Going the distance for Ethiopian women


Thank you to everyone who donated to Hamlin Fistula and supported Sarah as she ran the World Marathon Challenge!  It was an amazing feat for her and an incredible show of support for Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia.  Check out the Facebook page to see all of the amazing media coverage of Sarah, including an interview during her third marathon in Miami!

We recently asked Sarah what her favorite part of the Challenge was and she quickly replied: “The finish line.” After laughing, she said that there were many amazing experiences, and difficulties, along the way.

Sarah Ames at the finish line in Antarctica

Sarah at the finish line in Antarctica

In Antarctica, a race that Sarah has run four times before and truly loved, she struggled.  But the race that she was most nervous about – Marrakesh, because she would have to run this race on the same day as the Madrid marathon – was much easier and more beautiful than she had expected and became her favorite leg of the trip.

Sarah with the other WMC runners in Miami

Sarah with the other WMC runners in Miami

Sarah was incredibly grateful to friends and family who cheered her on along the way.  Close friends in Miami encouraged her along during the third leg, her mother was there to support her in Madrid, she met with a friend in Dubai, and the finish line in Sydney was a crowd of close friends, and supporters from Hamlin Fistula’s Australian fundraising partner.

Through the money raised, we are able to transform the lives of more than 30 women like Medina in Ethiopia.


Medina suffered a double fistula and is now back in her village

Medina developed a double fistula after three days of obstructed labor at home. By midnight of the third day, Medina was lucky to be alive but sadly her baby was stillborn. Crippled and unable to walk, Medina was confined to her mat in a small hut. After three long months, Medina’s mother learned from a friend that she could be treated at the Hamlin Fistula Hospital in Addis Ababa.

Medina arrived at the hospital underweight and unable to walk. After nine months of physiotherapy, Medina was able to walk again unassisted. Medina has since received multiple surgeries and treatments, and is now in better health. After learning business skills at Hamlin’s long-term rehabilitation facility Desta Mender, Medina has opened her own small shop in Meraro, a small town near her village. She now lives off her own income, which is very rare in this region of Ethiopia.

“Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia has not only brought me out from where I had been thrown out, but provided me with skills and money to make life easier. What words could express my gratitude?” asks Medina.

The World Marathon Challenge is over, but women like Medina continue to be treated and cared for by Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia. Become a regular donor to Hamlin Fistula USA to make this amazing work possible. Compared to running seven marathons, taking a few moments to donate is an easy way to bring health and dignity to Ethiopian mothers.