Ebola was a media craze for a while, one that we were all guilty of participating in, but in all the speculation about the disease coming overseas and the possibility of finding a cure, most of us in America forgot to consider the victims directly affected by the disease in West Africa.
One such victim spoke up on the web earlier this week when he shared his story and answered questions on the AMA (ask me anything) section of Reddit, under the title “I am a 14-year-old Ebola survivor in remote Liberia.” The thread was massively popular, spawning thousands of supportive comments from Redditors and trending on the site’s front page for several days.
BBC sums up some of Mohammed’s story:
Five people in Mohammed’s family caught Ebola, and his grandmother and two sisters died. Mohammed and his father recovered.
Mohammed spent a month in quarantine and said: “I felt bad about myself. Because I needed help but I could not get help from my family or others that were close to me. I only got helped by strangers.”
The boy escaped the epidemic without any physical harm but claims his entire outlook on life changed. Before the disease hit, he was content working at a mechanic’s shop, but now aspires to be something greater. He hopes to work for an NGO (non-governmental/non-profit organization) someday.
The Q&A session was coordinated by two Belgian gaming fans and philanthropists hoping to raise money for Ebola victims through their site, gamingforgood.net.
“Mohammed was really keen to tell his story so we drove to where he lives,” said Athene, one of the organizing philanthropists. “He wanted to do the AMA so that more people would know about people like him and he felt really good doing something that he knew would help the community if people donated to charity.”