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Jakarta Post

'Donors' promise cancer patient millions in aid, pose for photos, but the money never comes

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Sat, July 18, 2020   /   03:27 pm
'Donors' promise cancer patient millions in aid, pose for photos, but the money never comes Kinem (third left), who suffers from jaw cancer, and her husband Nursam (right) pose while holding up signs of pledged donations to support Kinem's treatment at their house in Gilirejo hamlet, Gunungsari village, Boyolali, Central Java. The couple claim they received only a small fraction of the donations promised by numerous people who asked to have such photos taken. (Kompas.com/Dian Ade)

Kinem from Boyolali regency in Central Java has had a cancerous tumor on her jaw for 11 years. Her story has drawn make-believe donors who visited her home and asked her to pose for photos while holding up signs pledging tens of millions of rupiah.

The family in Gilirejo hamlet of Gunungsari village was looking forward to the financial support for her treatment, but they never got their hands on the promised money.

“My wife and I were only asked to hold up the signs, then they took our pictures. The nominal varied from Rp 10 million [US$680] to Rp 30 million. We once received Rp 7 million of Rp 30 million promised, but other than that, we received nothing,” Kinem’s husband Nursam said on Friday, as quoted by Kompas.com.

“I’ve lost count as to how many times we were photographed holding up the false signs."

He said that, despite being lied to, there were no hard feelings. He only wished that Kinem could recover from her illness.

Kinem’s jaw cancer started in 2009 when she discovered a big lump under her chin. The condition made it hard for the 45-year old to speak and eat, as her tongue was pushed forward. The cancer also knocked out her teeth.

Nursam took his wife to doctors several times, but the latest visit was two years ago, when she was admitted to Moewardi Hospital in Surakarta for two weeks. However, he said, the doctors could not operate her as she did not meet some of the health conditions for surgery.  

Nursam said they could not afford further medical treatment for his wife, since he, as the sole breadwinner of the family, was struggling to support their five children doing odd jobs. (aly)