Nineteen-year-old Rahma Haruna of Kano, Nigeria, was born healthy, but a yet-to-be-diagnosed condition caused her body to stop growing at the age of six months. She has lived most of her life being carried around in a plastic bowl until a wheelchair was donated to her. But despite the odds against her, she is just like any other girl her age with hopes and dreams and a happy spirit.
“She started with a fever and that was it. Then stomach pains. Then her body parts like hands and legs,” explained her mother Fadi in a video.
At six months old her mother began to notice that Rahma was not meeting physical milestones. She learned to sit, she says, but never to crawl. Rahma lives in great pain, which can prevent her from using her hands.
Her family is devoted to helping Rahma live a full life, and her father Hussaini has sold his belongings and spent every penny he can searching for a doctor to treat his daughter’s condition. Out of love and caring, they do everything they can for her.
“They help me a lot,” said Rahma. “How do they? They give me anything I need.”
Even her 10-year-old brother Fahad helps her with everyday tasks and takes her out every day.
“I feel happy whenever I see people helping her,” he said. “I like taking her to our relatives. She feels happy when we visit them.
Rahma’s family is hoping that by sharing her story they will be able to get her the help she needs. Doctors have not been able to find the cause of her condition.
Despite all of the challenges she faces, Rahma’s hope and faith continue.
“I thank God for everything I do, she said. “I want to start a business — a grocery store that sells everything— that is what I want.”