Cancer Would Be Best Thing That Happened To Me If I Lived Extra 20 Years – Farooq Oreagba

Cancer Would Be Best Thing That Happened To Me If I Lived Extra 20 Years - Farooq Oreagba
Cancer Would Be Best Thing That Happened To Me If I Lived Extra 20 Years – Farooq Oreagba

Farooq Oreagba, the managing director of NG Clearing Limited, has recalled how his cancer diagnosis a decade ago changed his perspective on life.

In February 2014, Oreagba was diagnosed with bone marrow and skin cancer, an incurable illness that forced him to step aside from his career temporarily.

The 58-year-old, however, had a transplant in August of the same year and has been living with the condition for 10 years.

In a chat with Arise TV, Oreagba said being diagnosed with cancer has “changed my priorities in life”.

“From the moment I was diagnosed with cancer in February 2014, an incurable form of cancer, my priorities changed,” he said.

“You do not know how much time you have got. You line up your list of priorities. For me, family first, because I did not know how long I was going to be around. By God’s grace, I am ten years and counting. And I am not about to (since I have been crowned king of steeze) just go like that anytime soon.”

Oreagba, who stole the show at the 2024 Ojude Oba, an annual celebration by the Ijebu people in Ogun, also recalled how “millions of friends” deserted him after they found out about his cancer diagnosis.

“I was a senior executive at the Exchange back in early 2000s, and prior to that, let’s say I had five million friends, right? When I left the Exchange in 2010, my five million friends went down to one million, you know how it is. When I was diagnosed with cancer in 2014, my one million went down to a hundred,” he said.

“So, it’s very important, that’s a very important lesson. So it’s important that what you take from that – you hold your friends close, keep your feet, you know ten toes down all the time, be yourself, as long as I don’t hurt anybody.”

The investment banker highlighted the importance of living each day to the fullest, adding that “if I could live another 20 years, I would say being diagnosed with cancer was the best thing to ever happen to me”.

Reflecting on his cancer journey, the Oxford University alumnus said: “I did chemotherapy every day, 21 days a month for 8 years. And I don’t do chemotherapy anymore, I’ve put on a bit of weight, I’m living my best life, I’m back working because it was difficult to take a full-time job when I was doing all that, and that gives me a lot of fulfilment.

“The first thing they ask me is why are you so happy? I’m alive, and as long as you’re in the game, you can win the game. Every day is a blessing, like I showed you, I live each day like it’s my last. I’m very passionate about my work in financial services, I’m very passionate about getting the cancer message across. Some of you may know I run marathons to raise money for cancer charities, just to give people hope, because I know how much it meant to me when I was really feeling the pain and one or two people just gave me that hope.

“I’m 58 and I say to you now, if I could live another 20 years, I would say being diagnosed with cancer was the best thing to ever happen to me. It changed my perspective on life. I don’t sweat the small stuff, what I’m there for, I’m there for it. Counselling cancer patients, trying to improve access to better healthcare, I’ll do that all day long.”

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