Elme, a seven year-old girl from San Miguel, Bacong Negros Oriental was born with a congenital deformity that involves both feet, called club foot or congenital talipes equinovarus (CTEV). The affected foot looks like it had been rotated internally at the ankle. Without treatment, people with club feet often appear to walk on their ankles or on the sides of their feet. If it would remain medically untreated, it will cause major damage to her bones and surrounding muscles.
Elme lives with her parents who make it a point to provide for her basic needs. Her father is a fisherman earning less than Php 100.00 a day (which is less than $3 a day), while her mother stays at home taking care of her. Despite being financially incapacitated, Elme’s parents strive hard to give her what she needs.
Currently, she is attending primary school near her home and actively participating in her class. Just like any other child, she loves playing with her peers. Mingling with her playmates truly enhanced her skills, knowledge, and her attitude towards life. Though her condition was accepted by her family, a lot of times, she was bullied and called “chicken feet” by other children. As a naturally joyful child, she didn’t let the name calling and bulling change who she was, however, it did hurt her. She did not understand why the other children where treating her differently and she would ask her mother why the other children where mean to her. She wanted so badly to be able to run, walk, and move freely without the constant glare from other people.
Through the assistance of LCPFI- Handclasp Program, Elme got her feet casted or medically called as muscle casting. This is a corrective way to manage club foot. Through the prayers of many, Elme had the procedure done at Cebu Doctor’s Hospital in Cebu City. The procedure was a long process of constant removal and reapplication of the cast. It was a tedious work but with a lot of patience, hard work, and God’s guiding hand the casting was a success.
Now, Elme is proud and happy with her new found gift. She can live her life knowing her future is bright and she can be confidant in her appearance. Even at her young age, she understands the importance of being content with who you are and to be grateful for everything God has given you. These lessons she learned at an early age will give her a strong foundation in overcoming obstacles in her life.
Elme’s life is now forever changed because God burdened a donor’s heart and that donor was obedient to God’s call to help the Handclasp Program at LCP. Please pray and ask how God can use you to make a difference with the Handclasp Program. When you give care to other people it will overflow thus spreading to thousands more.
It is Elme’s dream to become a police woman one day, and her dream can now become a reality.