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, 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.”
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 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
“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.
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SOURCE: The Sun, by Lizzie Parry