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A sick mother’s plea...Woman with vitiligo, lupus seeks help

Published:Wednesday | July 22, 2015 | 11:50 AM
Kenora Swaby
CECELIA CAMPBELL-LIVINGSTON Kenora Swaby speaks of her challenges living with lupus and vitiligo.

MAY PEN, Clarendon:

While some parents are busy getting an early start to back-to-school shopping, mom-of-three Kenora Swaby is just trying to put meals on the table and can't even think about back to school yet.

There are days when there is no food to give the children, when she has to choose between stretching the meagre offering to cover her medication expense or ensuring her kids have something to eat.

"It's really, really hard. Sometimes I look in their eyes when they tell me that they are hungry, and I know I don't have anything to give them. It pains my heart and I just have to cry," she told Rural Xpress.

Swaby, who is single-handedly raising her children, as their father died, hails from the Sevens Road community in Clarendon.

admitted to hospital

Suffering from vitiligo, lupus and eye disease, she used to sell in the May Pen Market to help support her children, but failing health saw her being admitted time and time again at the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI) because May Pen Hospital cannot treat her.

"The doctors have stopped me from working in the market as they say I cannot be exposed to the sun," she said.

Since then, Swaby's problems have multiplied. Now, her sole source of earning has been cut off, and added to that, she cannot go back to the UHWI to continue her treatment as she owes more than $100,000.

"I am not looking for handout. If I could get help to even set up a stall at my home, or some indoor job, where I don't have to deal with the sun, it would help," she pleaded.

challenge getting meds

To maintain her medication, which costs $7,000 to fill each round, is another challenge. As it is, Swaby can only buy portions, and most times she has to put her needs on the back burner to feed her children.

Come September, Swaby has no idea how her daughters will make it to Lennon High School, as her second child will now be joining her older sister there.

"Last year, she had to stop [from school] sometimes, as I just don't have the money for bus fare, and I can't even give her any break money," Swaby said, the tears brimming in her eyes.

"Sometimes I just cry and cry when I look at the bleak future my children are facing," she said.

Her relatives have their own challenges with their children, but they sometimes help out in giving them some food to eat.

"Please, please, I am just appealing to any agencies, any kind-hearted person, anyone who can help me to help myself and my children," she said.

Swaby can be reached at 477-8794.