Debbie Osarere Idiagbonya is a 28-year-old medical lab technician who was recently diagnosed with a cancerous growth on her left breast, which was spreading rapidly to her right breast and neck.
Following a tweet on of her case on August, 23, 2012, the media, blogs and other social networks went into action to help her raise the sum of N6m needed for her surgery.
‘I discovered a mass in my left breast on 24th of May, 2011 and I went for screening @ National cancer prevention institute Ishaja road, from the screening centre I was advised to go for sonography which I did on 26th of May, 2011 @ Ojuelegba Scanning Centre where I was asked to go for Fine Needle Aspiration for cytology @ Me cure healthcare limited Oshodi.’ So my fine needle aspiration for cytology said my breast mass n lymph nodes are negative for MALIGNANT cells.. I had my first surgery 13th June 2011 and my 2nd surgery 16th November 2011 then I took my lump for Histopathology investigation on 24th November and the investigation reported I have INVASIVE DUCTAL CARCINOMAL on 5th Dec 2011.’
When Debbie’s condition became public on August 24, 2012, Nigerians began responding. Musician Ruggedman first visited Debbie at her home and promised to support the ‘Save Debbie’ move.
Shortly afterwards, David ‘Davido’ Adeleke donated the sum of N1m.
Still setting good examples for the public, Kogi born actress, Halima Abubakar donated the sum of N100,000, while another musician, Solid Star, donated N1m. With the positive push by celebrities, many other Nigerians responded likewise, and by August 29, 2012, Debbie had raised the sum needed for her surgery.
Although much is not known about her background, NET gathered that Debbie lost her father on her birthday, August 1, this year. He was buried on Thursday, August 30, 2012.
Debbie’s mum speaks
Mrs Silifat Idiagbonya, expressing herself in Yoruba, spoke about her fears over her daughter’s life. According to her, the doctor had given them until the middle of September to raise the required sum for Debbie’s surgery or she may lose her life.
The 61-year-old woman told NET that they had sought financial help from Debbie’s Uncle who lives abroad but it was a futile attempt. It was at this point that the doctor advised them to seek the help of the public. She was however optimistic that Nigerians would come to their aid.
The story so far
Debbie has raised the sum needed for her surgery, but after the surgery, she is required to undergo chemotherapy six times with each treatment costing about N460,000, so she will still need assistance after surgery.
Recently, another cancer patient Funmi Lawal benefited from charitable donations from celebrities including MAVIN records boss, Don Jazzy and actresses Tonto Dike and Rukky Sanda.