Rebecca is the perfect example of grace under fire. If she is not inspiring her fellow ostomates, you’ll find her lifting the spirits of her friends and family with her infectious optimism.
Behind her vibrant personality is a remarkable story of faith, courage, and resilience. The foundations of this amazing narrative can be traced back to the period between October 2010 to February 2011, when Rebecca experienced a challenge like no other. It all began with the treatment she received for vulva cancer at the Nairobi Women’s hospital where she was under the care of Dr. Kagema. Thereafter, she received further treatment under the care of Dr. Nyongesa at the Texas Cancer Centre. This was followed by chemotherapy and radiation sessions at the Kenyatta National Hospital. If that wasn’t enough her surgeon presented her with the difficult decision of having to choose between battling fistula – a condition that came about as a result of her vulva cancer or living her life with a stoma. Rebecca chose the latter. A stoma was definitely going to make her life a lot easier.
What followed was a very interesting chapter in Rebecca’s life – a roller coaster journey of joy, pain, and hope. At first, she was delighted at the fact that a stoma allowed her to eat anything she liked. For Rebecca the thought of missing out on her favourite dishes was unthinkable. However, there were other challenges along the way. While she was working for her previous employer, the office had organized an out-of-town trip which Rebecca was looking forward to. However, a stoma was a foreign concept to many of her work colleagues. As expected, Rebecca experienced the usual stigma that is associated with having a stoma. The backlash was intense that it forced her into making the difficult decision of skipping the trip. This unfortunate situation left her feeling low to the point that she requested a transfer from her current place of work. Thankfully, Rebecca chose not to wallow in self-pity. Unbowed she carried on with the same admirable spirit that helped her during the difficult times of her treatment. Later on, challenges like learning how to cut the right size for the base for her stoma unfazed Rebecca. Thanks to her unwavering faith in God, she was able to overcome this and every other challenge that presented itself.
Years later after she made the bold decision to have a stoma, Rebecca has no regrets. Her children’s cheeky comment of how she should be proud to be in the esteemed company of the likes of Michael Joseph (The former CEO of Safaricom) and the late Governor of Bomet Dr. Joyce Laboso – all famous ostomates inspires her. For anyone who is about to have a stoma, Rebecca strongly advices them to go for it. Being an ostomates isn’t the end of the world. On the contrary Rebecca strongly believes that ostomates are amazing individuals who can live full lives and make important contributions to the world because they are blessed. And their actions are felt by many.