November 26, 2017, 4:00 a.m.— Start of labor
November 26, 2017, 7:59 p.m.—Birth of Kasai Stephen Ntambwe-Kalala, son of Ayugi Ntambwe-Kalala, USANA THF Program Manager
For those who may not already know me, my name is Ayugi Ntambwe-Kalala, and I work with the True Health Foundation over programs. My husband and I found out that we were expecting in March of last year, and despite all the preparations we made, nothing could have fully prepared us for what lay ahead.
Our son, Kasai, has changed both of our lives in more ways than I can ever fully express. For me in particular, being a mother to Kasai brought a perspective to my life and my work in a way that nothing else could have.
In the first few weeks of Kasai’s life, he struggled with some stomach pains that seemed to be impossible to relieve. I remember driving in the car with my husband to run to the grocery store and try the 100th remedy I had read about on the Internet. For literally the whole 15 minutes to the store, I cried in both frustration and hopelessness. I felt so helpless, knowing what kind of pain our son was going through, and also knowing that there was nothing I could do to take it away. I remember explaining to my husband how I physically hurt watching our son writhe his little body in pain.
Since that time, Kasai is doing much better, with only occasional stomach pains every couple of weeks or so. Finally getting a handle on being a new mother allowed me some time to reflect on the work that I have been so privileged to be a part of at the Foundation.
You may remember this story of a mother in Ghana who was about to feed rat poison to her children in order to end their suffering. They had had no food for a long time, and she was tired of watching her children suffer. When I first heard about this story, it broke my heart. I couldn’t imagine what kind of place that mother must have been in, for her to make that decision. Now, being a mother, I know that I would do anything in my power to ensure that my child has everything he needs. And I know that the mother in the story above was in the hardest position anyone could ever be placed in.
I have now returned to work from maternity leave, albeit with a new resolve. I am more determined than ever to ensure that the programs the Foundation funds are making a huge difference in the lives of those they serve. I am so grateful for the opportunity to work towards bridging the gap for families in need. I am proud of the Foundation, and of all of us, members of the USANA family, who participate in the work that it accomplishes.
Because of all of us, there are fewer mothers in the world who are in the position that the mother in Ghana was in. This work is so much more personal to me than it ever has been, and I am so excited to continue to participate in it, and to do even more, with you all.
I hope that you will consider doing this great work in an even bigger and more meaningful way with us this year.
Remember, 100 percent of all donations made to the USANA True Health Foundation ALWAYS go toward changing lives across the world.