“Can you guys please help me raise money for a gravely ill young woman? She needs urgent help!”
This is was the brief e-mail Matty Jobe sent to What’s On-Gambia in April 2014 when Malla Manneh was under critical condition and undergoing treatment at the Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital. We asked her to contact famous fundraiser, Babou Njie Sallah, to help her open a donation page online. Two years on all seems set to fly Malla out for treatment.
Malla, who lives in Kotu with her grandfather, was diagnosed with cancer in 2012. She has had several surgeries in The Gambia and in Senegal, none of which has helped cure or treat her cancer.
“I met Malla through Patient Godwin,” Matty explained. “When she told me about her, I immediately left my office and went to see her at the hospital where she had been admitted for two years. She was so open and willing to share her story. I was moved by her strong faith in God. She cried while narrating the pain she is living with since 2007.”
When Matty approached Malla’s family about her plans to help them raise funds for the 20-year-old to travel overseas for treatment, they were overjoyed and filled with gratitude.
She took to social media to launch for urgent appeal, urging Gambians to make donations towards the cost of treatment overseas. She also organised a fundraising activity in the form of musical concert on the 25th April, 2014 at the Alliance Franco along Kairaba Avenue.
Matty told What’s On-Gambia: “Only four people attended the concert and they were Malla’s family members. By then I had just lost my mother, but I was determined to save a young life. Before my mother passed away, she urged me to do everything possible to help Malla.”
She added: “I became good friends with her. Despite her illness, she would visit me regularly and spend time with my family. Malla is God-fearing. Any time she comes to my house and it is time for prayer, she would ask for a veil and water to perform ablution. She inspired me to respect the five daily prayers.”
Matty didn’t give up. She inspired Gambians in the Diaspora to launch an online fundraising campaign which received international attention, going viral on social media. Since the donation page was set up on GoFundMe, it has raised more than the targeted $25,000.
An excited Matty said: “Now, it is certain that she will be going abroad for treatment. Alhamdulilah.”
Matty Jobe would like to thank her team in The Gambia for their tireless support: Pa Modou Sarr, Bubacarr Keita, Ebrima Kebbeh, Mam Lisa Camara and Fatou Sowe.