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  • Writer's pictureKreig Ecklund

Compassion Campaign: Honoring Mothers

Compassion = sympathetic consciousness of others' distress together with a desire to alleviate it.

“Your tumor is benign.”

While these words are usually met with relief, they brought then-15 year old Annie no such comfort. Her tumor had already deformed her jawline, made eating and swallowing difficult, and threatened to completely block her airway. The agonizing pain was compounded by accusations that “witchcraft” was the cause.

Benign can still be deadly.

Tragically, ameloblastoma tumors like Annie’s are met with accusations of demon possession. Medical treatment, often delayed and unavailable in Liberia, always comes at a great cost.


The year was 2015 and through our Mercy Ships connections and a group of generous donors, we were able to get Annie to Ghana for treatment. A complicated, but successful surgery helped Annie regain not only physical health but also restore her dignity and hope.

In 2017, once Keyara’s Gift was officially established, we were able to sponsor Annie as a student for four years, until she graduated from the 12th grade in 2021.

When we visited Liberia in 2018, we were thrilled to connect with Annie and meet her young daughter, Kebbeh


Fast forward to 2023. Annie’s tumor returned. The pain. The accusations. The loss of hope. The threat of starvation or suffocation. Would Kebbeh be orphaned?


Without treatment options in Liberia, Annie again had to travel for surgery, this time to N’Zao, Guinea. But how to pay? Annie’s family pooled resources, going into crushing debt by borrowing $1500, at an interest rate of 25%, which compounds every two months. She now owes her creditors $1700 - a seemingly insurmountable debt in a country where

Surgeons from the UK and Thailand were able to tackle this recurrence with an even more aggressive surgery, removing some of Annie’s jaw bone.


Annie needs our help.

We can’t help everyone, we can’t meet every need, and we definitely can’t help anyone without your partnership. We voice these overwhelming needs because mothers like Annie, can’t advocate for themselves.

As Mother’s Day in the US approaches, would you be able to honor your own mother by contributing towards our Compassion Campaign?

Any money raised beyond helping Annie will go towards assisting other single mothers, and widows, with supplemental support for food, housing and medical expenses.

So many of you have already shown great compassion through your support of Keyara’s Gift student scholarships, for which we are so thankful. On behalf of Liberia’s mothers - we thank you for considering this opportunity, as well.

Thank you!

Karen & Kreig

Founders, Keyara's Gift

Want to donate by check? Here are the instructions.

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