EVERY MINUTE A CHILD DIES FROM MALARIA. However, more money is invested in anti hair loss drugs than in malaria. How is that for skewed global priorities? No one needs to die from this preventable and curable disease. Why am I fundraising for Malaria No More? Because I was nearly one of those statistics.
Exactly one year ago, I was living and working in Haiti. On Sunday I was windsurfing. On Wednesday I was in Intensive Care. On Friday I was put into an induced coma. I very nearly didn’t come out of it. Almost four weeks later I left intensive care after what was heralded as a medical miracle. Or an act of God, depending on how you like to look at these things. What happened? Malaria happened.
One year later, it's been quite a journey and I am full of gratitude for still being here, for making a full recovery and for the circumstances that conspired to make that happen. This Christmas is a time for reflection and gratitude, and will surely be considerably more enjoyable than being hooked up to machines in intensive care like one year ago.
I can't help but reflect on the fact that it took flying me to another country and tens of thousands of pounds of medical resources (and a fair amount of determination!) to get me better - luxuries that someone from the Haitian village where I got malaria would never have had access to.
And so on the anniversary of my survival, and at this time of Christmas giving, I would like to put out a request to my friends and family and anyone else who feels moved to act: instead of sending me a card or buying me a present, or just because you think this is important, please make a donation towards Malaria No More. I'm not running a marathon or swimming the Channel (not yet...;) but I thought this landmark date was for me enough of a rationale to raise money.
It only take £1 to save a life: this provides a life saving test and treatment for a child. It's that simple.
· £5 is enough to buy, deliver and hang a mosquito net for a family in Africa, helping protect two people from malaria.
· £10 can transport 150 lifesaving nets to a community in rural Ghana; enough to protect 300 people.
· £60 can train a nurse in Botswana to diagnose malaria quickly and accurately, saving lives.
· £100 can recruit and train two local volunteers to be Malaria Agents; providing lifesaving malaria prevention information to their entire community.
So as you see, no donation is too small.
If you want to read more about my story, you can find it here: http://womeninaid.com/2013/12/04/when-malaria-happened-my-story/
And here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/10627544/I-nearly-died-because-I-ignored-the-risk-of-malaria.html
And here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-25265531