Charlotte's story

  • Rebecca with her mother Charlotte during treatment
    Rebecca with her mother Charlotte during treatment
  • Rebecca is now recovering well and looking forward to returning to school
    Rebecca is now recovering well and looking forward to returning to school

Charlotte is a single mother of two who has gone through a lot in the past 18 months. Her eldest daughter, Rebecca, developed cancer but it was when she first she heard those words that struck her most;

“I was scared that I might lose my child but the doctors encouraged me that Rebecca’s cancer was treatable and that she had a chance to be healthy again.”

Rebecca visited several healthcare workers, being treated for both malaria and typhoid, before eventually being diagnosed with cancer. As any mother, Charlotte finds it difficult to see the changes in her daughter caused by the treatment.

“The thing that made me sad was her hair loss. That touched me a lot, but I know the only thing that matters is that she makes it, that she won’t die from cancer. After the second round of chemo, the doctor looked happy and told me she is responding to the treatment and all will be well.”

Being away from her home and her youngest daughter is difficult. Charlotte stays in Accra during Rebecca’s treatment whilst her own mother takes care her youngest daughter at home. One of her biggest worries is not having enough money. Luckily Charlotte has been fortunate to find a sponsor to pay for Rebecca’s treatment.

“I work hard to take care of my two children but it’s very hard because I left my youngest child with my mother. Rebecca’s father is in Nigeria and doesn’t want to support us with her treatment. The staff here have been helpful, they have taught us to make bead jewellery which I am doing to support us.”

Whilst spending long periods of time on the ward, Charlotte and other mothers on the ward take part in jewellery making classes. As well as being a welcome distraction from having a child with cancer, the jewellery is then sold with all proceeds donated back to the mothers.

Having first met Charlotte and Rebecca in December 2017, Rebecca is continuing to respond well to treatment a year and a half later and is hoping to become a doctor when she grows up in the future. This is truly fantastic news and a testament to the incredible hard work of the healthcare team at Korle Bu Teaching Hospital.