A dad-of-five battling aggressive bowel cancer has told of his heartbreak after losing his wife to the same illness.
Devastated friends of Omena Ubiaro fear his young boys could lose both their parents within weeks of one another.
Omena, 38, had been battling Stage 4 bowel cancer for two years when wife Makeda was diagnosed with the disease last August.
Makeda, also 38, underwent emergency surgery but could not be saved by doctors and died on July 29.
Her death during Omena’s battle with cancer has sparked fears for the couple’s five sons, aged from seven to 19, as friends launched a fundraising page to support the family.
As part of the appeal, Omena said the death of his beloved wife and ongoing fight against cancer is the “toughest thing” he has ever dealt with.
So far, more than £8,000 has been raised.
In an emotional video filmed from a hospice in Wolverhampton, where Omena is receiving round-the-clock care, the grieving dad appears gaunt as he is hooked up to machines from his bed.
Omena said: “I just want to say thank you so much to everybody that has been supporting myself and my family.
“Recently, myself and my five boys we’ve just lost my wife, they’ve lost a mother and I’ve also lost a best friend as well.
“It’s been difficult for the boys, it’s been difficult for myself.
“I cannot lie it has been the most toughest thing that a husband and a father’s ever had to face or deal with but it’s only been easier with support and help from friends.”
Omena’s best friend Femi Iloyi, 40, told Mirror Online about his fears for Omena whose weight has plummeted but added he was “determined” to be there for his children.
He said: “He is fighting for his life right now.
“Omena is a big, muscly guy but right now he is about 8st. He is so determined to stay alive for his children.
“Omena is such a humble guy, since he was diagnosed he just pulled his socks up and carried on.
“I’m not he has fully processed his wife’s death he is just focusing on being there for his children.
“This appeal is so important – if Omena dies that leaves their five children so we are trying to help the family.”
Omena and Makeda met when they were teenagers at St Francis Xavier College in Clapham, South London.
They married in 2004 and moved to Birmingham in 2009.
In 2014, the couple decided to renew their wedding vows when Omena was diagnosed with Stage 4 colorectal cancer.
Omena has openly discussed his battle with bowel cancer through a series of YouTube videos in which he said he believed his faith would help him overcome the disease.
In one video, uploaded in August 2015, he told how he underwent experimental treatment in Mexico as he likened traditional cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy to be like a ‘boxer with one arm’.
But while Omena charted his fight against cancer, friends said Makeda kept her battle private.
Close friend Eudora Benn-Short, who described Makeda as a “sister”, paid tribute to the “warm and caring” mum.
She said: “Makeda was an angel in her own right. She was warm, caring, honest and would be there for everybody.”
“I used to tell her there was no-one else like her.
“She gave so much to everyone. What hurts the most is that she has left behind five boys.”
You must log in to post a comment.