BENEFITING: The Fistula Foundation
ORGANIZER: The Fistula Foundation
EVENT: The RaiseForWomen Challenge
I really wanted to do this last year, but couldn't get it together in time for Mother's Day. And I was about to have my second baby, Clara--my first that would literally have to be taken out of me, because she was breech. I wasn't as bummed about this as most might think, I'd always secretly wanted to skip all the childbirth pain and go right to a c-section. But my first baby Nyah had just come home and I was worried about the extra recovery time and not being able to pick her up and hold her the way she really needed.
But what I kept coming back to, was that I was so, so lucky. That if I had been Nyah's birth mother, and in Ethiopia, her country, and Nyah had been breech, she and I more than likely wouldn't be here. I probably would have died in childbirth and she with me. For those women who don't die, but have terrible difficult labors in which they cannot birth the baby, they often end up with a terrible rip inside that causes them to leak bodily waste and be isolated from society. Not only do these women lose their babies, but even if they don't die from infection, they pretty much lose their life anyway. They have to live as outcasts and beg or scavenge. No one will talk to them or come near them, often even their own families put them out. Many walk for hundreds of miles to make it to a Fistula hospital where they can be healed. I've never walked more than 20 miles at once and I nearly died from that. I am amazed by their strength and determination. These women deserve to be healed.
Ever since learning about this phenomenon I have wanted to do something to help one or more of these women. Because I'm lucky to be here, and so are Nyah and Clara. It's difficult for me to wrap my head around her not being here. She was already so much a particular kind of person when she was born. The world would be missing something without Nyah and Clara Prince. It wouldn't be as good of a place to be.
And I have a LOT of friends who all ended up needing c-sections for one reason or another. I am so glad we were all fortunate enough to make it through childbirth with nothing more than a scar and a couple weeks of some pain and discomfort. I want to fundraise in honor of all of them too. Because it's Mother's Day coming up and I can't think of a better way to celebrate it. Because I love them all and am so glad they are all still here, along with all of their crazy beautiful babies. They are Kelly & Bodhi, Clara & Miles, Deep & James, Sandy & Dante, Linda & Noemi and Leann & Harper. And I'm sure you all know someone who had to have a c-section. Do it honor of them too.
I don't know what happened to Nyah's birth mother, but I would like to honor her too. I hope she made it through Nyah's birth. I think about her every day. Every time Nyah smiles that beautiful smile or blinks her big beautiful eyes. Please join me in raising funds to pay for some of these women to be healed.
Here's more about fistula from the Fistula Foundation--a charity that repairs these wounds and gives women back their lives.
Women in the most remote corners of the world are giving birth at home, alone. If a woman’s labor becomes obstructed, she has almost no way of seeking medical intervention and she will likely lose her baby. If she survives labor, she is too often subjected to another horror: the injury known as obstetric fistula, which will render her incontinent, leaking wastes.
Left untreated, a fistula can ruin a woman’s life: a woman with fistula is often left by her husband, ostracized by her community and left to fend for herself because others cannot stand her smell. However, when she has access to a $450 fistula repair, a woman’s life is transformed; she no longer has to suffer the shame and embarrassment caused by her incontinence and she can resume living a healthy and productive life.
The Fistula Foundation believes that no woman should suffer a life of isolation and misery simply for trying to bring a child into the world. That's why we are dedicated to raising awareness of and funding for fistula repair, prevention, and educational programs throughout 19 countries in sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia, to help end the suffering caused by obstetric fistula.
We fund more fistula repair surgeries worldwide than any other nonprofit not receiving government funding. Based in San Jose, California, in the heart of Silicon Valley, the foundation is honored to have received seven consecutive 4-Star ratings from Charity Navigator; only 2 percent of charities have received this designation.