Kenyan in Switzerland Giving Women in Kenya Hope After a Mastectomy

Mercy Mbitau Mercy Steps Cancer Program

Globally, 519,000 people die from breast cancer annually. In Kenya, cancer ranks third as a cause of death with breast cancer being the lead cancer among women.

This Kenyan in Switzerland has decided to use the little she has to help those who can’t afford to pay for breast forms or other mastectomy accessories to help them build their confidence after surgery. Below is her story and that of her organisation.

 

The beginning

The Mercy Steps Cancer Program started in 2009 with a small group of women my friend Monica had met at the Kenyatta National Hospital in Nairobi, during her cancer treatment. 

When Monica requested me to get her a breast form, I didn’t know any companies that supplied them but I knew one person in Zurich who was wearing one at that time. I asked about it and she referred me to Becker AG Zürich, a company that supplies artificial breast forms in Zurich.
As the years passed and the number of women loosing their breasts to cancer grew, I knew I had to do more. So I wrote to a few more companies who also sent a few pieces. Through the correspondence I met Mrs Sonia Rüeggsseger from Bern, and Claudia Imgruth of Basel Switzerland who own Orthopedic supplies stores and who were willing to provide breast forms for our Mercy Steps program.
Monica organises and/or attends events in Kenya where she distributes the breast prosthesis and mastectomy bras to women who’ve recently lost their breast(s) due to cancer.

Challenges

It hasn’t been easy given that my husband and I have to cover  all the expenses. MSCP hasn’t got any funds yet and we solely rely on well wishers, friends and family.  We send most of the items via cargo, which has proven to be very expensive due to the taxes. Sometimes we have friends who are travelling to Kenya for holiday offering to carry them.

How you can join us:

Buy MSCP merchandise

T-shirts go for 20 Euros and Polo shirts 30 Euros…one may pay more f they want to. We also have Intialed neckleces going for 10Euros. Withe the profits on these items I will be able to transport the donated items to Kenya and also organise more educations programs with the program.

Donate Funds Online

Mercy Steps Cancer Program Online Donations .

Donate Prostheses

For those in Germany, if you have prostheses you’d like to donate, you can send to the the following addresses.
Mercy Steps Cancer Program
c/o P. Shubert
Zeuggasse 8
86150 Ausburg
Mercy Steps Cancer Program
c/o R. Knörle
Züricherstrasse 29
79761 Waldshut-Tiengen

Delivering the Prostheses to Kenya

Kenyans living in Germany, Switzerland, UK or Austria may offer to deliver a few breast prostheses during their next trip to Kenya.

Volunteering

People with knowledge on breast care and cancer prevention are always welcome to contribute in our education programs. Medical personal may volunteer their time to take part in home visits.
Below one of their members:

Who I am

I’m Mercy Mbitau, a Kenyan living in Switzerland and coordinator of the Mercy Steps Cancer Program (MSCP). I was born and raised in Kirinyaga Mt. Kenya Region. I live in Zurich Switzerland with my family. 

Although I lost my mother to cancer 5 years ago, I know that no one should die from it. Early detection is the solution, we should all get regular check-ups. I know many people do not like to visit doctors but know that it is important to get checked.

 

Contact

Mercy Steps Cancer Program
Affolternstrasse 119,
8050 Zürich, Switzerland
Tel.+41 79 339 3364
Mercystepsprogram.org
Facebook.com/MercyStepsProgram

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