2018 – Thank You From Kenya

Christmas Expo Raises $20,495 US Dollars

A Thank You From Kenya & The American Cancer Society

The 2018 Christmas Expo was presented with a unique opportunity: To Give the Gift of Hope to cancer patients in Sub-Saharan Africa. At the request of of the American Cancer Society, and as part of the Relay For Life of Second Life’s Global Outreach the Expo was honored to be able to direct all our fundraising to fulfill an urgent need by funding TWO Patient Navigators to work with the more than 1500 cancer patients at the Kenyatta National Hospital in Nairobi.

We have been honored to receive the following:

And a letter:

Thanks in large part to Relayers in Second Life, we’ve been able to launch the Patient Navigator program at KNH which in the last year has given FOUR THOUSAND Kenyans access to better information and assistance. Think about that number for a moment: four thousand people! Ask yourself how many family members they each have. How many friends and loved ones? There are tens of thousands of people in Kenya today whose lives are already better because of you.

Kristen Solt
Managing Director, Global Initiatives
American Cancer Society

What is Patient Navigation?

A process by which a patient navigator guides patients diagnosed with cancer through and around barriers in the
complex cancer care system to help ensure timely diagnoses and treatment.

Patient Navigation programs have been proven to improve clinical outcomes.

Informed patients are able to overcome barriers to treatment through access to information and care.

Due to its success in improving clinical outcomes, The American Cancer Society (ACS) came up with a strategy to expand the concept and practice to other countries.

Kenya is the first African country to benefit from this

“We know that cancer treatment completion rates and quality of life improve when the needs of patients and caregivers are addressed in a coordinate and comprehensive fashion.  The needs of cancer patients in low-and-middle income countries are generally much greater than for patients in the US due to high rates of poverty, fractured and under-resourced health systems, low cancer literacy, and limited patient support services, all of which contribute to poor health. “



The Kenyatta National Hospital provides the only public comprehensive cancer treatment center in the country. This means that the patients from all over Kenya travel there for their treatments.

The Kenyatta National Hospital, in collaboration with the American Cancer Society, conducted a patient needs survey in 2015 to identify barriers to care while seeking treatment. The most significant barriers identified were financial, accommodations, hunger, unfamiliar surroundings, and not understanding their disease or treatment.

Developing a patient navigation program was the solution to remove these barriers.


Kandie Kelwan is a lay navigator at Kenyatta National Hospital Cancer Treatment Center (KNH CTC). Determined to do everything within her power to provide Hope to those who need it most in Africa, Kandie recently shared a story of a cancer patient who benefited from the new Patient Navigation program.

“When I was referred to KNH CTC, I had just been diagnosed with cervical cancer and HIV. I was devastated with the news of two major diseases. I didn’t have income, and my husband had left me, and I saw death in front of me. But the nurses and doctor assisted me with information on my disease, assisted me to get ARVs [anti-retrovirals] and register for NHIF [National Health Insurance Fund]. They also convinced my ex-husband to give me his NHIF card to pay for my chemotherapy and radiotherapy and convinced my sisters to come and assist and stay with me.  Now I’m full of hope. My treatment is working, and I am happy I will be able to provide for myself and my son again.”

Lean more about what the American Cancer Society is doing to help improve patient support in Africa Global Health Initiatives-Cancer Patient Care