By Gilbert Ekezie
Victor Apete is a little boy of six years old, born in February 2014. But he’s currently fighting the battle of his life. He has leukaemia.
Three years after his birth, in 2017, it was discovered that he had a health challenge and was taken to the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja where tests were conducted on him. His mother, Mrs Cordelia Apete explained that, the authorities at LASUTH, said after the tests, they smelt something, but could not disclose the exact problem to her. The boy was, instead, referred to the Lagos University teaching Hospital (LUTH) where it was later discovered that he is suffering from leukaemia, which is cancer of the blood.
She informed that Victor was treated thereafter at LUTH and discharged and he went back to school. He continued going to the hospital for check-ups. But in late 2019, the challenge resurfaced with the usual symptoms of bone pain, and further treatment continued. ‘
The mother said: “He has been on chemotherapy. The last one we went was not good for him, so when we went back for chemotherapy in November 2020 at LUTH, the doctor recommended that he needs an urgent transplant in India to survive, and that the surgery and treatment will cost about N25 million. But I told him there is no money to do that, having exhausted all we have taking care of him all this while.”
Meanwhile, in the process of sourcing for funds for the transplant, the Apete family was introduced to a non-governmental organisation called: Child Living With Cancer Foundation, founded by Dr Nneka Nwobbi, for support.
“We were introduced to the NGO which is into children with cancer-related issues, and they have been there for us. We have been working with them to see how to raise money for the transplant,” she said.
She called on the government, corporate bodies, religious groups, NGOs and individuals to support the Apete family financially in order to save Victor’s Life.
Said she: “We have been on the issue for a long time now, and this is the first time we are coming out publicly to seek financial support. I believe that the government and members of the public would be magnanimous enough to be of help to save the life of the little innocent boy.”
Also speaking, Founder of Child Living With Cancer Foundation, Dr Nwobbi confirmed Victor’s health condition, describing it as one that needs urgent attention.
She explained that it has taken her organisation time to look into Victor’s case and has decided to do everything possible to save him from the health challenge.
According to her, her NGO has intervened various cases of children suffering from cancer, and their problems were solved.
“One of those children is one Oluchi Onyekwere who suffered frrom cancer. We helped her and today, she is free and presently a nursing student at LUTH. The major thing is to identify the case of cancer early in children. By doing so, the solution will be easier than when identified late,” she said.
According to her, Victor’s condition needs urgent attention, as the little boy is presently battling with serious pain. “That is a condition that a boy of that age is not supposed to be into for such a long period of time,” she said.
Nwobbi appealed to members of the public to be part of those who would be blessed by God for contributing financially to save Victor’s life.
The boy’s family said donations should be paid to Victor Apete’s GT Bank account. The account number is 0569013061. Interested individuals or groups might also reach the family on 08066564245.