There are so many people all over the world who need help. One needn't even go looking, all you need to do is stop looking away for a moment and it is easy to get overwhelmed by the enormity of the need. (And living in a country like South Africa, there is even more need, everywhere)
But a while ago, a request caught my eye. A friend of a friend of a friend posted something on FB and for some or other reason I decided to click on the link. I was overwhelmed by this woman's story. I donated some money towards her cause and today got some feedback. I am humbled by what this one woman (and her two friends) are doing to help other children.
Please read her story here and please help if you can. My heart goes out to these children: http://www.backabuddy.co.za/champion/project/running-the-vic-falls-marathon
On 22 December 2012, on their way to the Transkei, Akhona, her mother, father, sister and aunt were involved in a head on collision. Akhona’s mother died. Akhona’s little sister sustained severe head injuries to the extent that she is now disabled. Akhona also suffered from severe head injuries and lost her one eye. She waited 6 months for a prosthesis. She and her father and uncle who are taking care of her are over the moon with the result although more work has to be done due to the extent of injury experienced. She says thank you so much.
Tahir, 2 years old
Tahir’s mother Shihaam saw a strange light-like effect in Tahir’s eye when he was a new born. She immediately took him to the Red Cross Children’s hospital (in Cape Town) where he was diagnosed with Retino-blastoma, a cancer found only in children, localised in the eye but capable of spreading to the rest of the body. On the 23 November 2011 the eye was enucleated (enucleation is the removal of the eye that leaves the eye muscles and remaining orbital contents intact) and he underwent a series of chemo therapy sessions. He has tumours in his other eye too but so far he can still see through that eye and it is not yet necessary for an enucleation. On 12 June 2013 he was fitted with his first prosthesis and his parents were ecstatic especially his father who couldn’t take the comments from other people anymore. “Now people treat my son as a normal person”. Tahir on the other hand dances in front of the mirror, admiring his eye!
Warren, 12 years old
Warren was on a train, on his way home from school when a brick was thrown through the train window and which hit his left eye. He went immediately to Red Cross hospital where an enucleation was performed as the eye was too damaged to save. He was very traumatised and sad but a social worker helped to a degree. Kids mocked and teased Warren to the point that he didn’t want to attend school anymore. He started hiding behind sunglasses, never removing them, even when he saw Vida for the prosthesis for the first few times. Warren received his custom-made prosthesis! He is a positive, very happy child again and never wears his sunglasses. “He is a very happy boy again”, says his mother.
Shaylin has Retino Blastoma (cancer found only in kids, manifests in the eyes.) Shaylin and his family travel from George (approx. 370km from Cape Town) for treatment and according to Vida they have been known to wait at the clinic at 8am for their 2pm appointment.
NOTE: Permission was sought and granted by the children and their families to use their photos and stories.