Medical Mission, School Building and Hiking

25 July 2011

Knock’s Medical Mission to Kenya

This April, Knock Foundation and Columbia University’s Millennium Cities Initiative (MCI) sponsored a successful return trip of medical professionals to Kisumu, Kenya.

During the visit, our urological team screened hundreds of patients and performed numerous surgical procedures. A sample of the cases included:

• A teenage boy impaled through his rectum and prostate. Through reconstruction surgery, our team of surgeons corrected his painful condition to allow him to lead a normal life.

• A middle aged woman with a renal tumor so painful she couldn’t walk and was wheelchair-bound. She underwent removal of that kidney and had a remarkable recovery with minimal residual pain.

• An elderly gentleman had been living with an artificial drainage tube in his bladder for 2 years because his prostate was so large he could not urinate.

In addition, Knock  donated a shipping container full of a wide selection of heath care products and supplies. This will enable Knock to expand its ability to provide care to the various communities it serves in Kenya.

 

Building A School In Kenya
Also in April, a team of volunteers traveled to the Masai Mara in Western Kenya to build a primary school. Working (and laughing) side-by-side with community members, the school will open in time for this summer’s school session.

 

Climbing Mt. Meru, Tanzania
In February I climbed Mt. Meru as a fundraiser for Knock, along with Edward Lyimo.  Together with over 70 donors supporting the climb, we raised over $27,000!  The first two days of hiking were steep, but only about 4 hours each and with beautiful surroundings.  The hike up to the summit was incredibly difficult.  We woke up at 2 am after a serious amount of rain had fallen earlier that night.  We started off with normal switchbacks and the weather was nice.  Once we reached 3800 m, the top of a hill called Rhino Point, it became extremely foggy, cold, windy and rainy.  The rain was coming at us horizontally from the right for several hours.  The climb at some points was traditional hiking along narrow ridges with very steep drop offs, and at other points was extremely difficult rock climbing, either literally scaling slippery rock walls or using hands and feet to climb up.  Because it had rained, there was snow/ice for much of the way, which made the rocks slippery.  The summit climb took us about 6.5 hours which is longer than usual, but the weather played a big part in that.

There were several peaks along the way that when we reached each one, I asked our guide, Mussa, “that’s the top right?” and his answer was always the same, “not yet, Kim, not yet.”  I definitely lost hope a few times and Edward’s boots were soaked through early on and his feet were freezing, but we had no choice but to keep going.  When we finally started approaching the summit, I completely lost hope when I saw a steep rocky ridge that I knew would take a lot of time and strength I felt like I no longer had.  But we just took one rock at a time and climbed slowly, and when we saw the Tanzanian flag up at the top, we were filled again with hope and excitement.  Arriving at the top was a rush that is hard to explain.  It was thrilling to know we had done it!  And then came the realization of having to then get ourselves down!  But hours later we had reached camp, exhausted and sore, but having accomplished our mission.

Thank you so much to everyone who supported us! – Kim

 

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