through the many contacts they had, they finally got a hospital in India that was willing to take Lexie in. On arrival in India the baby was directly put into Intensive Care Unit, and had to stay in isolation with her mother there for two and a half months.

After that period at the Intensive Care Unit, Lexie cancer had dropped to 10% but this was not good enough, it still needed to go down to 5%. The chemotherapy by this time had serious side effects; the baby had to go through walking lessons again, as a result of the two and a half months in ICU.

After getting out of the ICU Lexie’s cancer reduced to 4.5%. Now she needed a bone marrow transplant and the one person they really hoped would donate this to her was not compatible.

Africa Cancer Foundation makes a donation for Baby Lexie

Lexie and her brother only had a 55% match in their bone marrows and this meant a search for one that could match from the various banks around the world. It was a relief when they found a matching sample in the New York blood bank

but four million shillings was needed for the purchase and transfer of the cells to India.

“Angela would call every week, mummy we need money for the treatment to proceed.” says Margaret.

Margaret went to see Minister for Helath Prof Anyang Nyong’o after seeing his success story on local TV. She bravely sought an appointment with him. Nyong’o in his compassionate nature immediately swung into action to try and save the situation.

He wrote a letter that would help Margaret in her fundraising. Margaret in her faith and hope for a breakthrough drafted mail to the New York bank and attached the letter from the Minister and photos of Alexandra explaining their need for the stem cell.

This was the turning point. A few days later she got a call from India informing her that the stem cells were to be delivered to India by the New York bank. The lady, a coordinator at the New York blood bank had been touched by Alexandra’s beautiful eyes.

Nyong’o helped her forward a letter to the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) that facilitated the convening of an urgent meeting to discuss Lexie’s situation NHIF released two million shillings towards Lexie’s treatment .

Finally the transplant was done on 24th May 2011. The baby has been responding well and has started making her own cells. The journey is however still far from over. There is still financing needed for her treatment as she recovers after the transplant. Margaret is grateful to God for His faithfulness through the process.

By Anthony Aisi and Eric Akasa

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3 Responses

  1. Africa Cancer Foundation receives so many appeals everyday that any help such as this counts and a long way.

  2. Even in adversity one should not lose faith,baby Lexie will be well and she will play again.At times what some people can give is prayer and thats what am giving…i will pray together with others who are doing so or will do after reading this

  3. Thank you so much for sharing Lexie’s story Anthony. Lexie and her family need all the support they can get.

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