He hit the unlucky lottery and is now looking for a miracle to make sure his kids will be taken care of.
Lansana Mansaray fled to Canada from Sierra Leone in 2009. He had a job working with many delicate matters dealing with war crimes and crimes against humanity before an incident left him feeling unsafe.
Mansaray arrived in Winnipeg with lots of experience, but no 'Canadian experience', as employers were quick to point out, which left him struggling to find a job to support his family. But Mansaray did find work and ended up taking two jobs to support his now ex-wife and his three children.
In the fall of 2017, Mansaray discovered his biggest challenge. Doctors located a tumour in his throat and after testing, it was revealed to be cancerous. Further testing revealed that the throat cancer that Mansaray had was Hyalinizing Clear Cell Carcinoma, making him just the second person in Manitoba history to be diagnosed with this type of cancer.
"(Mansaray) just had hardship over hardship and mountains to climb," said Alicia, a good friend of the family. "It's very painful to see somebody so good and so strong always have these barriers."
One barrier was an attack while he was working at the welfare office. Mansaray says that a woman attacked him and started punching him in the throat, right where the tumour was. He sustained injuries on his back and his knee and started to run into severe difficulty with his breathing. This happened before the type of cancer was officially diagnosed.
"At some point, I thought I was going to lose my life," Mansaray reflected. "She was just punching me."
Doctors have told Mansaray that he only has a few months left since it is stage 4 cancer, which means that chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery are no longer options. Mansaray currently eats with a feeding tube and takes a large amount of pain medication. Because of the experimental treatment he is undergoing, medication costs are not covered and he has no insurance.
"(A) miracle is what we are waiting for," Mansaray said. "I've seen miracles with my own eyes. I've been to wars, I've seen devastation, I've seen destruction, I've seen poverty. I've seen a lot of things. But I've seen joyful moments."
To help with his children, Mansaray tried to bring his mother over from Sierra Leone to help him with his children. Unfortunately, his application was rejected because he didn't have $10,000 in his account to support her.
The family has set up a GoFundMe campaign to help raise money for Mansaray's mother to come to Canada during this very difficult time in his, and his families, life. His family is hoping to raise $15,000 for the application and for additional costs.