“In the future, I hope to become a business woman.” Mireille
Mireille lives with her family on the outskirts of Kigali, Rwanda’s capital city.
Her father paints wheelbarrows for a living, which isn’t very well paid, but they are a close family and manage to get by.
Mireille has already been through a lot in her short life.
At 10 years old she was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.
Although the diagnosis was a terrible shock, it was a shock that the family knew all too well.
Mireille’s little sister, Therese, had been diagnosed two years earlier. She was in a coma and Mireille was terrified as she watched her parents rush around trying to save her little sister’s life.
Now the same thing was happening to Mireille.
The symptoms were mild at first. She was at church when she started to feel unwell. “I was weak and having blurred vision. I was thirsty. I always wanted to drink much water.”
At the hospital Mireille’s father didn’t want to face the fact that both his daughters have diabetes. Surely this couldn’t happen twice?
He looked at the doctor with tears in his eyes as he received the news that his eldest girl also had this cruel condition.
“It was so painful but what can I do?” Mireille's father.
When little Therese was diagnosed the hospital didn’t have any insulin so he had to go out to the pharmacy to buy it himself. It was very expensive.
He had to borrow money from friends and family and sell some of their belongings to afford the insulin and supplies she needed. It would be impossible for him to give her this medicine every day.
Diabetes knowledge is generally very limited in Rwanda, even among health professionals.
Dangerous misconceptions are often repeated as fact.
Therese’s father thought that her diabetes had been brought on because he had given her too much sugar. He felt so guilty and confused, “I never gave her a lot of sugar, so it was very hard.”
Among the pain, misinformation and worry the hospital gave Therese’s father one piece of life-saving information.
They told him to visit the Life for a Child partner center.
At the center, Therese’s dad found a sanctuary. A place where they understood that he hadn’t given Therese too much sugar and knew how to make his little girl healthy again.
Most importantly, thanks to donations from people like you, the center was able to provide Therese with a regular supply of insulin, syringes, a blood glucose meter and test strips and HbA1c testing.
Today, both Mireille and Therese attend the Life for a Child partner center each month to collect their insulin and supplies and have regular checkups.
This support means that they can stay in school and Mireille can continue to study History, her favorite subject.
Please make a donation below to ensure Life for a Child can continue to provide Mireille and Therese with life-saving insulin and supplies.