"I speak from experience—malaria exists and it can be deadly."
Nleveh (pronounced Nuh-VAY) Jackson grew up in Liberia, West Africa, and has lived in the United States for more than 20 years. She works as a registered nurse, and is one of the volunteer leaders of the ELCA Malaria Campaign in the New England Synod.
Photo: Nleveh Jackson (R), pictured with Pastor Lydia Wittman, another malaria volunteer leader from the New England synod.
To raise awareness about malaria in her synod, Nleveh shares her own story of falling ill with the disease last year, when she traveled back to Liberia to bury her father.
When she got sick, "my lips and teeth were chattering, knocking and trembling together without control," she relates. "I was unable to keep any food down and I started feeling very weak. My eyesight dimmed, and I was sweating profusely. My skin was extremely hot but I felt very cold in my body."
Nleveh was rushed to a community clinic where she was diagnosed with malaria, and there she received the medication that cured her.
Nleveh was one of the lucky ones. Not only did she have access to a clinic and medication when she fell ill, but she also has ongoing access to good nutrition to keep her body strong. She was able to make a full recovery.
Inspired by her own experiences of malaria, Nleveh has been a wonderful advocate for the ELCA Malaria Campaign in the New England Synod. I leave you with her words of encouragement to other ELCA members:
"And so I urge you to support the ELCA Malaria Campaign, which has pledged to help Liberia and twelve other countries by joining the global movement to end deaths from malaria. In doing so, we work together with Lutheran churches in Africa to raise funds to provide nets, insecticides, medications, healthcare, education and more to eliminate these deaths for good.
"How can you help?