We received this email from Nowe Alexis Isibor and it was really touching and we decided to share this story with the world. It’s the season of love, goodwill and sharing and we believe that it is important to show love. Nowe tells of how hearing of a mother’s plight stirred her to compassion. Nowe’s chance encounter with Mrs Fajemilo inspired her to do something. We hope that you’ll find this as inspiring as we did.
As a protocol/logistics admin officer at a pipeline services company, part of my job description includes the meeting and greeting of our staff at the airport. On the 7th of December, 2012, while I was waiting for a flight to arrive, bored out of my mind, I felt a tap on my left arm and when I turned, there was a woman beside me who had a donation card in her hand; she wanted me to donate whatever I could to her foundation. Inquisitively, I asked the woman what foundation she represented to which she answered, “it’s called the Festus Fajemilo Foundation dedicated to advocating and providing quality health care for children living with Hydrocephalus and Spina bifida.
Hydrocephalus (HC) is a condition that develops when there is too much fluid (Cerebro– spinal Fluid – CSF) within the brain causing increased pressure within the skull and surrounding tissues, thereby resulting in the enlargement of the head of an infant. If this pressure is longstanding, the brain will be damaged as well. So far, the known treatment for HC is surgery to enable the CSF to be drained from the brain. This can be done either by opening a new pathway or channel with the use of endoscope; or by placing an implant (Shunt) to regulate the pressure.
On the other hand, Spina Bifida (SB) is a neural tube defect, the most common group of birth defects. It affects the central nervous system (i.e. the brain and the nerves) and occurs in the womb of the mother within the first 25 days of pregnancy when the spinal cord fails to form properly. Its effects include leg deformities (Club Foot), hydrocephalus, partial/ total paralysis of the legs and most challenging, bladder and bowel incontinence. Even though no known cure is available for Spina Bifida, however medical treatments now enable many people with Spina Bifida to live into old age and have a good quality of life.
She also said to me “Festus Fajemilo is my son’s name and he has the condition. That’s why I set up a foundation that can help other people with the same condition” Oh my! That definitely got my attention. There and then I was totally bought and sold. I was enthralled by this woman’s courage, amazed that she could go to strangers to ask for help, even though she could be accused of running a fraudulent scheme, scorned, ignored, embarrassed…yet she persisted and still persists. I asked her how she does it and what motivates her to keep pushing and she said this to me, “Once in a while we get people like you who are genuinely interested in our cause and want to help, that, makes me never give up”.
I knew right there and then what I had to do, matter of fact I felt we were destined to meet. I knew God had specially planned this meeting in his mysterious way and I knew I was going to spend the special day 12th of December, 2012 with the children of the Festus Fajemilo Foundation. It’s now February and I have met Festus and his friends. I have spent time with them, I have grown to love these kids and keep thinking of ways to improve their lives. Then I said to myself,“What better way to show love to these kids than to spend the official day of love with them? So, please join me in putting a smile on the faces of these kids on Valentine’s day.
Date: 14th February 2013
Time: 12 pm
Venue: Fun Factory, Block 10A, Plot 4,Admiralty Way, Lekki, Lagos
I know that it is a week day and the time will be quite challenging but if you can, your presence will be most appreciated. If you cannot, there are other ways you can support the foundation. On the 14thof February, not only will we spend time with them, we will also assist them in their quest to live a quality life. Of course the best thing for me to do if I had the power would be to reverse the condition and fortunately some of their conditions can be corrected through corrective surgery. They also have needs like diapers, school fees, physiotherapist bills and so on. This is where I call out to each and every one of you as Mrs. Fajemilo reached out to me at the airport. In any way you can, please come and support these kids, some can’t even walk and need wheelchairs, some of their condition can still be reversed, not for free of course, and a lot of them cannot afford the bills. Please support the children.
For more information, please visit the Festus Fajemilo Foundation website.