NATION

Family Takes In Sister’s Children After Their Mother Loses Cancer Battle

‘To us as a family, this is a new beginning, having to look after my sister’s daughters is what keeps us going every day, especially when my parents are still
05 Oct 2017 16:43
Family Takes In Sister’s Children After Their Mother Loses Cancer Battle
From left: Merewai Boginivalu, Emily Taito, Sharon Boginivalu and Kalesi Baleira during the Pinktober launch at the Tanoa Plaza on October 2, 2017. Photo: Salote Qalubau

‘To us as a family, this is a new beginning, having to look after my sister’s daughters is what keeps us going every day, especially when my parents are still around,’ says Kalesi Baleira

Kalesi Nainoca Baleira, the sister of the late Salome Nainoca, said the family was only able to cope with the loss because they saw her in her three daughters she had left behind.

Mother of two Mrs Baleira from Laselase, Nadroga, was sharing her family’s experience during the Pinktober launch at the Tanoa Plaza Hotel in Suva on Monday.

“My sister lives in her three daughters, her mannerisms are obvious in the way they walk, talk, smile, laugh, sit and react,” Mrs Baleira said.

“To us as a family, this is a new beginning, having to look after my sister’s daughters is what keeps us going every day, especially when my parents are still around,” she said.

The late Salome Nainoca’s daughters are Sharon Boginivalu 14, (Year 9 at Adi Cakobau School), Merewai Boginivalu, 12, (Year 7 at Gospel Primary school) and Gloria Dwan Boginivalu, 2.

“Our close knit family is now stronger than before, for the sake of her children to accomplish what they want to be after their education,” she said.

“We are lucky in the sense that my brother and two older sisters have selflessly contributed to see that the girls do not miss out on anything.”

Of the three sisters the two older Ravitaki girls, Merewai wants to be a vet while Sharon aspires to be a paedetrician

Ms Nainoca was a single parent and an active advocate for the Fiji Cancer Society until her death on March 29, 2017.

“So far we have been doing well because I always tell my mother that Salome’s girls were there to replace her, and little things they did like misbehaving and their laughter remind us of Salome’s ways and that brings joy to our lives,” she said.

“Salome was a bilateral case, she had both breasts removed. She detected a lump in 2012 , she got it removed  and  was left with only one breast up until 2016 when she had her second breast removed  so that was round about the time she had her third baby and it added to her stress.”

“She had to choose between her baby Gloria and her health, it was a difficult decision for her.

“She had her other breast removed and Gloria had to go on baby formula.

“Gloria was two-years-old when her mother passed away.”

She said caring for her sister during the late stages of her illness was no easy task.

Mrs Baleira, her husband and her two children moved to her parents place to look after Salome and her three daughters.

“It was really hard when Salome started getting sick because I had just started my Bachelor of Arts course at the University of the South Pacific as a first year student. And just when I started going back to school, she started to get really sick, so we had to tell her and her kids to come and stay with us,” she said.

“At that final stage of cancer, she was bedridden and would cry all the time.

“To look after a cancer patient it’s really sad. she was the fairest of all of us, the most beautiful one and to see how this sickness changed her looks was just sad, she lost so much weight  and I couldn’t believe that that sickness just did that to her.”

“She was a fighter, when she knew that she was going to lose her battle against cancer she sought forgiveness from everyone starting with her husband.

“She did the same with all of us, it was painful.

“She passed away peacefully at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital on March 29 this year,” she said.

Edited by Karalaini Waqanidrola

Feedback:  salote.qalubau@fijisun.com.fj

 

 

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