Charity-walker Reuben Griffiths Bekoe's joints ached and his feet were covered in blisters as he trekked under Ghana's high, hot sun to help children diagnosed with cancer.
Bekoe tasked himself with raising 50, 000 cedi to go towards child cancer treatment and equipment for the cancer unit in the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Kumasi.
His charity walk saw him leave Kumasi on his birthday, August 1, and walk to Accra arriving Saturday August 6 averaging 40km a day.
Despite amassing plenty of attention and followers on social media, Bekoe is far from reaching his target after completing the walk.
So far, he has raised 2, 266 cedi and £220.00 pounds, about 3, 400 cedi in total.
While those blisters heal and his body recovers from the long trek, he is planning another fundraiser walk, expected to be in Accra, on August 27.
Bekoe sees the importance in helping children with cancer, and wants to inspire others to also care.
His walk was about raising awareness for the cancer unit as well as raising funds for it.
Camping out along the way, Bekoe said the third day was one of the toughest.
“It was very difficult for me on the third day, but I continued because I had no option [but] to continue and help these kids. My feet hurt and pains all over my joints. Blisters under my feet which made it difficult to walk. The sun too was high,” he told Pulse.com.gh.
He carried a placard while he walked, meeting people along the way, “some were surprised, others too didn't care,” he said.
He had company for the last two days, walking from Nsawam to the Accra Mall with some friends.
Using social media they rallied others to meet them at the mall, where Bekoe had people sign a shirt to give the hospital.
“The signatures is a way to tell these child that they're loved and people are willing to support them.”
The Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital is one of only two childhood cancer treatment sites in the country serving the whole of the northern and middle belts of Ghana.
The hospital says an average total cost of running laboratory investigations and scans for diagnosis and monitoring of treatment is about GH₵3,500.00. The cost of anticancer drugs alone to treat the simplest cancer (Burkitt Lymphoma) is GH₵1,000.00 while that for Leukaemia (cancer of the blood) is GH₵14,000.00.
Since January 1998, the child cancer unit has registered over 1200 children who have been seen for cancer diagnosis and/or treatment. It attends to an average of 90 children newly diagnosed with cancer per year. A third of these children die; another third abandon treatment while a further third do well and recover.
It saw many of the children who have cancer come from very deprived regions, families suffer poverty and low education which means 34 percent of those who start treatment, drop out.
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