My birthday this year really snuck up on me. I can’t even believe that I’m 31 today. I actually wouldn’t have given it much thought, except that my mother asked me last weekend over the phone, “What do you want for your birthday?” I told her I didn’t want anything… my parents do enough for me and I have everything I could possibly need. But after a few moments, I recanted my statement. “I take that back- you can donate towards John’s surgery.” That’s what gave me the idea. In lieu of birthday high fives and gifts I don’t need, I would instead persuade, coerce, sweet talk, and convince people that what they most wanted to do for my birthday was give the best donation they could ever give to save a young man’s hand.
John is currently living with a dislocated wrist, a fractured scaphoid, significant pain, numbness in his fingers, and the onset of arthritis. Not exactly the diagnosis we had hoped for. The initial injury was caused from a soccer accident a year ago. The fracture went completely undiagnosed and he dislocated his wrist again when some guys in Nairobi jumped him with knives. While he is fortunate that he didn’t get cut and go to the hospital for stitches (unlike his friends), they did further damage to his hand, which left him in too much pain to return to school.
Many of my friends and readers of this blog have done so much for John over the years. It’s really taken a village to send him to school and to give him a better life. I’m proud to say that the entire income I earned from this blog (back in the day) went towards helping me pay for John’s boarding school. I couldn’t have earned that income without readers. Many of you have donated your time and given encouraging words over the years. It’s truly been a group effort. When I put on a fundraiser to help with his school fees, so many of you bought Kenyan crafts. When he switched boarding schools, someone offered to pay for his new uniform. When I wanted to take him on a trip to show him a piece of Kenya, my family pitched in. And ya know what? He’s worth every last penny.
I wish I had a bigger bank account. Sometimes I find myself yearning to work in the for-profit world so that I didn’t have to ask for help. Despite the ever-so-modest salary that comes with working in a non-profit, I’ve still managed to make his boarding school payments. But I’m afraid a wrist surgery by a top-notch orthopedic surgeon comes with a price.
My birthday wish is to raise $1500 for John’s surgery. With on and offline donations, I’m only $360 shy of my goal. Can you give $5 today in lieu of buying coffee? Or $31 because, yes, I’m getting that old? Or, equally as important, can you share John’s story through social media or with friends? He’s just four months shy of being able to sit for his final exams. It’s time to get him back in school!
You can check out my fundraiser and learn more here: Help Heal John’s Hand.
It is so humbling to see how many people share a sense of connection with John. So many of you have cared for him like you have cared for me. I can’t thank you enough. You all make this world such a better place to live in.
With love and gratitude,