Martha Wolde – Memory

1. Brief emotional story of Martha prepared by her family

Our beloved sister Martha Wolde was born on December 18, 1983 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. After completing high school Education, she joined MicroLink IT College and received a diploma in Information Technology. She then continued her higher education in Unity University and received a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics. After her graduation from Unity College, she was employed by Green Life Trading and carried out her tasks honestly and diligently for more than 5 years.

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The late Miss Martha Wolde

In July 2013, she was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia, a type of Blood Cancer.  As the required treatment was not readily available in Ethiopia, Martha’s family and friends decided to send Martha to Bangkok, Thailand. She received chemotherapy treatment at Bangkok General Hospital and was able to return back to her Country with the Cancer in remission. She received additional rounds of chemotherapy in Tikur Anbessa and Girum Hospitals. With the grace of God, she then fully recovered and was able to return back to work, until the unexpected and sad news of the relapse of the cancer.

 

Doctors declared that Allogeneic Stem Cell transplant was her only chance of overcoming the cancer once and for all. After reviewing her case reports, the National Institute of Health (NIH) accepted her for novel and promising Clinical Trial of Allogeneic Stem cell Transplant, with all the cost of the treatment covered. However, she was not able to use this promising chance of treatment because the US Embassy in Addis Ababa denied her a visa.

 

Martha’s illness was progressing fast when she was admitted to Tikur Anbessa Hospital getting supportive treatment while waiting for more chemotherapy to control the progression of the disease. She waited for three weeks to get the isolation room required to administer chemotherapy. Especially with her condition, the waiting was too long and her family and friends finally decided to look for other Alternatives. A campaign was started using a crowd funding website to collect funds to send Martha for treatment to India. While the funds were being collected, Martha traveled to New Delhi, India and was admitted to Artemis Hospital on March 30, 2015. She completed the high dose chemotherapy which was the first step – to put the cancer to remission in preparation for possible stem cell transplant. At around the end of her third week of her treatment, complications of her illness were progressing fast and after receiving 25 days of treatment, she passed away on April 24, 2015, a few months after her 31st birthday.

We would like to thank all who donated, prayed for her during her illness and consoled us after her passing away. We also thank NIH, the American Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and the Max Foundation of America.

Martha was a very righteous person, dedicated to her family. The strength and dignity she exhibited throughout her terrible illness is only possible with God’s grace. She accepted her suffering without bitterness and passed through it with thanksgiving. We believe God is resting her soul amongst the saintly fathers.

 

2. Donation

Martha’s family donated 80,699 Birr to Mathiwos Wondu-YeEthiopia Cancer Society in Martha’s memory. This donation is money left over from the funds collected from friends, relatives and unanimous donors to cover the cost of Martha’s treatment and the family would like to thank all those who have participated. Also, a full set of sofa/couch/ estimated to worth 10,000Birr was also donated in Martha’s memory, from her sister Selam & husband Dawit (from their shop).

 

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From left, Martha’s siblings and family members visiting Mathiwos Wondu-YeEthiopia Cancer Society’s Head Office and Psychosocial Support Center & right handing over a new full set of sofa to Mr.Wondu Bekele, General Manager of MWECS.

 

As you may agree, we human beings are not born to live on this earth forever; life may at times seem very long, but it is in fact very short and expensive to waste. We believe that we will meet Martha again when our time on this earth is finished. We came to realize that forming a cancer society and trying to help our fellow cancer patients in whatever way we can and challenge the growing burden of cancer here in Ethiopia would be one of the best ways to remember Martha and to express our thanks to God for all the opportunities He gave us to help her in every way humanly possible, leaving the rest to the will of God.

Cancer patients and their families face many challenges that may leave them feeling overwhelmed, afraid and lonely. It is difficult to cope with these challenges or to talk even to the supportive family members and friends. Often support groups like ours can help people affected by cancer to feel less desolate and this can improve their ability to deal with the uncertainties and challenges that cancer brings. In fact, attention to the emotional burden of cancer is sometimes part of a patient’s treatment plan.

We are grateful to every single person and organization that showed the courage to step up and give of themselves. We are especially thankful to our sponsors and supporters, without whom we would not be able to support cancer patients and their families; to our volunteers with their relentless energy and selfless giving; to our staff and representatives who carry our name with dignity and pride; and to our survivors and caregivers for showing us the way.

Cancer is not a battle that one can fight and win in isolation and we look forward to the professional, moral and material support of willing individuals and organizations like yours in order to make a difference!