It takes guts for a girl to hold her head up after her family kicks her out her home because they cannot stand the stench caused by her constantly leaking urine and feces. It takes determination to leave a familiar village, to move to a distant hospital and live on a ward with women who are from different tribes who don’t speak the same language. It takes incredible bravery to go into an operating room and withstand a doctor’s poking and prodding with instruments to stop the leaking. For those whose first surgery is unsuccessful, it takes courage to await a second (and sometimes a third) operation.
Those whose operations are successful are free from the stigma of the smelly “pee pee” and “poo poo” disease. They are free to move about, no longer needing to sit on a bucket to catch their body fluids. After completing a successful course in a trade at the Phebe Rehabilitation Center, they are free to earn a living and be independent, should their family and community continue to reject them.
They are so grateful to be free, they sing about it. In the video made during the 2015 commencement, you will hear the survivors sing “We Thank You Lord,” in which they thank God for their doctors, their trainers, their donors and for being healed from their sickness.