How Cancer Transformed One Man’s Life: Farooq Oreagba's Inspirational Journey

How Cancer Transformed One Man’s Life: Farooq Oreagba's Inspirational Journey
Tristan Veldsman Jun 24 2024

From a Professional Life to a Profound Personal Journey

Farooq Oreagba, the Managing Director of NG Clearing and once a steadfast member of the Derivatives Product Advisory Committee of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, never anticipated the life-altering news he received in February 2014. Before his diagnosis with multiple myeloma, a relentless and incurable form of cancer, Oreagba's life revolved around his professional commitments, strategic meetings, and charting the growth path for his company. However, life had other plans, thrusting him into a battle that redefined his values and priorities.

The Moment of Revelation

When Oreagba first heard the word 'cancer', a chilling wave of uncertainty crashed over him. Multiple myeloma, a cancer that eats away at the plasma cells in bone marrow, is notorious for its complexity and tenacity. The months that followed were drenched in treatments, hospital visits, and countless chemotherapy sessions. The physical toll was immense, but it was the emotional and mental resilience required that became a true test of his character and spirit. Despite the obstacles, he embarked on this journey not with resignation but with a fierce resolve to find meaning and hope amid adversity.

A New Focus: Family and Hope

For many, a cancer diagnosis narrows their focus to survival. For Oreagba, it broadened his horizons to include his family and a community of cancer patients looking for hope. He shared that the ordeal has taught him to appreciate the simple moments with his loved ones, the value of true friendship, and the importance of authenticity. The days spent with his family became his sanctuary - a place where he found strength to face each news cycle of his health. His relationship with his children deepened, and his appreciation for his partner's unwavering support grew exponentially.

Physical Endurance: Marathons and Fundraising

Physical Endurance: Marathons and Fundraising

Even as he struggled with daily chemotherapy and the exhaustive aftereffects of a rigorous bone marrow transplant, Oreagba found a new passion in running marathons. These grueling physical challenges became his way of raising awareness and funds for cancer charities. Each race was not just a personal victory over his limitations but also a message of hope and solidarity for others fighting similar battles. The sight of Oreagba at the finish line, his spirit undeterred, became a symbol of resilience and perseverance.

Counseling and Support: Extending a Lifeline

Understanding the isolating nature of cancer, Oreagba dedicated himself to counseling other patients. Sharing his journey, experiences, and coping mechanisms, he became a beacon of hope and a source of practical advice. Oreagba's words were not merely from medical statistics or clinical brochures but stemmed from a place of shared pain and mutual understanding. To the patients who felt lost, his guidance provided a roadmap back to hope and possibility.

Tattoos: The Stories They Tell

Part of Oreagba’s story is narrated through the tattoos that adorn his body. They are not relics of aesthetic whim but significant markers of his life’s journey. Each inked symbol tells a story, captures a memory, or signifies a triumph over the odds. These tattoos became a silent but powerful testimony of a man's journey through pain, hope, and relentless determination. They are personal battle scars etched into his skin, forever reminding him of the battles fought and the victories celebrated.

Lessons in Prioritizing and Appreciating Life

Lessons in Prioritizing and Appreciating Life

Oreagba’s battle with cancer brought a profound shift in his worldview. He learned the invaluable lessons of prioritizing the essentials and appreciating life’s fleeting moments. It is this new-found wisdom that he imparts to those around him. Holding friends close, cherishing every heartbeat, and staying true to oneself are no longer clichés but life mottos that he lives by. The transformation from a corporate strategist to a warrior of hope encapsulates a journey that is both humbling and inspiring.

The Ojude Oba Festival: A Different Stage

Farooq Oreagba’s presence at the Ojude Oba Festival, where he stole the show, was perhaps a culmination of his personal triumphs displayed on a public stage. The festival, rich in tradition and community spirit, became a backdrop for Oreagba’s narrative of resilience. His story, shared with attendees, was a stark reminder of the unpredictability of life and the strength of the human spirit in the face of adversity. While the tattoos may have drawn attention, it was his story of transformation that captivated hearts.


Farooq Oreagba’s journey from being a leading figure in the financial world to a beacon of hope for cancer patients underscores the unpredictable nature of life’s journey. His struggle with multiple myeloma and subsequent embrace of life’s simpler but profound joys reveal an inspiring narrative of resilience. This journey is a testament to the human spirit’s ability to find and nurture hope, even in the darkest of places. It’s a story that encourages holding dear to those we love, staying true to oneself, and finding purpose even in the midst of life’s most challenging battles.