“Your Son Has A Brain Tumor!”
That is a terrifying message to receive as a parent, no matter where you live. It is worse when you live in Uganda, East Africa where medical resources are scarce and the expense of treating such an illness seems insurmountable.
Isaac Okwakol is our youngest son Daniel’s best friend. They refer to each other as brothers from another mother. They met in second grade when Isaac’s father Michael was a seminary student in Wake Forest, NC. The family returned to Uganda in 2006. Michael and his family have become good friends and have been ministry partners with Embrace Uganda for many years.
Isaac is 25 years old now. In 2017, he began to have seizures which were treated with medications. In recent months he began to have some vision loss and hearing deficits. He also has become more forgetful.
The family found the resources for him to see a doctor and obtain an MRI. It shows a tumor affecting both frontal lobes of his brain and also putting pressure on his optic nerves. The neurosurgeon in Uganda is concerned that it is a high grade tumor. Only a tissue diagnosis can determine how malignant it may be. It has been recommended that Isaac come to the United States for surgery and other care such as chemotherapy or radiation if needed.
The cost of bringing Isaac to the US and his treatment is estimated to be as much as $100K.
Neurosurgeons at Duke University have reviewed the MRI Images. They are willing to help. Duke Hospital requires the funds for his care to be available up front. They are confident that any COVID hurdles can be overcome, and TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE.
The family has initiated the medical visa process, but may also require an acceptance letter from Duke Hospital.
The family does not have the resources or health insurance to cover this. Isaac has siblings who live in North Carolina and will have a place to stay while here. Embrace Uganda hopes to support the family with any needs they may have, and will also serve as a conduit for any funds given as tax deductible gifts.
We cannot do it on our own and are asking for individuals to help support Isaac and his family during this time as needed. Fortunately, the Okwakol’s have a network of friends including church ministries that are also willing to help.
You may choose to give through GoFundMe or donate directly through Embrace Uganda at
www.embraceuganda.org. Please also share with your network.
Thank you for helping us save Isaac’s life!
Dirk Hamp, MD,
with Paige, our kids and the entire Embrace Uganda Family
- Jessica Valenzuela