This summer, I’m going to turn 60 years old. However, although I have one foot in the grave, I’m pretty darn healthy. Most people don’t think I look a day over 58. Thanks to good food, good healthcare and good ukuleles, I’m doing pretty well and I have no doubt I’ll continue strong until I’m at least 61.
But, I’m an American so I have certain health advantages. While there’s no guarantee something catastrophic won’t happen to me, my chances of living to 61 and well beyond seem pretty good. However, if I were Ugandan, things would look quite a bit different. Actually, if I were Uganda, I myself would look quite a bit different, but I digress. As for health, I probably wouldn’t have lived this long if I were Ugandan. I wouldn’t have had as much access to good food. My water supply would be contaminated. My friends would make fun of me for being old, because in Uganda people normally don’t live as long as I’ve lived.
This is, of course, assuming nothing catastrophic happened to take my life when I was a child. Because mosquitos are plentiful and malaria is prevalent, and because my family probably wouldn’t have had the $5 for a mosquito net, I would have had a good chance of dying from malaria before the age of 5. If I lived past 5, and if the typhoid from drinking contaminated water didn’t take me out, my immune system would have become so weak from bad nutrition that a simple case of the flu would have had a good chance of killing me.
Of course, there are many other, more bizarre, illnesses floating around Central Africa. But malaria, typhoid and malnutrition alone are enough to bring an early death to hundreds of thousands of people in Uganda and throughout Centra Africa – and it’s all easily preventable. It doesn’t take that much money, or that much time to make a big impact. It does, however, take focus and commitment. For 15 years, Loving One by One has been committed to providing simple, yet life-altering healthcare to children and adults in Uganda.
So this is Reason #4 for me to go back to Uganda…. Health. While I’m there this summer, our team will see thousands of Ugandan men, women and children suffering from malaria, typhoid, various infections, burn injuries, various types of cancer, HIV, and many other treatable health issues. We’ll pull up in our big bus driven by a crazy man named Henry, and we’ll unload our stuff into buildings in slum areas, and turn those buildings into medical clinics for a day. We’ll provide free exams and medications, and just for fun, we’ll throw in reading glasses.
And once in a while, we’ll run across people like Franco in the above photo. Franco’s legs were severely malformed, and we were able to provide surgery and physical therapy for him. Franco now runs and does all the other crazy things kids are supposed to do. Not a bad deal for $700.
If you’d like to help support my trip to Uganda this summer, which will directly impact the health of thousands of people, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or, if you’re in the L.A. area and if you’re free this Sunday March 31st, you are invited to a free concert (with free tacos throw in). Contact me about that info as well.