Today I am going to talk to you about a disease that you don’t hear about anymore, and that is LEPROSY.
I am writing about this today because my marketing teacher has required it, and also because I was trying to find a culture topic that I should look into and learn about and while I was doing so my eyes fell on this painting that my sister brought me from her trip to India.
Now this painting, is hanging in my home. And it was painted by one of the patients in a Leper colony that she volunteered at. If you look at it, you would never guess that the artist was missing fingers because of a disease that most of the world thinks is eradicated.
What is Leprosy?
For those of you that do not know what leprosy is, it is a bacterial infection that attacks the nerves and causes skin lesions (along with other things, for more information follow this LINK). It is curable now, but if left uncured for too long it can cause deformities and other serious health issues.
What is a Leper Colony?
A leper colony is a place where they sent (and continue to send, in parts of the world like India) people to live when they found out that they had leprosy. The disease can be spread from person to person, so isolating them was their solution to the problem. You can follow this LINK to see some pictures of some of those colonies in India if you are interested in seeing what they look like over there.
Hawaiian Leper Colony
Now after I started to think about this topic, I did a little research and read about a leper colony in Hawaii. Now this leper colony actually still exists, but the patients that still reside there are cured (although they all have deformities related from the past disease).
I read an interesting article that talked about how a women described being legally taken away from her family and how traumatic it was to be put in this colony. But now she describes it as her home, the place where she grew up and met her husband. A place that is not a negative thing. If you would like to read the full story follow this LINK.
It is very crazy to me to think about how far we have came in such a short time period. There is actually people living in the United States that have lived in one of these leper colonies! That is crazy, I only thought that they existed in India until I read up on it a little more.
A Cured Disease
It is extremely humbling reading about this disease. We are so very blessed to be born into the age of modern medicine.
I can’t even begin to imagine the fear that a mother would have, knowing that their child could catch this disease and be taken away from them to suffer with others like them. It’s horrifying to think that we would ever be put in that situation. That situation of having no control or not being able to do a thing about it, because there was no cure.
So I say again, WE ARE SO INCREDIBLY LUCKY!
Now in the spirit of feeling lucky and blessed, I would love to hear what you are thankful for?