This is Aster. She is 13 years old. She is just like you and me. Except…

She and her father, Derebe, came to see us, the foreign doctors, hoping for treatment for the large growth on her neck. We told them we could not remove her tumor at the remote mountain top hospital in Ethiopia where we were working. Their eyes filled with tears.

That was in November 2010. It has been nearly three years, but thanks to the efforts of many, Aster will undergo surgery today, September 11, 2013 in NY. Many hands have moved Aster off of that mountain top.

The next time a child needs medical attention like this, let’s get help faster. fASTER!

Follow Aster’s journey here.


Aster was born with this benign tumor called a teratoma. In the US, a child born with this tumor would have it surgically removed by 6 months of age. Where Aster is from there is very little access to medical care and thus she lived with this growing mass her entire life.

She is loved and cherished by her family. But, she has never been able to attend school because of the stigma associated with her condition. She is shunned by her peers. Her life has been difficult.

Let’s change that.

This is Aster’s family in front of their home in the Sidama region of southern Ethiopia.


Aster and her father arrived in NYC on August 30. The Ethiopian community, along with individuals and the sponsoring organization, Little Baby Face Foundation, have taken them under their wings this past 10 days. They are doing well.



Aster has made many friends. Derebe is speaking some English. They are so appreciative of every little gesture.



Keep Aster and Derebe in your thoughts.



6 thoughts on “fASTER911

  1. Linda Hain says:

    What a heart warming story. I love the photo of all the kids on the rocks, and Aster and Michael holding hands as they follow behind. So sweet. You guys are the best in making sure Aster gets the care she needs. Can’t wait to hear the updates!!

  2. Patrizia Petruzziello says:

    THANKS for sharing this with me! YOu are wonderful people and Aster is blessed to have you in her life. Prayers for Aster and her family.

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