J$1.5 million needed for teen’s cancer treatment

February 12, 2019
Renacia shows how the chemotherapy has taken all her hair.
Melody Martin tries to keep her daughter Renacia Thomas upbeat, despite her diagnosis.
Renacia shows some of her certificates.

The tears flowed freely as Renacia Thomas removed her wig to show her bald head, just one of the side effects of the rigourous chemotherapy treatment the teenager has to endure.

She said the wig is used as an avenue to escape the harsh reality that she is battling cancer.

Her mother Melody Martin said that when her daughter fell ill last July, she had no idea that she had the disease.

“She began to complain of pain in her side and told me she felt something swinging inside of her body. I took her to the doctor who recommended that she do an ultrasound, which dectected a lump in her right kidney. She was then refered to the UHWI (University Hospital of the West Indies), a CT scan was done on her and the result came back that she had Wilms’ Tumor,” Martin said.

Wilms’ tumor is a rare kidney cancer that primarily affects children. Also known as nephroblastoma, it’s the most common cancer of the kidneys in children.


Wilms’ tumor most often affects children ages three to four and becomes much less common after age five.

Yesterday, when the 15-year-old visted The STAR, she was scheduled to undergo another set of chemo treatments but her mother said she is unable to purchase the drugs that are needed for the procedure.

Added to their misery is the J$1.5 million that is needed for radiation therapy to kill cancer cells that are developing in her lungs.

“I really cannot afford it and I am seeking financial assitance from the public to help with the procedure. I have been trying to source the funds but I am unable to come up with it and she badly needs it. I try to keep her spirits up and I always tell her not to worry, but she is fully aware that she is seriously ill. She wants to have a career in medicine and become a model and I want her to realise her dreams so please, I am asking for any donation possible,” she said.

The third form student has been unable to attend classes at Mona High School since November because of her failing health.

“I really want to go back to school and have a normal life. Sometimes I ask myself why this has to happen to me. My fingernails have either fallen out or changed colours. I have lost all my hair and I am very weak. However, my faith is very strong and I have high hopes that I will be okay very soon,” Samuels said.


Persons wishing to asisst Renacia may contact her mother at 876-796-5948.

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