Doris Mayoli, a breast cancer survivor in Kenya, knows well how costly and difficult it is to go through cancer treatment. After she got well, she founded a choir to sing and raise money to pay for cancer treatment for others.
Today, they have supported more than 700 cancer patients in Kenya.
“It makes me happy that I’ve been able to use the very difficult journey I went through for good,” she shares.
Kenya: Fighting cancer with beautiful music.
Doris Mayoli: Before I got sick, I wasn’t the kind of person who’d go out of my way to see who needs help with something. It wasn’t my priority in life. It all began from my journey with cancer. I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005. As far as I knew at that time, one you’re told you have cancer, you die. Going through the treatment here in Kenya — the cost of treatment, the difficulty of the treatment — it changed me a lot.
Doris founded the Twakutukuza Concert to raise funds and support cancer patients.
Doris: I was fortunate in that I had a team of people who came together and raised money for me. One of the groups was the choir I was singing with at the time. I wanted to do a small singing something with my sisters and sing the songs that God encouraged me with. As I shared this plan with friends, they were like, “Yeah, we’ll take part. We want to sing, not attend. We want to sing.” So I ended up with 100 people wanting to sing in this group.
I had just met two patients, both of them with breast cancer, a man and a woman, who needed funds desperately. And so I did the same thing that was done for me — I shared their story. People gave and we were able to pay for their treatment.
To date, the concerts have supported over 700 cancer patients.
Doris: It ended up being a concert which we did in three different churches. After that, it was just natural to step into and to tour. We look for people who are going through cancer, or their families — people who need support. We walk alongside them and see what we can do to make the journey easier for them.
In addition to that, we do a three-day concert once every year in October. That’s our biggest fundraising arm.
It’s a hard situation, but it brings me joy. When somebody’s going this — when we come alongside them — they realize they’re not alone. It makes me happy to know that I’ve been there for them, that I’ve been able to use the very difficult journey I went through for good.
The point was for me to be able to help other people, and that gives me a lot of joy — it really does.