BIOGRAPHY OF CECILIA KARANJA
CHAIRPERSON, FERTILITY KENYA
Cecilia Karanja is the Founder of Fertility Kenya, a Medical and Health Non- Governmental Organization (NGO) that was established to address the plight of women and men affected by infertility. Cecilia suffered from infertility for eleven years and subsequently two failed marriages.
In her first marriage which lasted 6 years, the couple tried to conceive for the first four years with no success. She then visited her doctor, who carried out fertility tests, which included; Pelvic scan, AMH, Hormonal analysis and HSG which indicated everything was okay. She was then requested by the doctor to be accompanied by her spouse. Tests were conducted and it was quickly established that he had low sperm count and was immediately put on treatment for 7 days and subsequently for 3 months. However, he did not adhere to the treatment guidelines recommended by the doctor. The marriage unfortunately became toxic and this led to physical abuse, stigmatization and rejection. Despite trying to save the marriage through the intervention of the church, parents and even counseling the union could not be restored. Cecilia then got into her second marriage, upbeat to prove that she was well and could conceive. After trying and failing in her first year, she consulted her doctor who then did the fertility tests again. This time it was discovered she had blocked fallopian tubes and fibroids, which required a surgical procedure called laparoscopy. She informed her spouse who promised to get the finances for the treatment. Unfortunately, this took months of waiting for the financial support required, and she was eventually thrown out of her matrimonial home for lack of children.
After one and a half years of going through depression due to the stigma and humiliation she underwent in the past two marriages, Cecilia was determined to try and conceive before getting into another marriage. She worked and saved the Kshs 200,000/- required for the laparoscopy surgical procedure. She finally successfully underwent this surgery and after six months, she tried to conceive but for the first three months, she did not succeed. But she kept her faith and by the fourth month, she conceived, which was initially a shock followed by great excitement. After nine months, she delivered her first bouncing baby boy! Today, Cecilia is happily married and a mother of two handsome boys and a beautiful girl! She is grateful to God for His divine miracle of children, something which is very dear to her heart!
She made a promise to God to use her story to reach out to men and women struggling with infertility. Whilst in her struggle with infertility, Cecilia searched but could not get an organization or a foundation that she could get help and information on this very emotive subject. That is how she decided to go public and talk openly about her journey to motherhood which has inspired very many men and women. She wanted to spread the good news that infertility is not a curse as the society has stereotyped this condition and that there are treatment options available.
Through the Fertility Kenya platform, she has been hosted in a majority of TV and Radio stations both local and international to talk about infertility, and in turn, Fertility Kenya has managed to reach millions of people. The Organization has registered members from all over the country whereby, 30% of the members have successfully undergone IVF treatment and conceived while another 20% have had successful laparoscopy surgery. The remaining 50% are those awaiting treatment citing the high cost of treatment as a barrier.
Cecilia is passionate in spreading the good news of hope, resilience and patience. She chose to think differently, remained positive and believed in God, which yielded in her current journey to touch the lives of those affected by infertility. Her heart warms when she meets her members who have succeeded in getting children, and they stop to address her as “Mum”, this keeps her fire burning in helping more men & women in overcoming being childless. Her commitment to reach out to more couples and families struggling with infertility and connecting them to the fertility experts, is like no other.
Cecilia’s dream is to support as many men and women in this tough journey of parenthood. She offers a shoulder to lean on, educates and ensures that these men and women access treatments in an affordable way by partnering with the fertility experts. She has endeavored to negotiate on affordable rates for the various treatments with the fertility experts. Her satisfaction and success is to see a couple or a mother holding her bundle of joy!