Local fashion designer, Lebogang Quiteria Kekana, is currently battling cancer.
Speaking to TRUELOVE, the local designer says that he was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a cancer that forms in a type of white blood cell called a plasma cell.
“Shortly after the incident that happened with Coconut Kelz where I ended up trending on Twitter for four days, my body experienced a lot of trauma because of the stress that came with that negativity and one day I just fell and had a concussion. After that I got very ill,” he said.
“That’s when I went to the doctor to get checked out because I had started to develop lumps on my body too during that period. When I got there, I discovered that I had cancer."
Although the 38-year-old maintains that he never body shamed her (she maintains that he did), he says that the backlash that came with what he refers to as 'accusations' had taken a huge toll on his health as well as his business.
“I don’t know if she did it for publicity or what, but her comments affected me and tainted my name. I was affected financially and was no longer getting business from clients. I’m not saying that she caused my illness, but it was triggered by every negative thing that was happening around me and the cancer which had been hiding somewhere decided to become more severe,” he continued.
Due to the many specialist visits and treatments he’s had to undergo, Kekana’s finances suffered.
“I had to get 28 tests done plus start going for chemo-therapy; mind you, I’ve lost business and my employees and their families depend on me to help out,” he adds.
While undergoing treatment and having to make a few lifestyle changes to better his health, Kekana says that he discovered how expensive the cost of treatment was and asked that people donate to help him fight cancer.
“I partnered with the Brut and Blemished Foundation on a campaign called Stronger Than Cancer; the campaign seeks to raise awareness on cancer and will not only benefit me, but will also other people who need financial support when it comes to fighting cancer,” he says.
Kekana says that most people who suffer from cancer also suffer from mental health issues which worsen their health.
“Chemotherapy requires one to consume good nutrition and many people cannot afford to buy healthy food. So I want to help them in obtaining such food. I’ve also noticed a trend that most people do not react well to being bullied and cyber-bullied,” he added.
The celebrity designer concluded by urging people to take note of what they say about others.
“Your mental health is really important and can affect your health; with that said, I’d like to plead with the public to mind what they say and do to others because we all don’t react the same to situations,” he said.
Donations to help the designer fight cancer can be made on the foundation’s website.