The National, Thursday 01st December 2011
MICHELLE Tomun, a final year student at the University of Papua New Guinea, has been forced to quit her studies because of a rare medical condition that requires specialist treatment.
Tomun’s body disease fighting cells or immune system has turned back against her own body cells causing kidney failure and constant low blood levels (anemia).
The 23-year-old of mixed of Siwai, South Bougainville, and Kivori Poe, Central, parentage was completing her studies for a bachelor of accounting degree when she was diagnosed with the medical condition.
The medical term for this auto-immune condition is systemic lupus erythematosus.
Doctors say it is a chronic inflammatory disease in which the body’s own disease-fighting cells attack the body itself.
Her doctor has advised her to undergo kidney transplant within the next six months as her medical condition does not allow her to go for kidney dialysis at the Pacific International Hospital in Port Moresby for some time, while waiting for the transplant.
The cost of the transplant is around K300,000 in Singapore but her doctor at PIH has advised that it can be done at a cheaper cost in the Philippines.
Unfortunately, the amount of money required for the transplant is difficult for the family and relatives alone to raise as the parents are not formally employed and her relatives are mainly village-based subsistence farmers.
However, this has not discouraged the family, relatives and friends from raising around K15,000, much of which has already been expended in meeting her medical expenses so far.
Given that there are only six months to raise such a large amount of money, the family is embarking on an all out effort to conduct fundraising activities, including appeals to the public for assistance.
A special medical appeal account has been established – account name: Michelle Tomun Medical Appeal, account number: 1004853196, branch: BSP Waigani Banking Centre.
For further information, please contact the following: Michael Tomun (father) on 7113 6359, Elizabeth Tomun (mother) on 7191 3659, and fundraising committee members, Rebecca Maniako on 7103 7893 and Gayl Iramu on 7649 4313.