Monday, November 11, 2013

Colon Cancer survivor sets up association to help patients in PNG

FOUR years ago Janet Yaki, wife of former Ialibu-Pangia MP Roy Yaki, was close to death from cancer of the colon (large intestine).
She was rushed to Taiwan and operated on.
Yaki has now formed the PNG Stoma Association to help Papua New Guineans suffering from the excruciating agony of cancer of the colon as well as other colon diseases.
A stoma is a mouthlike opening, particularly an incised opening that is kept open for drainage of waste.
At a fundraising dinner on Sunday night, attended by many, including the visiting Taiwan Mobile Medical Mission, Yaki spoke passionately about her experience.
A memorandum of understanding was signed for medical material donation between the Changhua Christian Hospital in Taiwan and the PNG Stoma Association.
Information and Communications secretary Paulias Korni gave K5,000 while former politician Michael Nali pledged K3,000.
“The wonderful Changhua Christian Hospital not only gave my life back, it motivated me to serve others in need as well,” Yaki said.
“The aftercare provided by the Changhua Christian Hospital is among the best.
“After a big operation lasting more than 13 hours, I was drifting away into another world but a lovely group of women visited me and got me going again.
“These were women of the Stoma Association of Changhua.
“They came and poured their love on me and encouraged me to move on.
“Their personal experiences renewed my life and planted the idea of a stoma association in my mind.”
Yaki said a stoma patient was one of the least-known, likewise, colon cancer was one of the least-known cancers in PNG.
“Like other forms of cancer, it is a killer disease but little attention is given to it by health service providers,” she said.
“Perhaps part of the problem is due to lack of information on the extent of the disease, which is prevalent in PNG.
“Customarily, people are shy to talk about it, they prefer to suffer in silence than go see a doctor, especially female patients.”
Yaki can be contacted on 72537594 or email pngstoma.assn@gmail.com.