Telling a story of hope
Tobias Pflanz is CBM’s Field Communication Manager. In January 2014, he met 8 year-old Denis, who suffers from Blounts Disease, which makes walking slow and painful. Thanks to CBM supporters, Denis has started treatment to straighten his legs at CoRSU hospital in Uganda, East Africa. Tobias is following Denis’ progress, meeting him regularly and sharing updates. In this blog, he shares his personal response to Denis’ story.
Denis’ story has moved me deeply right from the start. Despite his disability, the pain in his legs, in spite of so many challenges and sadness in his everyday life – other children laughing at his deformed legs – Denis is still a cheerful boy. He enjoys singing and joking around with his nieces and his little nephew. His joyfulness touched my heart immediately.
And then there is his half-sister Roy who adopted Denis into her young family when their father abandoned the boy. Roy and her husband don’t have much and have to care for their own three children. Nevertheless, Roy did not hesitate to take the boy in and look after him as if he was her own son. That impressed me: having a child with a disability would be a curse in the eyes of many people here. But Roy clearly loves Denis.
Still, she couldn’t afford to pay for any intervention. Denis is another strong example that shows why the work of CBM and our partners – like CoRSU Hospital – is so important. Only through one of CoRSU’s outreach clinics did Roy get the information that help was available – and that there was hope.
I showed pictures of Denis from before intervention to my 6-year-old daughter. She asked me: “Daddy, can CoRSU help Denis?” I said: “It will take some time, but in a few months Denis will have legs almost as straight as yours.” “That’s great”, my daughter exclaimed. “Will you then show me pictures of him again?” I certainly will.