Ronald is a 13-year-old boy who lives in Kenya with his mother, father, and two younger siblings. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF) describes Ronald as, “shy, calm, and quiet.”
Ronald was born with hypospadias, a congenital condition in which the urethra does not grow to its full length. As a result, the urethral opening is located on the underside of the penis, which in turn causes an irregular stream. If left untreated, hypospadias can lead to frequent urinary tract infections, infertility, and social stigma.
When Ronald’s parents first noticed his hypospadias when he was a baby, they took him to the nearest hospital. At the time, however, it seemed like a minor problem that may later improve. AMHF tells us, “It wasn’t until Ronald had reached the age at which many young boys in his culture transition into manhood—through a rite of passage commonly known as circumcision—that they noticed nothing had changed.”
At this point, Ronald’s parents decided to, “aggressively seek treatment.” However, Ronald’s father works at a mini-market and his mother tends to their home, so they are in need of financial support.
For $655 Ronald will receive hypospadias repair and 10 days of recovery in the hospital. This surgery will provide a long-term solution to Ronald’s condition by extending the length of the urethra.
Ronald shares, “I can’t pass urine near my friends because I am quite sure they will laugh at me. I hope to get treated soon because I don’t want to carry that feeling with me into high school.”
Ronald, who will be starting high school soon, plans to work hard, get good grades, and pursue his dream of becoming an engineer.