She has shared her experience many times, but last week former Health minister Beth Mugo moved African first ladies to tears when she – for the first time – revealed how she desperately struggled to hide from the media the shocking news of her cancer diagnosis.

Mugo, currently a nominated senator, also hid from public for months as she painfully absorbed the impact of the 2011 diagnosis.

“When you’re first diagnosed with cancer, you feel this is it…..I am going to die. I had told my doctor to keep my file under lock and key and especially the press must not see it,” Mugo told the 12 first ladies on Monday.

Some of them choked back tears as the 76-year-old politician bravely shared fresh details of her experience.

“You have to come out of that shock fast enough to be able to confront what’s ahead of you,” she said.

Mugo was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011 during a routine medical checkup in Nairobi. A mammogram initially missed the lump, which she could confidently feel in her breast.

She sought a second opinion where a CT scan confirmed the lump, which turned out to be cancerous.

She initially sought treatment in the US where the lump was completely removed. However, she was expected to receive several chemotherapy regimes in the US and Kenya the following years.


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