Newsletter | July 2019
Leadership Message | Purpose-driven commitment

On a daily basis I am made aware of heart-rending stories of cancer patients and their families without access to appropriate care and treatment.

I take great pride in the work FCCT and our partners have committed to in Tanzania and in these moments my pride is upheld, knowing we are doing our part to improve the lives of those suffering with cancer.

In this month’s issue of the FCCT newsletter I am pleased to introduce you to a special nurse who’s dedicated her caregiving journey to cancer patients as well as two purpose-driven students who are spending their summer in Tanzania in
support of FCCT’s mission.


Hazel Reinhardt

President and CEO, Foundation for Cancer Care in Tanzania

Provider perspective | Advancing Care

Jane Lyimo, RN
Cancer Care Center, oncology nurse

Jane Lyimo had a heart for oncology long before the Cancer Care Center [CCC] at Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Center [KCMC] opened in 2016. Her experience with oncology started at the beginning of her nursing career in 2008 when she worked at KCMC in the internal medicine department with a concentration in palliative care.

It was there she was first exposed to the reality of the cancer epidemic in Tanzania. Because of her experience with palliative care patients and the need for trained nurses in oncology and chemotherapy administration, Jane was chosen to go to Duke University in North Carolina for three months for supplemental training.

During that time Jane received training on chemotherapy administration, safe handling and managing side effects. Her experience was invaluable and allowed her to return to Tanzania with a wealth of knowledge and confidence to provide quality care to oncology patients.

Following her training at Duke University, colleagues deemed Jane the “chemo” nurse of KCMC. She was re-assigned to the Dermatology Ward where she administered chemotherapy to oncology patients from all departments.

As the CCC was being established, administrators knew it was imperative to have knowledgeable, trained nurses to care for complex patients. Jane was the perfect person for the job, she had the knowledge, experience, training and most importantly the passion. She was the perfect fit!

Since starting at the CCC, Jane has continued to receive training and has passed on her knowledge on to many other staff members, both in the clinic and in the inpatient wards.

Jane is dedicated to her work, even amidst many daily challenges — not the least of which is working with limited resources.

Jane’s passion is evident in every interaction with her patients. From her dedication to providing weekly eduction to the time she takes to sit with a woman recently diagnosed with breast cancer who is fearful about losing her breast… she demonstrates care and compassion because that is who Jane is.

Jane hopes to continue expanding her knowledge and desires to become a specialist in the area of oncology nursing.


Patient Story | Paying it forward
Nurse Jane remembers well a patient named Joseph, even though it’s been more than a decade since he first came into her life.

At age 55, Joseph wasn’t feeling well. He was tired and recently noticed blood in his stool. For four months he was treated for hemorrhoids, but there was no improvement in his condition. Following more aggressive intervention, surgeons identified a lesion. Two weeks after a biopsy, Joseph was diagnosed with Colorectal Cancer, stage two.
The treatment for his cancer was chemotherapy, followed by surgery, then more chemotherapy and radiation.

Joseph lives in Moshi but had to travel to Ocean Road Cancer Institute in Dar es Salaam because cancer treatment service weren’t available at KCMC at that time.

After considerable efforts, Joseph found a nurse in the ICU at KCMC who was willing to give this chemo. Yes, it was nurse Jane Lyimo. She gave his chemotherapy every 21 days for several months. After treatment was over he traveled back and forth to Dar for follow-up, until the CCC opened in 2016.

Joseph is now cancer free and feeling great. He is retired, enjoying life and very interested in helping others during their cancer journey. In January, Joseph took part in the CCC patient education class sharing his experience as a patient and now as a survivor offering support, advice and hope for current patients.

Joseph has a deep appreciation for Jane’s compassion and care — from the photo of the two together during the class, the feeling appears to be mutual.

Connect to purpose | Summer Internships
Two students will join the Cancer Care Centre team for the summer getting a chance to connect the knowledge they’ve acquired in their field of study to the purpose they’ve set their sights on. Megan Olson and Steve Leak will spend three months contributing to the growth and capabilities of the CCC.

Megan Olson
Megan is a 2018 graduate of the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities with a degree in microbiology. She is pursuing a Master’s degree in Health Administration and will be in Tanzania until August, completing her summer administrative residency.

Megan will be working on two projects during her time in Tanzania. The first will focus on improving the process for procuring chemotherapy drugs for the CCC. Megan’s second project is helping to conduct background research along with market analysis and demand forecasting for the development of a heart hospital at KCMC.

Steven Leak
Steven graduated from the University of Sheffield, United Kingdom in 2014. After spending two years doing internships in the UK he has been working in Gold Coast Australia.

Steven visited Moshi for six weeks in October 2018 while pursuing his diploma in Tropical Medicine. He was excited to learn about the services offered for hematology and oncology cases at KCMC. He will spend three months working at the Cancer Care Centre and is hopeful that his experience will allow him to better understand how these services are delivered and inspire ideas on ways he can develop his career in Global Hematology.

Follow FCCT on Facebook. Keep in touch and learn more about the exciting work of volunteers like Megan and Steven. See how donor support is making a difference for all those committed to changing the lives of patients and families in Tanzania.

Education | Interdisciplinary training
Oncology patients admitted for care at KCMC commonly find themselves among patients with diagnoses other than cancer.

In preparing for the opening of an inpatient hospital ward designated specifically for cancer care, Liz Mtunga, RN and other CCC staff facilitated a three-day oncology nursing short course to ensure inpatient nurses feel confident caring for oncology patients

The course focuses on educating nurses about adult and pediatric cancer diagnoses, chemotherapy administration, side effects, nutrition, physical therapy and palliative care. The class consists of lectures, hands-on activities, games and discussion.

The course was considered a tremendous success with 40 KCMC nurses participating. Plans are in place to continue offering the course until the new inpatient cancer ward is opened.

Improving care that can be provided for cancer patients coming to KCMC is FCCT’s primary focus at this time. The foundation is raising money for the inpatient ward and you can help by participating in the annual gala. Read more

Save the Date | 2019 FCCT Gala, October 26 — Minneapolis Marriott Northwest
The FCCT Gala Planning Committee is excited to announce Joe Schmit from KSTP-TV will serve as emcee during the 5th Annual Gala. Schmit is an author, award-winning broadcaster, community leader and well-known keynote speaker. We are thrilled he will be participating in this special event on October 26.

The Gala will include the ever-popular silent auction with a focus on items from Tanzania. Attend the Gala and shop for beautiful, hand-made items such as wood sculptures, baskets, bags, jewelry and other items.

Construction on the vital inpatient cancer ward is about to begin. Valuable information about this important project will be provided at the Gala. You will also learn about the outstanding achievements and continued growth of cancer care in Northern Tanzania.

Please contact Mary Cook at 612-810-5897 or if you are interested in making a contribution such as providing a corporate, full or partial table sponsorship or donating items for the live or silent auctions. We are also looking for volunteers to help on the day and evening of the event.

Look for registration information in upcoming newsletters and on the FCCT website. Ensure Saturday, October 26 is reserved on your calendar so you, your family and your friends can enjoy a night of celebration. Your participation in this effort is greatly appreciated.

Mary C. Cook
Gala Chair, FCCT


Visit the FCCT website to see the progress being made and learn how your support can save lives, ease suffering and transform cancer outcomes for the people in northern Tanzania.

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