September 2015, 40 year-old mother of 3 children and nurse at Georgetown Public Hospital (GPHC), Richlene Amsterdam, was diagnosed with invasive squamous cell carcinoma of the cervix stage III A. Cervical cancer was confirmed by a cervical biopsy. She was subsequently referred to Cancer Institute of Guyana where she had twenty five sessions of external beam radiation and three cycles of chemotherapy. A follow up CT scan revealed multiple nodules of the pelvis. The patient’s oncologist advised her to undergo Brachytherapy for these persistent nodules; however, Bradhytherapy is not available in Guyana, and she was urged to seek immediate overseas treatment.
Ms. Amsterdam reached out to the SHEA Charity on May 2, 2016 requesting our assistance and was advised that we are unable to sponsor cancer patients due to the high cost and difficulty leveraging treatment services; however, we refused to let her fight alone. SHEA founder, Lori Narine, along with Lead Volunteer Shameer Bacchus, took personal interest in the case and set out on a mission to help the nurse. They were met with over 200 hospital rejections and hundreds of hours solely dedicated to the case, eventually their hard work paid off as they were fortunate to find a hospital willing to accept Ms. Amsterdam at a fraction of the cost, which was estimated in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Ms. Amsterdam is expected to travel to the USA on August 20, 2016 and will begin her treatment on August 22, 2016.
August 22, 2016: Richlene has safely arrived in the USA and she was seen by the several doctors today. Her treatment course begins tomorrow. She is currently getting settled in her new home with a host family who will house her and her sister for the duration for her treatment.
On December 31, 2016, Richlene returned home to Guyana and her family after completing four months of aggressive radiation therapy which greatly shrunk her tumor. She will continue cancer treatment in Guyana under the guidance of her US doctors, but she is now is a save place with regards to her cancer. We wish Richlene and her family God's blessings.