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

That’s Life magazine

  Hannah Peters’ huge heart took her to Benin, Madagascar and Cameroon caring for people with devastating conditions. She shares the remarkable transformation that occurs on the inside and outside of her patients, and Marthe in particular. Read Hannah’s story in That’s Life magazine here  

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

Love in any language

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These days, Pirongia-born nurse Melanie Allen begins each shift with a two-minute walk to work – down several flights of stairs and into the hospital deck of the world’s largest civilian hospital ship, Africa Mercy. In February Melanie joined the volunteer crew of the 16,000 tonne Mercy Ships … Read More

The teacher’s burden

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It seemed like a small thing, so Lalao* paid scant attention to the small bump on her face. Instead of disappearing over time as she expected, the swelling on the Malagasy schoolteacher’s face grew and grew. Over 14 years the benign tumour developed until it resembled a huge … Read More

Removing Marthe’s burden

“We weren’t sure if she’d come back alive,” Marthe’s friends and family declared when they welcomed her back home. She was returning from a long stay on the Africa Mercy, over four hours away, where surgeons removed tumour weight more than 13 kilos from her back. A massive burden had literally … 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

Removing Jocelin’s burden

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VIDEO:Jocelin hid his chin with a scarf to cover his shame; he was afraid of what the other children would say to him. But now he is bold and cheeky and delightful as he returns home with his overwhelmed Dad.

Mariette

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Click to watch on Vimeo (01:41) The mass grew for 30 years on Mariette’s back, finally reaching 4.5Kg (10lb). The size of a watermelon. It weighed heavy on Mariette’s body, mind and spirit. When she tried to play with local children, neighbours would tell the children “the monster … Read More

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