Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. 1 Peter 1:3
For many of us, spring is a time for optimism. The nights are getting lighter, the weather is becoming more clement and the trees are starting to bud with new life. As Easter approaches, we are reminded of hope and life, of joy reborn and a future to look forward to.
Sadly, for people living with leprosy, hope and a future can be very rare indeed. I am writing today because I need your help in raising £90,000 to continue funding the life-changing work of Anandaban hospital in Nepal. Please, could you consider a donation today to help restore health and hope?
If you are able to contribute, it could mean a new life for people like Alisha, a patient at Anandaban.
Alisha is from the Terai area of Nepal, close to the border with India. She has three young children under five and was diagnosed with leprosy three years ago. “In the winter we sit near the fire because it’s very cold and so I got a blister,’ Alisha explains. “Then slowly my hand became anaesthetic. I went to the government hospital and they diagnosed leprosy. I also have anaesthesia (loss of feeling) on my little finger and the side of my left hand. I have burns and blisters on my arms and legs because I kept sitting too near the fires and didn’t realise it.”
Alisha has now been cured of leprosy, thanks to a course of antibiotics known as multidrug therapy, and her leprosy-damaged hand is being restored through surgery and physiotherapy. However, that’s just the start of the problems Alisha’s leprosy has caused her.
When Alisha was first diagnosed, her husband rejected her and married another woman. Alisha and her children are still living with him, having nowhere else to go, but he and his new family are not kind to them. “Sometimes if they feel like giving me food they do, if not they don’t,” Alisha says sadly. “Stigma is very bad in the Terai. If people know I have leprosy they won’t walk the same way as me. The people in the village hate me. I think things will be better if I go back with a straight hand.”
Sadly, Alisha’s story is not unusual. I think it’s appalling that in the 21st century so many people with leprosy are still rejected, stigmatised and made to feel worthless. This is simply not acceptable - but it doesn’t have to be this way.
Please will you send a gift today to help us to care for and support people like Alisha? Your gift could help to provide counselling for patients and their families, restoring dignity and reconciling communities torn apart by leprosy.
£20 could help to provide counselling for two patients at Anandaban.
£25 could feed a patient healthy, nutritious meals for the length of their stay.
An amazing gift of £120 could pay for reconstructive surgery, such as the life-changing operation Alisha has had on her hand.
Anandaban is the only specialist leprosy hospital in the area, and also the best hospital for general care for many miles around. This means a high demand for its services and many thousands of patients this year who desperately need the holistic treatment that Anandaban can offer.
You can be a part of this outstanding work. Please, consider a gift today. On behalf of all of us here at The Leprosy Mission, thank you for whatever you feel able to give.
Yours sincerely, Jean Jones, Head of Fundraising & Communications
PS. A simple hand surgery can transform the life of a leprosy-affected person and help bring the dignity and acceptance they deserve. Please give what you can today.
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