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Kenya's Jepng’etich back with Pipeline after cancer scare

Ruth Jepng’etich attacks in the 2015 World Cup
 Lausanne, Switzerland, March 12, 2017 – Kenya Pipeline’s Ruth Jepng’etich says it is only by “the grace of God” that she has managed to return to competitive action after a spell on the sidelines through illness.

The 26-year-old has resumed training with the Kenya women’s champions following a yearlong lay-off from the game. 

She stopped playing after being diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (NHL) and went through eight months of treatment funded by the Kenya Pipeline Company. NHL is a cancer that starts in cells called lymphocytes.

“I am now feeling well. I am happy, very happy. I want to thank all the fans, family, friends and Kenya Pipeline management for all the support,” Jepng’etich told Nation Sport after training with the first team at Kasarani Thursday.

Jepng’etich, who was voted the sixth best blocker when Kenya finished 10th at the 2015 FIVB World Cup in Japan, added: “I didn’t believe I could have cancer. It was a difficult period and it is only by the grace of God that I am healed. Now I am working to regain my fitness. I have been doing gym work since January.”

Jepng’etich and her teammates are preparing for the Africa Club Championships which will be held in Tunisia from April 6 to 16.

Pipeline assistant coach ex-international Margaret Indakala, has only one target at the championship: Winning the title outright.

“Firstly, we are all too happy that Ruth is back,” Indakala said. “We are trying to build her confidence and help her get into shape. It has been more than a decade since we last won this competition, we want to change that.”

Indakala, who boasts two continental titles from her playing days at Posta Kenya, added: “Mentally the players are okay. The squad is in good shape. We are now working on the blocks, the back court defence and service. These areas cost us during the competition last year.”

Besides Jepngetich, Pipeline will also rely on the services of experienced players such as Noel Murambi, captain Triza Atuka, vice-captain Janet Wanja, Violet Makuto and Monica Biama in Tunisia.

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