Posted on Mar 15, 2016 · Posted in News

Hello Friends,

Imagine you  are a widow in rural Kenya. Today, you felt a heaviness in your chest while eating. You have seen this happen in neighbors and it is bad, bad news. What starts this way is cancer of the esophagus, and it kills thousands in this part of the world. Your neighbor’s life was ruined by what started this way with her. She went to the village shaman with her problem, who took her money for prayers and charms, then the money of her family for more prayers and charms. In two months she was dead. Her last month was only thirst, starvation, and pain.

You swallow again…yes, it’s definitely there. You find a few shillings, and prepare to go to the shaman. What else can be done? Is there no hope?  What did you do to deserve this? Encouragement comes from another neighbor who knows of a hospital in the South, past Nakuru, that gives hope  to those who can’t swallow. One visit and 200 dollars can bring relief, quench thirst, revive strength, and renew hope. But getting there is nearly impossible. Your nephew has a motorcycle. Can you ride between him and your son?

Already dehydrated, you begin twelve hours of dusty, rocky motorbike travel, with each bump  threatening to shake you off the cycle. If your grip weakens further and you fall, would it be a quicker death? If you could only be  sure it would be quicker….in exhaustion and despair you are ready to release your grip and die….then the bike slows past a sign that says:


Your family carries you into the emergency department and you are surrounded by kind doctors and nurses. They start an IV and give you something for the pain. Your doctor explains that you have a cancer blocking your throat and it can be unblocked by placing a tube through it to hold the passage open. There are four others with the same problem in line before you. The protocol requires you to be awake , ready to climb up on the exam table and climb down when done. Can you do it? The doctor asks for Jesus to comfort you, and you nod your readiness.

This story, or one like it, happens practically every day at Tenwek Mission Hospital. The hospital places over 300 esophageal stents annually and diagnoses some early esophageal cancers for live-saving surgery. To continue to do this mission well, Tenwek Mission Hospital now needs seven Endoscopy/Recovery Gurneys, so that it can equip a five-bed recovery room and two endoscopy examination suites. This will allow more Kenyans to have endoscopy and allow surgical procedures to be safely performed, especially with sedation and general anesthesia. 

Will you consider contributing to this important, life-saving project? 

Jeff Hallett, MD

Friends of Tenwek is helping Dr. Hallett raise these important funds. You can donate here. 

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