This year, friends and employees, sales representatives and office personnel of Arnold Davis, Founder and President of Universal Steel Buildings Corp. celebrated his birthday by giving him the gift that he requested – the gift of a charitable donation made to the Fistula Foundation. Moved by the success story of Mahabouba Mohammed, an Ethiopian woman who, by determination and hard work overcame this terrible condition to become part of the nursing staff, helping others as she herself had been helped, Mr. Davis generously matched his birthday contributions in kind, as his way to pay it forward to those in need that they might make for themselves a better life as Mrs. Mohammed had done.
The New York Times article, “Saving the Lives of Moms,” in the May 13 Mother’s Day edition prompted his request. The article spoke of the ostracism, suffering and often death of women who, recently having given birth had fallen to this terrible, but curable condition. The article stated, “More than two million women and girls have fistulas worldwide. They are the lepers of the 21st century, among the most voiceless and shunned people on earth. Fistulas were once also common in
America, but today they normally afflict only people
in poor countries of Africa and Asia.”
The story of the work of the Fistula Foundation and the dedication of Dr. Steven Arrowsmith touched Mr. Davis and it was his desire to share the opportunity to learn about and promote their work by encouraging company associates to “pay forward” the many opportunities one has that are often take for granted. The article circulated to a generous response.
The work of Dr. Arrowsmith and Dr. Lewis Wall in the new
Addis Abba Fistula
Hospital in Danja,
has enabled them to raise $500,000 annually for the operating costs of the
hospital and to perform one thousand fistula repairs a year.
“It has been a rewarding experience for me and the company to contribute to this worthy cause in honor of my birthday,” stated
“I believe that everyone deserves to have a chance to make a better life for
themselves and their families. The Fistula Foundation gives women and girls the
opportunity to do that – an opportunity they never in the world believed that
they might someday have.” Davis