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July 31, 2014
Star News


Tumour endangers young man's life
André Williams, STAR Writer

Kabul Rochester and his mother, Glenda Harris. - Ian Allen

Despite being diagnosed with medullablastoma at an age when he was unable to even pronounce the word, Kabul Rochester, now 21, is still trying with the help of his mother Glenda Harris, to live a normal life.

Prior to becoming ill at age 13, Rochester only attended one month of high school. It was during this time that he had been diagnosed with the rare brain tumour, medulloblastoma.

The tumour, though removable by operation, has active disease cells that rapidly regenerate tumours and if left to grow, can become lethal.

On March 9, 2006, the first of several successful operations, only a preventative measure and not a cure, was conducted at a cost of $65,000 and the tumour was removed. Following that exercise, financial constraints began to show its untimely face.The cell disease that forms the tumours could only be eradicated through a treatment called craniospinal radiation, available only at the Radiation Oncology Centre of Jamaica.

Harris recounted the first time when irregularities with Kabul were unearthed and what their lives have been like since. She said: "Mi start see him walk funny, hanging his head to one side. When mi carry him guh doctor, di doctors dem seh a tumour form in him head."

bills exceeding $1 million

All the money she has worked, being employed to a supermarket that has since been shut down, along with contributions made on her son's behalf over the years, have gone in to clearing medical bills exceeding $1 million.

Having only received very minimal high-school education, Rochester is able to read and write. the two live in a dilapidated one room structure in Hope Bay, Portland.

"Right now, mi can't pay mi bills, water, light or food to eat, mi affi walk and beg. I am his support and he is my support, we only have each other. Him need a change of glasses at present, and if I could get a sewing machine or a serge machine, I would be able to work and earn something," said Harris. She said her son's father has relocated overseas and cannot do much.

to assist Kabul

THE WEEKEND STAR was also shown an unfinished structure nearby, which Harris wants some assistance to finish, so she could move her son out of the dilapidated one-room. She also showed multiple receipts and documents she had stored for safekeeping, indicating what she has to put up with as a mother was nothing easy.

Rochester had dreams of becoming a pilot, and although his condition and current situation make the reality of realising that dream far-fetched, his aspiration and willingness to overcome all challenges is one to model.

Anyone wanting to assist Kabul and his mother, please call 423-1570.

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