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Yere: Shocking cancer diagnosis

On June 3rd, 2020 Yere (pronounced like: ' year '), one of our Omo's Morningstar children, received shocking news after taking a...

Delay in Yere's treatment

I am under extreme pressure by you and myself to get Yere to Addis Ababa for medical treatment. Be ensured I am trying everything and beyond to make this happen. But here are some of the roadblocks I have faced during the last three months (July till September 2020):

Car engine issues: My car was in a repair place for more than 2,5 months. Every week I promised that the car would be ready for pickup. So I drove by public transport (it’s an adventure most of you don’t want to experience) or with expensive hired cars several times to Jinka (2,5 to 3 hours each way) for getting my car back – only to realize that my car was not in any condition to drive. Excuses for delay in repairs were the same as listed below: closed streets: unable to receive spare parts or to send engine parts for cleaning and maintenance or to get a mechanic from another city for advice.

Road closures: My attempts to rent a car (very expensive) multiple times failed due to the fact that streets were frequently closed due to tribal conflicts and/or coronavirus panic.

Flight cancellations: My attempt to fly to Addis Ababa failed multiple times because flights were either cancelled in the last minute due to lack of people interested in flying to Addis (with quarantine required for people arriving from South rural areas) or because of coronavirus-triggered shut down of all flights for several months.

Biopsy results: After Yere was shockingly diagnosed with cancer back in June 2020 it required a biopsy result to confirm the finding. It took a long time to get the biopsy scheduled. Then it took weeks before the results came back – unfortunately it wasn’t sufficient. A second biopsy was scheduled, a three day stay in Jinka’s hospital (a horrible experience), followed by waiting three weeks to get the cancer-confirming result.

Parents’ permission letter: Once cancer was confirmed (almost two months after the initial X-ray), Yere’s parents were approached to get their permission for medical treatment, including amputation of her leg. The letter I received weeks later was in my opinion not sufficient, because amputation was not specifically mentioned and I wanted to make sure that no legal action would follow when I return their daughter with only one leg. After a face-to-face discussion with Yere’s mother mid of September I am now satisfied with their permission for any kind of medical treatment.

Yere’s ID: An ID had to be applied for to book a flight for Yere, a rather difficult task considering that Yere has no birth certificate and is not 18 years old to be eligible to receive an ID.

Accommodation: An affordable accommodation in Addis had to be found for a potential several months stay

Medical expenses: Donations have to be ‘requested’ to be able to cover Yere’s medical expenses. Unfortunately, only insufficient amounts were provided so far making it difficult to negotiate with physicians about the required medical procedures. See link below if you want to help - it's not too late!

Car permit: Ethiopian customs is causing trouble with extending my permit to use my car in Ethiopia. I only can get permission for three months at a time and was able in the past to extend that period twice. However, this time, based on sudden new rules and regulation, this process is still ongoing. Therefore, officially, I am not allowed to use my car. End of September two customs officers and four federal police officers tried to enter my compound to confiscate my car. After hours of negotiations they left – I am sure only to come back during the following days to try again.

Children home: I have 11 other children I am responsible for. My new staff is new and unexperienced making it difficult for me to travel with Yere to Addis and leaving the remaining kids in unexperienced hands. 

My health situation: Ohh, did I mention that I was down three weeks with a severe cough, losing 20 kg (40 lb)? This was followed by endless diarrhea sessions (my kids are not following strict hygiene rules and meals provided in villages during children pick-up were not properly prepared), some insects were hatching out of my legs, and skin infections since weeks make my life miserable. Antihistamine, steroid, four different antibiotics seem not to be the solution to finally help me.

Taken together I am fully aware that it is of utmost importance to get Yere as soon as possible medical treatment. Every day delay is decreasing her chance to survive her cancer. Nevertheless, I am wondering why God is allowing all these roadblocks and despite my efforts to reach Addis it took I was so far unable to go there (I finally managed it on 09-27-2020, see here).
So, please join me in prayers for wisdom for the next steps to come.

Want to help to cover some of Yere‘s medical expenses?

click here

Do you want to read more about Yere's story?

click here

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