Story By: Conor Sheils, Sub Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Central European News
The granddaughter of a deceased MP and multimillionaire businessman has died of cancer in the US at the age of 26 after unsuccessfully “begging” her family for money for treatment.
Michelle Karume, the granddaughter of veteran Kenyan politician Njenga Karume, died on Saturday after her pleas to family members for funds to treat her cancer were apparently ignored.
According to local media, the woman spent her final days in pain after begging trustees of her grandfather’s vast fortune – of which she was named a benefactor – to release the cash to pay for treatment.
His estate has been estimated to be worth 17.8 billion KES (137 million GBP).
During a recent court hearing in Kenya to unlock the funds, the woman told the judge that she was suffering from the illness and could not afford medication.
The judge ordered the trustees of the estate to provide her with funding, reports said.
Before her death, she shared a letter with the feuding family’s lawyers in which she said that the “clock is ticking” and told relatives how she sat by the phone waiting to hear that the funds had been transferred.
She added: “Three months later I am waiting here; still waiting for my phone to ring, but in return I get less communication to a point nobody can pick up my calls.”
Local media report that she travelled to the US in December – where she had signed up for a clinical trial – in the belief that funding would be unlocked.
According to local media, her desperate pleas for funding to save her life have been ongoing since 2016 and local media report that some funds were eventually released in May but it was apparently too late.
Cancer treatment in the US is expensive and high medical bills are common.
It has not been reported which type of cancer she was suffering from before she died.
Njenga Karume died in 2012 after serving as an MP for more than three decades. He also served in the government as a minister.
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