Ivory Coast Teenager with Deadly Giant Tumor on Face whose Mother Disowned him ‘Could Finally be Cured’

But, finally, after the teenager from the Ivory Coast, contacted a charity, he travelled to Italy to have an operation to remove some of the tumour, and reduce its size

FOR six years Prosper has lived with a life-threatening tumour engulfing his face

The giant mass robbed him of his sight, left him struggling to breathe and drove his own mother to disown him, leaving just his father to care for him.

Kambou Sie, otherwise know as Prosper, has lived for six years with a giant tumour engulfing his face. His condition was so severe his mum and all of his family apart from his dad disowned him
The giant mass began to grow on his cheeks when he was 11 years old

Kambou Sie, otherwise know as Prosper, from Bondoukou, Ivory Coast was 11 when the aggressive tumour first appeared on his cheek.

But, left untreated, it has grown slowly, completely swamping his facial features.

Doctors initially thought it was a non-cancerous tumour but tests when he finally reached hospital this year revealed it was a rare form of the disease.

Prosper said: “People said I was some kind of monster, saying that maybe it was something I had eaten which made me like this, but my cheeks just kept getting bigger and bigger.”

But, finally, after the teenager from the Ivory Coast, contacted a charity, he travelled to Italy to have an operation to remove some of the tumour, and reduce its size

Nobody could understand what was happening to Propser’s face and with no money to support him, his mother struggled to cope.

Prosper said: “When I became ill, everyone said that I would not be healed or loved, so she stopped caring about me and looked after her other children instead.

“When the disease got worse, everybody left me. My father was the only one who looked after me.”

Desperate for help, Prosper’s father contact Sister Claudine from the Liliane Foundation, a charity that specialises treating disabled children from developing countries.

The tumour was so big Prosper couldn’t see properly and struggled to breathe
Doctors first thought he could be suffering neurofibrosmatosis where non-cancerous tumours grow all over the nerves in the body
But doctors were surprised to discover he was actually suffering a very rare but deadly form of cancer, Burkitt lymphoma

The nun put Propser in contact with the Italian charity A Voice For Padre Pio, which provides social and medical support, and together they made an appeal video to receive help.

The charity flew him to Naples Pascale Hospital in Italy, to find the diagnosis he had been waiting six years for.

Prosper said: “When people see me, they say they have never seen this disease on anyone else. I couldn’t carry on living.

When I became ill, everyone said that I would not be healed or loved, so she (his mum) stopped caring about me and looked after her other children instead

Prosper

“I hope to be cured, even if I have to suffer first.

“The main thing I want to come from this is to get my cheeks sorted.”

Samples of tissue were removed from Propser’s face, to establish the cause of the disease and an appropriate treatment.

Prosper was initially referred to the hospital with a tentative diagnosis of neurofibromatosis, however doctors were surprised to find an incredibly rare form of cancer – Burkitt lymphoma.

Burkitts lymphoma attacks healthy cells in the immune system, that if left untreated can be fatal
Prosper is pictured having a scan of his face and head before treatment could begin

What is Burkitt lymphoma?

Burkitt lymphoma is a form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in which cancer starts in the immune cells.

It is named after British surgeon Denis Burkitt, who first identified the disease in 1956 among children in Africa.

It is common in young children who have malaria and Epstein-Barr virus, a common virus that also causes glandular fever.

It occurs when the body’s immune cells start attacking itself.

Burkitt lymphoma is uncommon – about 210 people are diagnosed with this type of lymphoma every year in the UK.

The most common symptom is one or more lumps that develop quickly.

It is the fastest growing human tumour and is fatal if left untreated.

But intensive chemotherapy can improve survival rates.

As treatment is intense patients are likely to need to stay in hospital while undergoing treatment.

Hematologist Dr Ferdinando Frigeri said Prospers tumour is growing slower than most people with his disease
Prosper has had chemotherapy, radiotherapy, stem cell replacement therapy to reduce the tumour

Click here to read more.

SOURCE: The Sun, by Lizzie Parry