To care and empower cancer patients to fulfill their survivorship potential and end inequality to cancer care.
Sebeccly Cancer Care is committed to promoting cancer awareness, providing quality cancer screening, treatment and survivorship services and facilities for the community.
To ensure cancer patients have life-long access to care through education, research, advocacy, treatment support and delivery of high-quality care.
The Birth of Sebeccly
In 2003, I was dealt a severe blow; I lost a loved one to cancer. It was heart-breaking. Deep within me, I knew I had to support cancer patients in order to recover my heartbreak.
At the time, I didn’t know how best to proceed because pursuing a career in cancer care in Nigeria was considered unwise.
With prayers and determination (following my initial trepidation), I decided to undertake a few courses in cancer and palliative care and consulted with medical colleagues and mentors in Nigeria and abroad. Most people thought it was a great idea, and a few people had their reservations.
Having been posted to Akwa Ibom for my National Youth Service, I was rejected from enrolling for the National Youth Service as I was two-weeks short of completing the mandatory medical residency at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH). The truth is that I was relieved because I didn’t want to stay back in Akwa Ibom.
I left Akwa Ibom by commercial transport. Whilst trying not to panic at the reckless driving down a bumpy road of a town called something-something “nsit idong”, I experienced my eureka moment in relation to supporting cancer patients: the idea was to create a non-governmental organisation (NGO) that helps cancer patients, touches their lives, and relieves them of their pain.
I remember calling a few people from the bus to share my ideas. My mum was my first point-of-call. She instantly believed in this idea, and couldn’t wait for me to get home and start planning. Till date, my mum still plans and supports Sebeccly. Thanks, mum.
On my return to Lagos. I discussed the idea about the NGO with my colleagues at LUTH. Tola ladejobi, Tolue Isiekwenagbum, and Babatunde Salako believed in this idea. So much so that we planned the NGO programmes, activities, and fundraising.
Dr Dorothy Esangbedo told me “a dream without a vision, mission and action would continue to be a dream”.
She made me realize the need to formalize and register the NGO, and how to organize, plan and execute NGO related activities.
My best friend, Banke, solved the name problem we were experiencing with the NGO. She simply formed it from my loved one’s name: “Se” from Seun; “Becc” from Rebecca; and “Ly” was added to make it sound funky.
I had met late Dr Kofo Orija in 2004, the founder of the Bloom Cancer Care and Support Centre, at a women’s gathering which involved breast cancer care. She was my mentor. She showed me the way and gave me access to her network of cancer experts and advocates. I am eternally grateful to her, and I miss her dearly. Among the numerous people she introduced me to, I was particularly privileged to meet Professor J.T.K Duncan, the Head of Department of Radiation Oncology at EKO Hospital, my papa and a pleasant gentleman. I shadowed Professor Duncan at EKO Hospital for three months and enjoyed every bit of the experience of working with cancer patients. Following this experience, I decided to pursue my career in Radiation Oncology and palliative care.
I started my residency in the Department of Radiation Oncology at LUTH in January 2008. I am rounding up soon and looking forward to bagging my fellowship.
What has shaped Sebeccly the most is my daily interaction with breast cancer patients, which enables us to understand cancer care patients’ challenges, needs, wishes and frustration. This feedback has provided an opportunity to offer solutions to these challenges, and to mitigate ensuing hardship.
I have remained a counsellor for young ladies living with breast cancer. The number of patients who visit me for counselling has increased steadily. Some of these patients have sadly passed on -RIP patience, Joyce, Chinwe, Rose, Funmi, Bilikis and so many others I can’t mention here.
To our survivors, who have put the breast cancer ordeal behind them, I pray for a healthy, long and fulfilled life now and always in Jesus name.
To Tina and Tosin who joined as volunteers and now as a full-time staff, I say kudos and beyond the sky is our limit.
To Mrs Sidikatu, Mrs oyegbile and so many others, the great women who have supported us, God bless you for standing by Sebeccly.
To my family, you guys are the best.
My Babatunde, your support has been overwhelming. Thank you all.
As I now stand from a more supervisory role and relinquish greater responsibility to Tina and Tosin, I am proud of what we have achieved in this relatively short space of time, notwithstanding setbacks and challenges.
My greatest wish for Sebeccly is that it reaches more women living with breast cancer and creates greater awareness for cancer care in Nigeria through its numerous initiatives, which include: (a) access to cancer care schemes that provide anti-cancer drugs; (b) the “stamp out cancer” campaign that provides cancer information services and screening to the public; (c) the best reporter on cancer awareness and advocacy award; (d) Early Career Cancer Research grant; and (e) Best student in SSCE(ISL) are initiatives to promote excellence amongst professionals.
To the great Sebecclians Deola Fakolade, Deola, Olatunji, Bimbo, Pamela, Ogechi and every volunteer that has worked with us, we are indebted to your selfless service.
To our sponsors, donors, partners your support has been outstanding and we are grateful.
Thank you to every person that has supported Sebeccly. God bless you.
Dr. Omolola Salako