War On Cancer: List of prominent Kenyans who’ve died of Cancer

In a short time span, Kenya has lost two leaders – Kibra MP Ken Okoth and Bomet Governor Joyce Laboso – to cancer.

The two have joined a growing list of prominent Kenyans who have died of the disease that has no cure.

Some are also receiving treatment for various strains of the disease.

Over the seven weeks that Juja MP Francis Munyua was successfully treated for brain cancer in India early this year, he met 13 lawmakers also receiving chemotherapy for various cancers.

“So many people are suffering in silence from cancer. Nobody wants to talk about it because of the stigma,” Munyua said when he returned in March.

“In India, I met hundreds of cancer patients from Kenya alone. Among them were nine of my fellow MPs and four Senators,” he said.

Munyua was successfully treated, joining a small group of prominent Kenyans to go public about their cancer diagnosis and treatment.

Others were not lucky and went silently.

Since 2010, at least 10 prominent Kenyans have succumbed to various types of cancer, making it the main killer among leaders in that period.

1. One such prominent leader was Prof Wangari Maathai, who left quietly at night on Sunday, September 25, 2011, at the Nairobi Hospital Cancer Centre.

 

2. After Maathai’s death, former minister and MP for Kiambaa Njenga Karume followed. He died on Friday, February 24, 2012.

Karume’s death was caused by prostate cancer which had spread and had become impossible to manage.

3. Five years later, former Nyeri Governor Nderitu Gachagua was killed by pancreatic cancer at 64 years in February 2017.

4. Other well-known Kenyans include former TV presenter Janet Kanini who succumbed to lung cancer in March 2017 after a two-year battle.

5. Former Kitui West MP Francis Nyenze, 60, passed away in December 2017 after a 10-year battle with colon cancer.

6. In December the same year, Harvard professor Calestous Juma died after a two-year battle with cancer.

7. Former Baringo South MP Grace Kipchoim, 49, also passed away in April last year after succumbing to acute colon cancer.

8. And while Kenyans were mourning these leaders, former Migori Senator Ben Oluoch, 55,  died in June last year after a protracted battle with throat cancer.

9. Former Maendeleo ya Wanawake Organization chairperson Jane Kiano, 74, succumbed to lung cancer in October last year at the Nairobi Hospital.

10. Other Kenyans who succumbed to the disease are Jonathan Toroitich who succumbed to pancreatic cancer on April 20 this year at Nakuru War Memorial Hospital.

11. More recently was former Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore, 61, who died peacefully at home on July 1.

He had been treated of acute myeloma leukemia, cancer that does not form tumours.

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The last words Joyce Laboso spoke to DP William Ruto

 

Deputy President William Ruto has revealed that among the last wishes of Bomet governor was for her to go home to her family and her constituents.

BREAKING NEWS: Bomet Governor Joyce Laboso is Dead

Speaking yesterday after viewing Laboso’s body at the Lee Funeral Home, William Ruto said

When I came to see Joyce on Sunday she asked me about what was going on in Bomet,She asked me whether she could.

The husband Edwin has been very special because they have been by her side, all the while.

William Ruto addresses journalists at the Lee Funeral Home

Edwin and I told her all she had to do was focus on getting well and give opportunities to doctors to look after her.

RIP: Millie Odhiambo’s glowing eulogy to girl pal Joyce Laboso

William Ruto added

Unfortunately she has left us, With the level of medicine she had to be given to overcome the pain I think God has finally rested Joyce.

The family has been very strong.

Ruto went on to add

Many people did not know what was going on with Joyce because she was brave and did not want anything to come between her and her work for the people of Bomet.

‘She had all the time for you’ Maina Kageni reminisces meeting Joyce Laboso

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‘She had all the time for you’ Maina Kageni reminisces meeting Joyce Laboso

The late Bomet Governor Joyce Laboso died Monday 29th July.

Laboso succumbed to cancer at the Nairobi Hospital.

She had been admitted at the facility’s ICU  last week after her arrival from India where she was receiving treatment.

BREAKING NEWS: Bomet Governor Joyce Laboso is Dead

Laboso had left the country on May 29 for the United Kingdom (Royal Madden NHS hospital) where she stayed before being transferred for further treatment in India.

Classic 105’s Maina Kageni paid tribute to her, and asked that Kenyans speak out about how Cancer is ravaging people.

She was the nicest person ever. She had such a clean heart, if you came across her and you had a god demeanor, she had all the time for you.

I saw her husband on Tv and I thought oh my gosh, he is so strong.

joyce laboso addesssing

Over the ages, human kind has gone through plaques, this is the plaque of our time. We lose 80 Kenyans a day to cancer and that’s the craziest thing about it, and it’s not just her, it’s all over the world

RIP: Millie Odhiambo’s glowing eulogy to girl pal Joyce Laboso

Cancer is the biggest killer.

Maina also sought to start debate around the disease and asked listeners some challenging questions:

It’s the most painful thing ever. You hear 50 per cent of bed occupancy in India are Kenyans, and this morning I want us to have our early morning chat.

Does it worry you? Have you gone for screening, everyone has cancer cells, what are you feeding yours?

Have you been screening and does the statistics worry you? If not are there any fears you’ve got? If we don’t talk about it, information will never pass on.

Reasons Ken Okoth might have asked his family to cut him off life support

Also read more here

RIP: Millie Odhiambo’s glowing eulogy to girl pal Joyce Laboso

 

Joyce Labosos was a powerful lady who knew no limits in her abilities.

These are part of the glowing words Kenyans are describing the late Bomet Governor Joyce Laboso, who died Monday afternoon.

The late Laboso died at the age of 58, after a long battle with cancer.

Her close girl pal MP Millie Odhiambo has also penned down a moving tribute.

The two were invited earlier this year to the JKL show on Citizen TV where they had a happy interview.

Millie wrote

Nothing i can say now… Am afraid God help us. Go well girl.

Muranga woman rep Sabina Chege who was also in the same interview wrote

At different times we are born to this world and we make different friends. We later go back to our eternal home at different times.
Greatly saddened by the demise of my sister, friend, colleague leader and Bomet Governor H.E Dr. Joyce Laboso.
It is so sad that today was your time to leave us.
Not easy for me to say it is well……
Rest with the angels Joyce. Your body is lifeless but your legacy lives on.

joyce labosos and millie odhiambo
Millie Odhiambo, Joyce Laboso, Jeff Koinange on Citizen TV

Kirinyaga Governor Ann Waiguru also penned down her tribute saying

 I will miss her warmth, laughter, friendship and steadfast support. She was a phenomenal wife, mother, sister, & friend.