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.

BBC Newshour

Dr. Catherine Hamlin talks with BBC Newshour about her life and work in Ethiopia.


The New York Times

Nicholas Kristof calls Catherine Hamlin “a 21st-century Mother Teresa,” as he describes the problem of obstetric fistula worldwide, and the work of Hamlin Fistula Hospital is doing to eradicate the problem in Ethiopia.


Dr. Hamlin in World Magazine

Delivery from shame

HEALTH | Dr. Catherine Hamlin pioneered fistula surgery, helping countless outcast women, but now she needs more doctors to carry the work forward |Emily Belz

When women arrive at the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital, they usually reek of urine and feces. Often they have walked many miles and their husbands have abandoned them as social outcasts. Common in countries where women labor in childbirth without any medical care, fistula is an injury resulting from days, even a week, of obstructed labor. The rare woman to survive such trauma and blood loss is left with an open wound that dribbles human waste—and her child is usually dead or severely malformed.

Continue Reading…

Emiye Catherine Hamlin: Caring for Ethiopia’s Poorest Daughters

Dr. Catherine Hamlin and her team were recently in the states for the launch of Hamlin Fistula USA.  Following is an exclusive interview with Dr. Hamlin and former CEO Mark Bennett, CEO of Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital.

By, Tiberah Tsehai: In AmharicEmiye is an endearing term for mother: what Dr. Catherine Hamlin represents to those she has touched in Ethiopia and around the four corners of the world.

Like a mother she cares for the poorest daughters of Ethiopia.  They are shunned and often think of suicide as an escape from their harrowing state.

They suffer from obstetric fistula- one of the most devastating childbirth injuries- usually caused by several days of obstructed labor.  Often, a stillborn is delivered and the woman is left with incontinence.

Although obstetric fistula has been eradicated in the United States for more than 100 years it is still prevalent in developing countries.

For over 50 years Catherine Hamlin has not only been repairing these women from their injuries but she has educated them, loved them, and sent them home in a new dress.

For the full article…


Dr. Hamlin Featured in Christianity Today: ‘Mother Teresa of Our Age’ Talks to Her.meneutics

By Elissa Cooper

Dr. Catherine Hamlin, 87, has saved countless Ethiopian women’s lives through her work repairing fistulas. Most don’t know that she labors out of love for Jesus.

Vesicovaginal fistulas (VVFs) and the people who champion their eradication are fascinating. For Dr. L. Lewis Wall’s Christianity Today piece “Jesus and the Unclean Woman,” I spent a lot of time learning about VVFs for the accompanying news article, and enjoyed a refresher course for documentary review of A Walk to Beautiful for Her.meneutics. But I finally got to the heart of the story when I met Dr. Catherine Hamlin last month.


The world knows Hamlin’s name. The Australian obstetrician-gynecologist has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof dubbed her “the Mother Teresa of our age,” and Oprah has featured her story. However, Hamlin’s most striking quality is her Christian faith. It has driven her life’s work in healing women withVVFs in Ethiopia and her goal to end VVF worldwide by the end of the century. During her trip to launch Hamlin FistulaUSA — the newest member of Hamlin Fistula International — 87-year-old Hamlin sat down with me to talk.

To Continue this article at Christianity Today