It was about the end of 2019, when I was contacted by a friend of mine and Sandrine, the mother of Simplisa. They asked if I could help Simplisa to get treatments. Simplisa was born with a disease called “Giant Congenital Nevus." It is a skin condition characterized by abnormal dark skin patches. It is present from birth and grows at the same rate as the body grows. The surface of the nevus where it is bumpy and thickened can be very painful and itchy. People with giant congenital nevus have an increased risk of developing a type of skin cancer called melanoma. You can read more about it here.
Simplisa has had giant congenital nevus from birth. Although this condition is hereditary, no one else from the family has the same condition other than her paternal grandfather. Sandrine had traveled to different African countries and tried different doctors, but was not able to find treatment.
"Sandrine had traveled to different African countries and tried different doctors, but was not able to find treatment."
I finally reached out to Shriners hospital and they agreed to treat her. But when COVID-19 hit the whole world, Shriners hospital stopped receiving international patients. Simplisa’s family made a connection with another hospital in Chicago. In 2020, they came to the States. After receiving two surgeries, the funds raised for her treatments were gone because they were paying out of pocket. Simplisa’s mother panicked. I have stayed in touch with her the whole time. When I heard about it, I called Shriners hospital to see if they could treat her. Since the hospital knew her case already, it was much easier to process her paperwork and accept her as Shriners patient. When the mother heard about it, she was so thrilled. "God answered my prayers," she told me on the phone. Simplisa was assigned to a surgeon named Dr. Bojovic who will be providing her treatments. We met him a couple months ago. He recommended her to see a dermatologist before any surgery.
In February 2022, Simplisa got to see a dermatologist before scheduling her first surgery. She is currently having a lot of pain in her back where the whole surface is covered with bumpy nevus. The dermatologist is concerned it will turn into melanoma (skin cancer). I’m looking forward to seeing her get treated. I have been coordinating her care with Shriners and acting as a translator. Keep her in your prayers. Her first surgery will be done in April. Through JHI, Simplisa and Sandrine’s expenses and needs have been covered (including furnishing their apartment).