From The Founder’s Desk

From The Founder's Desk

adedayo Joseph

Founder, TDCF

In my early years working in the oncology space, I was a resident on the team managing a young boy diagnosed with a jaw tumor (Esthesioneuroblastoma). The tumor was large enough that he couldn’t eat and was in a lot of pain. His prognosis (chances of survival with treatment) was good, but his family could not afford N150,000 (~$1,000 based on the exchange rates at that time) to pay for his treatment.

I sent out requests for donations on blackberry messenger (what ever happened to that?!) with his father’s bank account details to all my contacts – family, friends, colleagues.

I received messages from a few people letting me know they had sent this amount and that amount. Within a few days we had exceeded our target and I was very happy he was going to get treated. I asked the dad to please provide me with a list of all those who had donated so I could thank them and he seemed reluctant to do this. I found this perplexing but then my HOD explained to me he may be reluctant to say the exact amount raised, thinking i would ask for part of it… this really irritated me if i’m being honest, and at this point i was starting to get impatient with him. In any case, I asked him to give me the names only, no amounts (just in case that made him feel better)…

Long story short, I got up a few mornings into this saga, determined to have it out with him that day. I was going to march him to the billing department and ensure he paid for the treatment so we could get on with it.

Imagine my shock when I arrived at the hospital to learn that the father had come late in the night, discharged his son against medical advice (DAMA) and left with him. I was frantic and furious. His phone was unreachable and I had no way to get in touch with them. To this day, I still think about what might have happened to that poor child.

It took me a while to get over the whole episode, but I learned a valuable lesson from it. It is why The Dorcas Cancer Foundation has been committed to transparency and structure from the beginning. Why we pay directly to the hospital, deliver medication to the wards, and are consistent and uncompromising about processes.

For those who keep asking why we can’t give the money raised to the family’… This is the reason. It is to ensure that we can report back to our board, partners, and donors very specifically how every penny raised was utilized. We continue to serve the children, working to ensure every child diagnosed with cancer has access to the best standard of care and an equal opportunity to survive.

Thank you, for your understanding and support.

Your support matters.

Dr adedayo Joseph
Founder, Director
The Dorcas Cancer Foundation