David’s Story:

“Did you swallow a tennis ball?” the kids in the neighborhood asked David.

But he didn’t respond.

“I don’t know why … I just didn’t want to insult back,” he explained with a gentle smile.

When David was five, a small mass began growing and hurting on the right side of his neck. By the time he was 10, his tumor had grown dramatically, and his family took him to the local hospital for help.

“The doctors told us surgery would cost $300,000 CFA, but we had no money to pay for him to have surgery,” they explained.

So, for the next two years, David tried to avoid some of the shame of the public eye. “He spent most of his time at home,” his mother Diane said.

But then she heard about Mercy Ships. From there, she set out on a mission to get help for her son. Diane and David waited in long lines for a chance to be seen by someone from Mercy Ships. Their persistence paid off, and David was approved for free surgery onboard the Africa Mercy!

Soon after surgery, David’s bandages were changed by caring nurses, who handed him a mirror. For the first time in eight years, David got to see his boyish face without the tennis ball … and was amazed.

“I looked in the mirror, and I saw that I was handsome!”

For the first time in his life, David’s future looks bright. He no longer has to worry about whether or not his tumor will grow larger. He can now attend school freely, and no longer has to worry about the mocking words and uncomfortable stares of those around him. His life has been changed forever, and it is all thanks to you.