The social media has come under heavy negative criticism lately as it is seen as an evil medium where innocent victims fall to rape, armed robbery, rituals, leaking of nude pictures for blackmail and all sorts. But for 28-year-old breast cancer patient, Osarere Idiagbonya, popularly known as “Debbie”, the social media has proven to be her saving grace.
Her friends on Twitter have successfully harnessed the social media site to raise over N6m for the cancer patient for overseas treatment.
According to PUNCH Metro, Idiagbonya needed N6m for her breast cancer surgery, which is to be conducted at the Maryland Teaching Hospital, Baltimore, United States.
Her friend, Michella Jonathan, who spearheaded the social media campaign, met her on Twitter in 2010.
Jonathan told PUNCH Metro that she was moved by Idiagbonya’s condition and started the fundraising campaign on August 25, 2012 after visiting her.
Idiagbonya, a laboratory technician, had detected lumps on her left breast in June 2011. She had undergone two surgical operations to remove the lumps but was later diagnosed with breast cancer on July 31 this year.
Her dad, Robert, who developed stroke in 2011 died on August 1(Idiagbonya’s birthday), a day after he was informed that her daughter had cancer. He was buried on August 31.
Michella was moved by Debbie’s story and consequently started the campaign on BlackBerry Messenger and Twitter, while also contacting some popular bloggers.
She said, “I posted her pictures and her scanned medical documents on the BBM and Twitter and Facebook. I also contacted bloggers like Linda Ikeji, Ladun Liadi, Olori Supergal and some others about it. Initially the responses from people were not encouraging. They thought it was a scam and insulted me on the various sites.”
This was what prompted Debbie to permit photos taken of her breasts to be posted in the media and also a video on U-tube in a desperate bid to save her life.
I want to commend celebrities such as Rugged Man, Davido, Solid Star, Mo’cheedah, Halima Abubakar and Don Jazzy in the name of Marvin Records have donated to Idiagbonya’s cause.
And to the rest of us regular Nigerians, God bless us all. We have proven that there is truly strength in numbers.