Ndanu’s new wheels

A little while back, CURE was invited to help with a clinic put on by the First Lady of Kenya. While there, we met a lovely nine-year-old named Ndanu. Ndanu has spina bifida, a condition that prevents her from walking and requires her to be carried or pushed in a wheelchair. While at the clinic, she met the First Lady and the First Lady promised her a wheelchair.

And that’s where our story begins: Ndanu’s wheelchair was delivered to CURE. Then, we got to take it to her!

Ndanu spends some time with us before receiving her new wheelchair.

The morning started early, so early that it was not yet light. As we drove, rain splattered the van’s windshield. The journey was long, almost seven hours. As we got closer, the countryside turned into gentle rolling hills dotted with baobabs and rows of cultivated plants.

It took some time to find Ndanu’s house. Vehicles and people are rare in the area where she’s from, so we drove around and stopped several times to ask for directions from the people we did find. Finally, we saw it: the giant old baobab next to the road. Then, we saw Ndanu’s mom. She climbed into the vehicle and helped direct us to their home as we drove through the bush.

Ndanu and her parents.

We arrived and spent some time visiting with Ndanu and her family. Then, the big moment arrived: it was time to bring out the new wheelchair. Before this, Ndanu’s father showed us her old wheelchair. The wheels were thin, the fabric seat torn, and the footrest was a sort of wooden slab. Out of commission was an understatement. The chickens enjoyed using it as a resting place.

The chickens are enjoying their perch in Ndanu’s old wheelchair.

Ndanu’s new wheelchair had a comfy seat, tough rubber wheels, and a footrest for each foot! It took some time to adjust the height of the wheelchair to specially fit her, but once it was all ready  to go, she got to enjoy it! She rolled herself around her family’s compound. Then, her siblings and family pushed her around.

We caught ourselves some smiles amidst the action.

Her mother used to carry Ndanu several kilometers to school—as in, several kilometers one way. Now, we are hopeful that her friends will be able to push her in her new wheelchair. This will give her mom more time to dedicate to farming. One of the crops she grows is watermelon. Recently, she sold three truckloads of watermelons and raised enough money to take Ndanu to be treated at a children’s hospital near CURE Kenya that specializes in hydrocephalous and spina bifida treatment. She also used the money to pay off the debt she had accrued at the children’s hospital, and then she was also able to use the money to pay for Ndanu’s current treatment!

Ndanu and her family. Some of these kiddos are grandkids of Ndanu’s parents.

Ndanu’s dad carried Ndanu around the day we were there, and even held her while she was being shown her new wheels. After we’d finished, Ndanu’s parents took us for a tour of their farm. Ndanu’s dad climbed high into a tamarind tree to get fruit for us. They sent us back to CURE with greens from their farm, too.

Ndanu’s mom with some of her produce.

Ndanu’s family was so very grateful for her new wheels. We took some video while we were there, and Ndanu said, “Thank you for my bicycle!”

This was just a moment in time. A day. A few hours really. But with a bit of planning, we made it all work. This trip could impact Ndanu and her family for years to come. We’re grateful to have played a small part!

The new wheelchair!

Ndanu’s dad carries some of the tamarind fruit that he gave to us.

 


Photo of the Naphtali Foster

About the Author:

Naphtali spends her days photographing children, making them giggle, and writing all about it. She serves as the CURE Storyteller in Kenya. This job is basically a dream to her. In 2015, she graduated with her Bachelor’s Degree in Biblical Counseling from Luther Rice University. She’s worked as a nanny, owned her own photography business, and even worked at a bank as a universal associate—whatever that means! She was born and raised in Idaho, but she would enjoy living by the sea someday. Writing settles her, and she can hardly go a day without seeing people—she loves them! She’s learning to give it all to Jesus first and has made it her life goal to bring Him glory. She has an adventurous spirit, and she’s spent time around East Africa and has also toured Europe. She feels that Kenya is a wildly beautiful place filled with some of the most wonderful people in the world and is beyond blessed that God has brought her here.

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