Alice is a five-month-old girl from Kenya who lives with her parents and two older siblings in Kenya's Central Region. Her mother works at home, and her father is a cleaner at a local company. When Alice was three months old, her mother noticed that her head was growing more rapidly than the rest of her body. When taken to the hospital, Alice was diagnosed with congenital hydrocephalus—a buildup of cerebrospinal fluid in the cranium that can increase pressure on the brain, causing severe mental and physical health problems. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $685 to cover the cost of Alice's operation, which is scheduled to take place on June 21 at our medical partner’s care center, BethanyKids Kijabe Hospital. The surgery entails installing a shunt in Alice's brain that will drain the excess fluid. If not treated, Alice is at risk of severe developmental delays, loss of sight, and potentially even death. The little my husband gets is not enough for our basic needs, leave alone cater for her surgical care. Please help us," Alice's mother says.
Mohamed is a one-week-old baby from Kenya. Mohamed's mother tends to the house while Mohamed's father takes up work on farms whenever he can. Mohamed was diagnosed with spina bifida at birth, which is a condition that prevents her spinal cord from developing properly. Because of her condition, Mohamed is currently at risk of infection, malformation of the spinal cord, loss of muscular function in her lower limbs, and trauma. Immediate surgery was recommended in order to give Mohamed the best chance at evading these negative effects. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is seeking $1,097 to fund the spina bifida closure surgery that Mohamed needs. The procedure is scheduled to take place on June 19 and, once completed, will hopefully allow Mohamed to continue along a healthy developmental trajectory. Mohamed's mother says, “It was the most unexpected news we ever thought we could receive but we have peace now that there is treatment."
Samuel is a smart two-year-old from Kenya with a good-natured, goofy laugh. At birth, Samuel was diagnosed with cryptorchidism, a condition in which the testes have not descended into the scrotum. His mother has been monitoring his condition for a long time, however improvement has not been noted. Without treatment, Samuel is left at risk of developing an inguinal hernia or testicular cancer. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $542 to fund a double orchidopexy for Samuel, a surgical procedure that will move his undescended testes into the scrotum. Samuel's mother, a single mother who does laundry in the neighborhood to provide for her son, will subsidize $42 of the treatment with the money that she has raised. Samuel's surgery is scheduled to take place on June 22 and, once completed, will hopefully allow Samuel to live free from the medical complications that he is currently at risk of developing. “Kindly help my son get treated,” says Samuel's mother.
Nylah is a newborn from Kenya who was born with a condition known as spina bifida. Spina bifida results from an incomplete formation of the spinal cord, and the condition has caused Nylah to experience weakness in her lower limbs, develop an irritable nature, and lack the ability to feed properly. Because of her condition, Nylah is at risk of developing a tethered spinal cord, a hunched back, lower limb paralysis, and infections of the exposed nerves and tissues. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,097 to fund spinal surgery for Nylah. The procedure is scheduled to take place on June 23 and, once the gap in Nylah's spinal cord is closed, will hopefully allow Nylah to proceed along a healthy developmental trajectory. Nylah's mother says, “We are certain that Nylah will get well and whatever treatment that she receives will be of help to her well-being."
Joseph is a 14-month-old baby who lives with his parents in Kenya. His mother is a subsistence farmer, and his father is a motorbike taxi driver. At birth, Joseph was diagnosed with spina bifida, which has led to the development of hydrocephalus. Spina bifida refers to an incomplete closure of the spinal cord, which puts Joseph at risk of infection of exposed nervous tissue, a tethered spinal cord, loss of muscular function in his lower limbs, and intensification of his hydrocephalus, which is a build-up of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,097 to fund spina bifida closure surgery for Joseph, which is scheduled to take place on June 21. A local NGO, APDK, is subsidizing $206 of Joseph's treatment. Joseph's mother says, “I am devastated. I wake up every morning to the painful reminder that this isn’t a dream. I go to bed every night hopeless, exhausted from worry and despair. My one lingering thought is, 'Why my baby?'”
Smaalin is a 21-month-old boy who lives with his parents in Kenya. His mother sells groceries while his father does construction work. Late last year, Smaalin's mother noticed an occasional swelling in Smaalin’s groin. With time, the swelling has become extremely painful for Smaalin, especially whenever he urinates. While he was given drugs by a local hospital in order to ease the pain, his symptoms did not improve. An ultrasound later revealed that Smaalin has a right inguinal hernia. If left untreated, Smaalin is at risk of extreme tissue damage due to hernia strangulation. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $423 to fund Smaalin’s hernia repair surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on July 3 and, once completed, will hopefully relieve Smaalin of his pain and allow him to live more comfortably. “I will appreciate any financial help towards my son's treatment,” says Smaalin’s mother.
Blessing is a 17-month-old baby girl from Kenya. She lives with her mother and grandparents, all of whom work as subsistence farmers. At her young age, Blessing is just learning to talk and recently said "mama" for the first time. Benchmarks like these have brought a mixture of emotions to Blessing's mother, who is concerned about the deteriorating condition of her baby. Since she was six months old, Blessing has been living with a condition known as hydrocephalus. With this condition, excess fluid builds up in the skull and causes the brain to swell. Blessing's family first noticed the rapidly growing circumference of Blessing's head, and they then grew increasingly alarmed as they observed that she could not walk, sit, or hold up her head the same way that other babies her age could. If untreated, Blessing’s condition could lead to permanent brain damage, loss of vision, and even death. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is therefore requesting $685 to fund the surgical insertion of a shunt in Blessing's brain. The shunt is scheduled to be implanted on June 29 and will hopefully allow Blessing to continue reaching positive developmental milestones. “I am glad you can help Blessing get better and have a healthy life,” says Blessing’s mother.
Stephen is a five-year-old boy from Kenya. He lives with his parents, both of whom are subsistence farmers. Ever since he was born, Stephen has had an undescended left testicle. Doctors assured his parents that it would descend by the time he turned five, but this has proven to not be the case. His parents are eager to find treatment so that Stephen can avoid the potential complications of his condition, which include testicular cancer, hernias, and infertility. His parents also fear that Stephen will be teased by his peers at school. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $535 to cover the cost of Stephen's operation. His treatment is scheduled to take place on June 29 and, once completed, will hopefully allow Stephen to live a life free from the medical risks associated with his current condition. “I want to be a driver when I grow up," shares Stephen.
Caren is a 12-year-old girl from Kenya who is the third child in a family of seven. She contracted malaria and pneumonia when she was two and, while she recovered from those conditions, continued to experience a gradual swelling of her head thereafter. Now, the expansion of the circumference of Caren's head is one of many symptoms that she faces due to what has been diagnosed as hydrocephalus, or a buildup of fluid in the brain that increases intracranial pressure. In class, Caren trembles excessively when she writes, struggles to pay attention, and often falls asleep, resulting in the mockery of her peers. She additionally has little balance when she walks, struggles to urinate, and faces constant fatigue. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $685 to fund the insertion of a ventriculoperitoneal shunt that will drain the excess cerebrospinal fluid from Caren's brain. Without treatment, Caren is at risk of vision loss, permanent brain damage, and even death. The procedure is scheduled to take place on June 29 and, once completed, will hopefully spare Caren of these awful complications. “I feel like giving up at times but I have to bear down on for my children," shares Caren's mother.
Joel is a one-month old baby boy from Kenya. He is the youngest of three children and lives with his parents. His mother is a farmer, and his father is a construction worker. When Joel was born, doctors noticed a swelling on his lower back that was leaking fluid. They diagnosed him with spina bifida, a condition in which there is an incomplete formation of the spine and a leaking of cerebrospinal fluid through the gap. If left untreated, this condition can lead to the development of a tethered spinal cord, infections of the exposed tissue, scoliosis, and a rounding of the back. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,097, on top of the $52 subsidized by Joel's family, in order to cover the cost of Joel's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on June 29 and, once completed, will hopefully allow Joel to grow and develop in a healthy manner. “This was so unexpected and quite devastating," says Joel's mother. "But I am encouraged to know that there is a solution to his condition."
Dorcas is a newborn baby girl from Kenya. Dorcas was born with spina bifida, a condition in which the spine does not completely form. Her spinal cord and its surrounding membranes protrude through an opening in her backbone, in turn exposing her spinal cord and making Dorcas vulnerable to infection, loss of lower-limb muscular function, and early trauma. As subsistence farmers, Dorcas's parents are unable to cover the cost of the surgery that their daughter needs. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is therefore requesting $1,097 to cover the cost of Dorcas's operation. The procedure is scheduled to take place on June 28 and, once completed, will hopefully allow Dorcas to live free from the medical complications that could result from her condition. “It’s my prayer that she gets well and lives a healthy life," says Dorcas's mother.
Mary is a 13-month-old baby girl from Kenya. She is the only child in her family and her mother stays home to care for her. Mary was born with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess fluid builds up in the brain. If left untreated, this condition can result in increased intracranial pressure, slowed brain development, and permanent brain damage. On July 17, Mary will undergo brain surgery to drain the excess fluid. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $685 to cover the cost of her surgery and care. “I want my child to lead a normal life. I wish to see her treated. It’s my only prayer," says Mary's mother.