Zainabu is a beautiful 17-year-old girl and the only girl I’ve met whom actually dreams of being an accountant. In January, she is going to start her senior year of high school. She has so many dreams and is such a fighter, but her trauma is the one thing holding her back.
Zainabu’s family first noticed a problem with her spine when she was 6 years old. They took her to the local hospital. The doctors gave her a back brace to wear and told her that as long as she wore the brace she would “grow straight.” Well, as you can tell by the pictures, she did not grow straight. After almost two years in the brace, they returned to the hospital and at that point, the doctors realized there was nothing they could do and told the family they should look outside of the country for help.
I met Zainabu 2 years ago when she was 15 years old. During that trip to Tanzania, we met so many children with severe spinal deformities that they inspired the founding of Stand Tall International. Unfortunately, the two times Zainabu was supposed to go for surgery, another child that was more critical bumped her at last minute. Now, Zainabu can’t wait any longer. She has severe difficulty breathing, has challenges eating and digesting because her organs are so squished, and she hasn’t grown taller in 8 years.
She needs our help. I can’t imagine a child dying because we couldn’t raise enough money.