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People Do Care

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When I saw the doctor shaking his head, I got utterly confused and scared. He then explained I had bilateral paraganglioma that would require a major surgical operation. I had never been hospitalized before and I did not know what to do and who will be there for me when I cannot do anything for myself. After taking a deep breath, I remember how I had got through hard times before.

I remember vividly the morning my Dad told me I would not go beyond grade 8. I was not able to complete my school assignment because we didn’t have the money to pay for the kerosene to light the lamps. I couldn’t study in the darkness, so I got up early to study by the morning light. My Dad called me. Immersed in my studying I asked him to wait a moment. Frustrated with the financial stress he exclaimed “Why bother? You will not be able to go to secondary school.” The exam registration fee which my father wouldn’t pay at that time was about $1 Canadian. My heart was broken.

When my brother came home from college he said he would use his own university allowance to pay the fee. It was with the help of my brother and other people as well as my own tenacity that I finished my education in Kenya and came to Canada to further my studies. Initially, it was scary in a new country without close family and friends. I lost my financial support within the first year of my arrival. I feared how I may starve to death and be homeless. But over time I met people who have made me a part of their family and now call me: chosen daughter, adopted daughter and sister. Fast forward, during operations including thyroid cancer and radiation treatment, my Canadian friends and family made the cancer experience bearable.

My immigration journey has not been without challenges but those challenges have been learning opportunities that have strengthened me. Now, I have a new home with friends and people I call my Canadian sister, brother, mother and father. I continue to pursue my dreams with the help of others and my own hard work.

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