Mourning Jayne and Bella, lost on flight ET302

On Sunday March 10, 2019, we lost our wonderful Child Life Specialist, Jayne Kamau, and child life advocate Bella Jaboma, on Ethiopian Airlines flight ET302, which crashed shortly after take-off from Addis Ababa International Airport.  There were no survivors.  

Jayne and Bella were returning from the International Society of Paediatric Oncology Africa Congress in Cairo, where they had both presented on psychological supports for children with cancer and their families in Kenya.  They had networked to expand take-up of child life supports, and were enthused to return home to continue the work for which they had such great passion.

Alongside Jayne and Bella on the flight was Dr. Grace Kariuki, a young doctor and rising star who enthusiastically advocated effective childhood cancer care in Kenya.

Our hearts ache for Jayne, Bella and Grace's families, colleagues and friends, and for the communities they served. Especially for all the children and families for whom they were such a vital member of the medical care team.  We are utterly devastated by the loss of these three dedicated ladies who died serving the children and families they cared for so deeply.  They will be profoundly missed by our community.

Continuing Jayne and Bella’s Legacy

Jayne was a child life specialist – one of the first to train and qualify entirely in Africa, thanks to WE C Hope.  She worked with the only sustainable child life program in Africa.  The program at Sally Test Pediatric Center at Shoe4Africa Children’s Hospital and Moi Teaching & Referral Hospital in Eldoret is led and fully staffed by Kenyan professionals who have been trained and qualified entirely in Kenya. 

WE C Hope began working with Sally Test in 2008 to make vital child life supports a reality for children with eye cancer – and ultimately other children who receive care at the hospital.  From her first connection with the initiative, Jayne was our most dedicated Kenyan leader and advocate of the cause. 

All of the child life training, mentoring, certification and continuing education in Kenya has been facilitated by WE C Hope Child Life Director, Morgan Livingstone MA CCLS CIMT.  Like our entire WE C Hope team in the UK, USA and Canada, Morgan works entirely in a volunteer capacity.

The below video, generously produced by University of Indiana media students visiting a partnered health program, shows the very important work of the child life team, including Jayne.

Morgan had most recently been working with Jayne, Bella and their colleagues on the pathway forward to expand sustainable child life from Eldoret to the childhood cancer ward and retinoblastoma ward at Kenyatta National Hospital in Nairobi. 

We don’t yet know what the new pathway will be without our delightful, talented, passionate friends.  But as we work together through this immense tragedy, we will find good ways forward for Kenyan child life, for Rb and all childhood cancer.  We will recover and grow stronger, in a way that celebrates the sparkling souls we have lost.

If you believe in the work Jayne and Bella were doing, and you would like to help ensure its development, we would very much value your support in their memory.

WORLD EYE CANCER HOPE

Curable eye cancer kills 7,000 children each year and blinds many more. We bring life and sight saving opportunities to children worldwide by raising awareness to achieve early diagnosis and rapid referral, delivering sustainable specialist medical care, and providing family support that reduces burdens and improves chances of cure.

Learn more about Jayne, Bella, and Grace, and our sustainable child life program with the links at the top of this page.

Click Donate Now to make a personal donation via Everyday Hero, or Donate on Facebook to support our official Facebook Fundraiser.

Or select Create Memorial or Start Fundraising to build your own fundraising page in minutes.  Then share the unique link with your friends.  Each donation is recorded on your page along with your donors' messages of support.  Jayne an Bella loved to bring fun and smiles into every day for the families they worked with.  They would love to know you are having fun with your friends supporting the work they held so dear.


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