What were you doing with your life when you were 22 years? Well, we met a group of 16 students from the University of Nairobi, Kenyatta University and Moi University who came together to form an association that creates awareness about Rheumatoid Heart Disease and Congenital Heart Disease.
What is unique about this group is that they are either living with heart disease or have lost a close family member or friend to the same. The students have a medical or engineering background and they use their knowledge and skills to innovate and create awareness about heart disease.
Sitting with them and spending close to four hours with them made me realize that I am old. The students have vibrant energy and find a way of creating humour from the things that surround them. We ate, toured the hospital, planted 100 trees, visited the sick babies in paeds and most of all shared about the experiences of living with heart disease and brainstormed on how we can make the world a better place for such patients.
I learnt a lot about heart disease, the emotional and psychological pain that the patients go through and the side effects of the various treatment regimes. It also gave me so much hope that this group of students has decided to change the lives of those around them through simple acts of service and innovation. We pray that God will continue giving them a strong purpose and that their ministry will go beyond just creating awareness and possibly grow to become a strong group lobbying for a better health care system in Kenya.