Authorities have warned Kenyans against falling trap of unscrupulous individuals soliciting for help to raise cash to help them seek medical treatment of cancer in the country.
This comes after a woman who claimed to be suffering from multiple types of cancers is said to have raised up to Sh18 million from social media fundraising. The woman, who identified herself as Betty Emmy alleged that she had cancer of the liver, blood and spleen, and called on social media users to help her raise money for her treatment.
Betty’s story came to limelight when she sought assistance from the wife of a governor, but well-wishers who responded to her plea for help now say they have learned that she was a fraudster.
Betty claimed to have been diagnosed with stage four primary liver cancers and stage three secondary lung cancer, which she recovered from. However, according numerous posts she made, her illness turned worse and was “now undergoing treatment in London and has since gone into remission”.
“I experienced a recurrence of secondary gastric cancer stage four and chronic lymphocytic leukaemia stage three (brain metastasis) and I am currently battling one primary cancer and three secondary cancers. Please help Betty continue with her treatment in London,” a poster she was using to seek funds read.
Eddah’s Hope Cancer Foundation, an organization she associated herself with as a cancer warrior, distanced itself from Betty, saying she was not part of the firm.
Juliah Muriuki, who assisted Betty during her medical trials and tribulations, said Betty’s case might not be genuine. “It seems like the story was just a story to raise money,” she said.
Muriuki said that when she planned an event at Kenyatta National Hospital to celebrate her birthday with cancer patients, Betty showed up.
“This girl stole the show. She repeated her story to everyone who cared to listen and after the event she started asking for cash from the group,” says Muriuki.
According to Muriuki, she had helped raise Sh18 million for Betty, who was scheduled to travel to London’s Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead for treatment.
Muriuki however says that they suspected she was a fraud after she got upset after they demanded to see photos of her in hospital. “She reached out to us seeking Sh12 million. When we demanded pictures from her she got really upset and even refunded Sh5,500,” said Muriuki.