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A journey to conquer tibial hemimelia

Rivonia – Take a stand and help Baby Mnqobi also known as Baby Q walk.

Members of the Sandton community are among the many who are rallying up support for a baby with a rare birth defect.

The little eight-month-old is often referred to as Baby Q, but his full name is Mnqobi Nhlanhla, which means to conquer. He was born with a rare condition on both of his legs called tibial hemimelia (TH), which affects around one in a million babies worldwide.

His mum, Nthabiseng Nhlanhla, explained how sharing Baby Q’s story on social media had a huge impact on people and sponsors. One of these was Rivonia Road-based company, Ernst and Young.

Nthabiseng Nhlanhla (mother), Mzwakhe (father) Philasande and Mnqobi, also known as Baby Q. Photo: Supplied

Baby Q’s parents then launched a website, ‘Help Q Walk’ – helpqwalk.org. “We had to start a website to raise awareness around TH, which included success stories of babies around the world who had undergone the surgery.”

A post on the site reads, “Mnqobi has been seen by some of the best and top pediatric orthopedic surgeons in South Africa and all have advised that the only way they know how to help is through amputation of both his legs.

“Dr Paley of the Paley Institute in West Palm Beach Florida, USA has over 28 years’ specialist’s knowledge with the condition and has helped many children like Mnqobi walk, including a little girl diagnosed with the same condition … from Midrand.”

The Sandton Chronicle’s sister publication, the Midrand Reporter, has followed the Midrand story. “Our dream is to see Mnqobi walk like his twin brother Philasande,” the website further states. The Nhlanhla family then went one step further and registered ‘Help Q Walk’ as a non-profit organisation.

Philasande and Mnqobi Nhlanhla, also known as baby Q, on the right bond. Photo: Supplied

In the hopes of raising the funds needed for the trip and procedure that some fundraisers were held, including the Be The Change Gala which took place at the Ernst and Young building at the Skydeck in Sandton on 9 May.

A post on the Help Q Walk website thanked Ernst and Young for sponsoring the venue. “The Skydeck is perfect fitting to celebrate the life of this amazing boy,” reads the post.

“We have raised a lot of awareness as a result of the gala and proceeds have been streaming in from Facebook donations and online donations, in saying this, we have raised R 48 000,” said Nthabiseng.

“We would also like to thank each and every individual who has contributed to Q’s campaign. For the donations you have made to our bank account, BackaBuddy page and, most importantly, for your continued prayers.”

Nthabiseng further described how much they had raised. “We have currently raised R1.130 million through donations and events. We are now just short of R1.2 million for the surgery.

“We will continue to have fundraising events in the form of golf days and cycling races such as the ride for a purpose 94.7 Cycle Challenge coming up.”

Details: www.helpqwalk.org

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