Breaking barriers

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Despite his work ethic, intelligence, and passion for education, 19-year-old Bernard faced a future where he would not be merited by his hard-earned qualifications nor his determination to succeed. Instead, he would be judged by the genetic neurofibromatosis that had disfigured his face for over a decade. When … Read More

Motherhood overcomes the odds

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Yaya’s nine-year-old daughter, Moonira, can’t remember seeing her mother without the massive tumour that had stretched across her face for eight years. Yaya, now 27 years old, initially noticed something starting to grow on her jaw. The once-small tumour continued to grow aggressively until Yaya had difficulty eating … Read More

An orphan’s hope

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Victoria never lost hope. Not after her parents died when she was a girl, not after she was forced to start begging in the streets, and not even when she began developing a massive facial tumour when she was only 18 years old. Now, the resilient 23-year-old sat … Read More

She is only 12!

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When Kaltoumi first arrived on the Africa Mercy, she likely had three months, or less, to live. The massive facial tumour she’d carried for over five years threatened to starve or slowly suffocate her. An early death was inevitable for the 12-year-old if there was no immediate medical intervention, … Read More

Finially pain-free

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“I remember one of the worst days,” says Veronique. “I was in so much pain, I could not even get out of bed.” Six years ago a tumour started to grow on Veronique’s chin. What began as a small bump slowly gained momentum until it took over her … Read More

The nurse’s tumour

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“It’s the largest tumour I’ve ever seen,” said the X-ray technician, watching as the massive tumour travelled across the computer screen. It belonged to Sonia, a 34-year old nurse. The growth stretched out from her left cheek and was the size of a human head. Sonia passed through … Read More

Isabelle’s ‘toothache’

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Isabelle lives in a small village in the mountainous centre of Madagascar’s far north. The surrounding harsh terrain makes the area almost inaccessible, especially during the wet season when the dirt roads become mires of red mud. The 13-year-old loves her village life, and her favourite thing to … Read More

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