From Malawi Send Message Follow
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  • Age16
  • Conditiona joint condition
  • Next Appointment To be scheduled

What am I giving to?

CURE in Malawi

The picture above is of CURE in Malawi. Everyone who serves with CURE in Malawi, from medical professionals to office staff, are dedicated to providing the highest quality medical and spiritual care to people who, without CURE, couldn't find it and couldn't afford it, just like Sibongile. To do that, we're inviting you to partner with us.

We need to raise approximately $1000 to treat children like Sibongile. When you give a gift through Sibongile's CUREkids profile, your contribution will help us continue our work in countries like Malawi. Have more questions? Ask us.

Monthly Giving: Be a Hero!

When you partner with us monthly, we'll send you an email each month to introduce you to a different child who was helped because of your generosity. You can choose to follow their updates and send them get well messages. That means that each year, you're a part of helping 12 different children, beginning with Sibongile. We call it being a CURE Hero!

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See more options for partnering with us financially here.

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Sibongile's Story

“Sibongile’s disability is very strange to me. I tried to figure out what happened, but I don’t get answers. All I think is that it’s matsenga (magic), since she was born healthy and out of nowhere started complaining and it was so fast. It… Read more

“Sibongile’s disability is very strange to me. I tried to figure out what happened, but I don’t get answers. All I think is that it’s matsenga (magic), since she was born healthy and out of nowhere started complaining and it was so fast. It was in 2013 when something went wrong with her hip. We went to the garden in the morning to pick some vegetables to sell. I had my vegetables in a basket on my head. Sibongile had her own basket and her little sister Gladys also had a basket. Sibongile was walking very slowly, and when I asked her, she said her leg was in pain. When I asked her, ‘When did this pain start?’ She told me, ‘It started when we set off to the garden,’” says Selina, Sibongile’s mother.

“All this happened on a Friday and we went to the hospital on Monday. By then, her whole hip was swollen. At the hospital, they asked me some questions about what had happened to her. I said, ‘I don’t know how to answer because she was born very healthy.’ They gave me some medication to ease the pain and said, ‘If there’s no change, return to the hospital so we can refer you to another hospital.’ When we went home, the medication did not help so we just decided to go straight to the other hospital. At the other hospital, they gave me some medication as well and said, ‘If you don’t see any change, come back.’ There was a slight change; it wasn’t as swollen as before after taking the medication, but still she had pain. I returned to the hospital and they changed the medication to help ease the pain, however the hip was still painful. Since then they haven’t given me any medication again, but were just looking at the hip each time we went to see if there was a change. One day the CURE doctors came and gave me a date to come to CURE Malawi.”

“I came here to CURE Malawi in 2015 and they did a biopsy on her hip, but the results showed that she had nothing wrong. This made me feel very bad. It even increased my thoughts of it being magic. When we came the first time, we were told to go back home after the biopsy and wait 2 years, and were given a date to come back to clinic, and that’s where we were booked again. They said she needed to grow a bit before her operation. However, now that I’m back here, I believe that with God’s intervention, she will get better.”

Unfortunately, medical communication between English and Chichewa can be really hard, as often there aren’t medical terms in Chichewa. Obviously we didn’t manage to explain to Silvia very well what is wrong with Sibongile the first time, but hopefully now that our spiritual staff know the story, we can better communicate what’s going on to her! Part of the difficulty is that Sibongile’s condition is confusing even for health care workers! Most likely when the biopsy came back with “nothing wrong”, that just meant there was no tumors or arthritis discovered, which helped narrow down the options to what IS wrong.

Sibongile has a rare childhood condition called Perthes disease, where the blood flow to the ball of the femur is cut off, causing it to slowly die. Even doctors don’t understand why this condition happens, so it’s hard to blame Silvia for chalking it all up to “magic”! Depending on how severe the condition is, the femoral head can grow back once the blood supply returns, which is why the doctors were hesitant to operate on Sibongile as long as she wasn’t in too much pain to walk. However, now that it’s been several years without improvement, the best option to relive her pain is with a girdlestone operation, where the ball of the hip is removed completely, followed by a pelvic support osteotomy, which involves cutting the femur to create a “shelf” for the pelvis to rest on.

Sibongile says, “I don’t know what happened to make me like this, but my friends say it’s matsenga (magic). The problems I face because of this disability is that I’m not able to do what my friends can do, like play jingo. Some of my friends laugh at me because I can’t walk well. After surgery, my life will change very much, because as it is now, I think a lot about it. When I see my friends, I wonder if I will be able to walk like them again. I will want to be a doctor when I’m done with my education so that I can also help my friends.”

Please join us in praying for Sibongile and Silvia, and for our staff as they try to communicate Sibongile’s condition and the necessary operations to correct it!

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Latest Updates

Apr 15, 2019

Remember when Sibo was suppose to leave Saturday? Well, that didn't seem to happen. We say it's because she just loves the hospital too much!

Our physiotherapy team said Sibongile wasn't quite ready to go home this weekend, so they kept her a while longer. She wasn't too happy about it, being the patient who hates physio the most, but was excited when they announced she is ready to go home tomorrow. Dr. Lubega told her, "Last week I said that the boys were braver than the girls, but now I say girls are braver than boys. You redeemed the girls Sibo!" Sibongile is very brave and will be continuing her exercises on the automatic machine today. Dr. Flavia said she is at 100%! Wow, we are so proud of Sibo and we thank you for all your support and prayers to help this girl get to where she is at today. Photo of Sibongile

Apr 12, 2019

"Sibo is anxious to go home. We both can't wait to get home tomorrow, she wants to see her friends and granny among other things and I have so many duties to get back to, this short stay at CURE Malawi has been helpful as I can see further improvement," her mother tells us as Sibo shyly looks on. She was still dealing with a stiff knee so before they were discharged, she had to go through an MUA (manipulation under anesthesia) procedure on her knee to help increase its range of motion, and after that she has been hooked on a physiotherapy machine that helps flex her knee. Putting on her brave face, she tells us she will endure the pain as she has to be on the machine moving her knee up and down for three hours with an hour's interval between them until she leaves tomorrow morning. Keep her in your prayers for a safe journey home and for her spiritual and physical healing! Photo of Sibongile

Apr 11, 2019

Sibo is recovering well so far! She had an operation the day before yesterday to have the frame removed from her leg. “She is doing very well and I can see a big difference from when she had her first operation, she’s even walking without her crutch! After the first operation she had two crutches, after the second one she left one crutch here and now look at her!” her mom told us confirming what Sibo said about her feeling great after the operation. “I can’t wait to go back to school! I’ve been out of class since July last year and I miss learning English and Chichewa, as well as playing netball with my friends,” Sibo shared. Sibo wants to be a doctor when she grows up so she can help other kids like her, she told us she got that inspiration from Dr. Lubega, one of our surgeons here. Her mother told us about how her daughter is home all the time and if none of her friends are visiting, she spends time with her granny. “She said she wishes me the best and a speedy recovery as we were leaving for CURE,”Sibongile said about her granny. Sibongile is a young woman with a bright future, pray for her that God can keep her in His hands and guide her in His plans for her life and in healing! Photo of Sibongile

Apr 09, 2019

Sibo is so sneaky! She came into clinic yesterday five days earlier than she was suppose to because she was sick of physio. Lucky for her, it worked out and the doctors to decide to admit her and schedule her for surgery today! Not only did she go into the operating room this morning to have half of her frame removed as planned, but the doctors decided she was ready to have her ENTIRE frame removed! When Sibo heard the news, her face lit up and she grabbed both of Dr. Flavia's arms shaking her with joy and thanksgiving! She was smiling all the way into the operating room this morning and even came out with a little smile! Please keep Sibongile in your prayers as she recovers, and do a little happy dance with her as this is such an exciting time! Photo of Sibongile

Mar 13, 2019

Storyteller Alexis: "Yay! Sibo, you are being discharged today! Will you go home today or tomorrow?"

Sibongile: "I am going home today because I don't want to go to physio this afternoon!"

Sibongile did a happy dance in her hospital bed when the doctors discharged her this morning. Not for the simple reason of going home, but of not having to go to physiotherapy at the hospital today. She is too funny!

We plan to see Sibo again in a month and hope that regardless of the pain, she continues her exercises, so physio isn't even worse next time! Please pray Sibo stays encouraged and motivated. Today is just her cheat day! Photo of Sibongile

Mar 12, 2019

Sibo went into the operating room this morning to remove the upper ring on her frame for better correction. After waking up from her operation, she chuckled and said, "Yes! I don't have the go to physio!" Physiotherapy was really hard for Sibo yesterday and there were a lot of tears. She's been so strong, and we are glad she had the day off today. Thanks for the continued prayers and encouragement for Sibongile! Photo of Sibongile

Mar 11, 2019

Sibo is just chillin' today! She told us the majority of her day she will spend passing out fist bumps to staff members and patients around the hospital until it's time for physio. She is not thrilled about her physio session, but we are all so proud of how strong she's been for pushing through the pain and making great progress. Please pray that Sibo is blessed with extra strength to get her through today's session! Photo of Sibongile

Mar 08, 2019

Here's something funny for your Friday! Sibongile had a wound cleaning this morning and had just finished when we came over to grab her photo. Her mom decided to bend over and pretend to keep cleaning for the camera, giving us all sorts of poses- smiling, looking intensely at the frame, and even wrapping the used gauze back around the rod! It was the sweetest thing. Sibo will be having a physio session this afternoon, and she's not too excited about it. Please continue keep Sibo in your prayers as she powers through this physio session! Photo of Sibongile

Mar 06, 2019

Sibo is back in the hospital! She came in for clinic and physio, but ended up with an admission form. She's not too thrilled about being admitted, but her pain is much better, so she's doing much better! Today she will have a wound cleaning and a physio session. Every time we mention the word "physio," Sibo sticks her tongue out, making the worst "ew, yuck" face possible. We just mimic her expression right back to her! Poor physio doesn't know a thing about this exchange, but joking that physio is the worst, also means we love them the most! We are grateful that the physio team is helping Sibo through her healing, and love watching her make progress little by little. Please continue to keep Sibo in your prayers, especially during her physio session, as we all know that's her "favorite activity!" Photo of Sibongile

Nov 14, 2018

Sibo came in for physio today! "I missed you!" she told us. "Home has been good, especially because at home I don't have to come to physio," Sibo laughed at herself. She says she really doesn't like physio, but has noticed she is getting better! We were so happy to see Sibo again and blessed to receive one of her big hugs! Thanks for your continued prayers for Sibongile's healing, she has come a long way and today was the first day she didn't cry during physiotherapy! Photo of Sibongile

Nov 08, 2018

Sibongile got her knee to bend to 90 degrees and is headed home! We tried to block the doors from her leaving because we are really going to miss her! She laughed, gave us a big hug and was on her way! We look forward to seeing Sibo again on December 17th. Please continue to keep Sibo in your prayers as she heals while she is at home! Photo of Sibongile

Nov 07, 2018

Sibongile is a champion! She has been playing her favorite game, Bao, with all the patients in the kid's ward. She has a seat set up next to her bed for anyone who thinks they can beat her to sit in and play against her. So far, she's won against three people and they just keep rotating out as she takes the W every time!

The doctors and physiotherapists have seen great progress in Sibo's leg flexibility. She is almost able to be her knee 90 degrees while sitting down. The physio team has been advised to get her to this point today and tomorrow if possible, so she can go home. Sibo is up for the challenge and is ready to take the W once again! Please keep this champ in your prayers, that she can get her knee to bend at a right angle so she can go home tomorrow! Photo of Sibongile

Oct 31, 2018

Sibo is recovering well from her surgery yesterday! We were shocked we could get a smile out of her even when she was in a lot of pain, but she says it was better than the last time! The doctors have given Sibo pain medication and will be reviewing her blood while she is resting before having to soon go back to physio. On a positive note, she is really enjoying her time off from physio! Thank you for all your constant prayers! Photo of Sibongile

Oct 30, 2018

Yesterday Sibo began to cry during ward rounds when Dr. Lubega told her he was sending her into the operating room the next day for another procedure. Today she is in the OR having her IT band released and was not so happy about going back into surgery. When her name was called to go back, her eyes began to tear up, so we massaged her shoulders and pumped her up like you would an athlete. She began laughing and said, "Ah, Lex! You are so funny, thank you!" She smiled her way into surgery and asks for prayers that she comes out with less pain! Photo of Sibongile

Oct 24, 2018

Our physiotherapist, Bessie, is teaching Sibongile's mom how to do pin-site care for Sibo's frame so she can go home soon! Sibo says physio is getting easier because she's been practicing her exercises all day. She says, "Thank everyone for their prayers!" Photo of Sibongile

Oct 22, 2018

Sibongile says today is a pajama day all day, since it's a little cold outside! She doesn't know much about Batman, but she thinks he must be pretty great because of her pajamas. Sibongile really doesn't like physio, her pain is much better, but physio still really hurts. Please continue to keep her in your prayers and for her physio sessions to become easier! Photo of Sibongile

Oct 18, 2018

Sibongile started her first session of physio today! The doctors have advised her to start pin-site care. She was in a lot of pain, as her surgery was quite intense. We later caught her practicing her exercises in her hospital bed again with her guardian. We said, "Wow, two sessions in one day?" She laughed and said she hopes it helps her heal quicker. What a trooper! Please continue to keep Sibongile in your prayers and that she heals very quickly! Photo of Sibongile

Oct 11, 2018

Sibongile has mixed feelings about surgery today! The doctors will be reconstructing her hip by creating a platform from the femur called a PSO (Pelvic Support Osteotomy) and it will be quite painful. She's excited to get closer to full healing, but not excited to go through the tough part first! Please keep Sibongile in your prayers today during her operation and for a smooth recovery! Photo of Sibongile

Oct 09, 2018

Sibongile has been admitted into the hospital again! She was drawing today with her arm covering her paper so no one could see what she was drawing. When we asked if we could see it, she said, "I hid it somewhere nobody can find!" We searched, but she was right, we couldn't find it! She is good! Even though Sibongile didn't let us take a picture of her work of art, which we know is absolutely beautiful, she still posed for us! The doctors plan on doing a series of X-rays before making a plan for Sibongile. Please pray for Sibongile during her time in the hospital and that we find her hidden drawing! Photo of Sibongile

Aug 01, 2018

Sybil is going home, and Funny's going to give her her very own Bible to take home! Sibongile says, "I'm feeling good. I missed home. I will be happy. The first thing I will do when I get home is go to see my friend Norah. We have a lot to talk about." Sybil will be back October 7th to be readmitted for her next operation, the pelvic support osteotomy. Please pray for safe travels and healing! Photo of Sibongile

Jul 31, 2018

Sibongile says, "I'm doing better today than the other days. I am walking now. Physiotherapy is going well, there's pain but not that much." We asked if she's made any new friends in the hospital since she seems a bit shy, and she told us, "My friend is Shanan's mom. I don't have other friends apart from her. We just chat together." Please pray that Sybil opens up and makes more and more friends in the hospital! Photo of Sibongile

Jul 27, 2018

We brought Sybil her get well messages today and you finally have a glimpse of her great smile! She says, "I'm very thankful, they should continue praying for me so that I get healed. I have four younger siblings - Gladys, Elube, Phillip and Olivia - at home... you can pray that they don't worry about me." Selina asks you to, "Pray that when we meet up with the children I've left at home, they will be safe and healthy." Photo of Sibongile

Jul 26, 2018

"I'm feeling better than yesterday, but still not very well. You can pray I recover." Sibongile is recovering from surgery and still not feeling 100%, but she's so graceful and has a sweet smile even though she feels sick! We asked if she prefers Sibongile or Sybil (which may be easier to say for our English-speaking audiences and is a common nickname) and she say's she's fine with either, so we'll use them interchangeably from now on. Photo of Sibongile

Jul 24, 2018

Sibongile had her surgery today! Dr. Lubega and Dr. Saf went in and removed the painful, dead ball of the hip and cleaned it all up. This means that Sibongile should no longer have any pain! Unfortunately, she'll need another surgery in the future to reconstruct the hip and create a sort of platform from the femur called a PSO (Pelvic Support Osteotomy) which can be quite complicated and take a long time. For now though, we're just celebrating that she will be able to walk without it hurting. Please join us in praying for her while she recovers from surgery! Photo of Sibongile

Jul 23, 2018

Meet Sibongile! She's holding Cliff, another CUREkid! They've both come in this week for surgery. Sibongile will be having a girdlestone operation to help with the pain from her diseased hip joint. The ball of her hip has been affected by a condition called Perthes disease, which has caused it to lose blood supply and die, so the doctors have decided to remove it. Please be praying for Sibongile and Cliff as they have their surgeries later this week! Photo of Sibongile

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