I apologise to all those who are regular readers of my blog; you probably feel like I am flogging the Walk for Women to death. However, we have newcomers amongst us who have come to find out about it, so I’m going to tell you all about it again!
On Saturday 11th June, I’ll be taking part in the Walk For Women, a fundraising walkathon for the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital in Ethiopia, where the amazing Dr Catherine Hamlin and her wonderful team are working to surgically cure women of fistulae. I visited the hospital in March 2010, and it was an incredible experience. I have written about my visit in the latest issue of Inspirations magazine (Issue 70).
The Walk For Women is a 50km walk across Sydney, though you don’t have to do all 50km. Due to major health issues over the last few years, I don’t feel it is necessary or wise to push my body to the limits and do all 50, so I’ll be doing just over 20km. However, while we’re considering that a 50km walk would take most people about 10 hours, and my 20km will probably take a little less than 4 hours, spare a thought for those women with fistulae in Ethiopia and other developing countries who have to walk many days to get to medical care, also coping with the horrible nature of a fistula.
Putting it simply, a fistula is a hole. The type of fistula we are talking about is a birth-injury brought on by extensive labouring without medical intervention. It creates a hole, meaning that liquid or solid waste (or both) constantly leak from the woman. This causes her to be outcast by her husband, family and community, leaving her destitute. The only cure is surgery.
I can surely do 4 hours of walking to help these women, who for all intents and purposes are just like you and me but with a birth-injury that makes them detestable to those around them. And I hope that you will be able to sponsor me doing it. If you’d like to donate (and all donations, large and small, are welcome) please go to the Hamlin Fistula Fund website Donate page. Please enter your details. If you are not in Australia, please put 0000 in the postcode field. For “Event”, please put “Walk for Women YStanton” so that the fund can track donations for the individual walkers. For Australian residents, donations of $2 and over are tax deductible.
It would also be lovely if you could let me know of your donation, so that it encourages me in my endeavour, and makes me feel warm and fuzzy.
Please do support the wonderful work that Dr Catherine Hamlin and the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital are doing to give women with fistulae a second chance at life, by sponsoring me in the Walk for Women. I came away from my visit to the hospital feeling that the work they do there is very right.