Carol Mulumba, now free from sickle cell, underwent a bone-marrow transplant at Methodist Children’s Hospital in the US in 2008. The bone marrow, donated by her brother, Mark, helped her body start producing normal red blood cells.
Carol Mulumba is a daughter of a Ugandan-American couple, Captain Lukiah Mulumba and Abudallah Mulumba. The US army paid for Carol’s treatment.
When she was hospitalised, Make a wish Foundation asked Carol to make a wish and her desire was to meet Obama. In July, Carol led the family to a “once in a lifetime” meeting with the US President. The White House released the photographs Obama took with the family last week.
“President Barack Obama himself opened the oval office door and said, ‘Hi Carol?’ She replied, ‘Yes, President Obama,’” Carol’s mother recalled.
“He (Obama) then asked Carol to introduce all of us. He noted our accent and asked us where we came from? We replied, ‘Uganda.’ He then said, ‘Oh you are my cousins.’ I replied, ‘you are our brother,’” Mulumba narrated in an email to New Vision.
Mulumba said Obama thanked her several times for serving in the US military. “Carol talked about her illness to President Obama. He posed for pictures with Carol and then all of us,” Mulumba explained.
Obama autographed one photograph for Carol, gave her gifts which included a presidential ‘WH coin’ and gave a ‘five-fist’ to Mark who donated the bone marrow that saved his sister’s life. “You are my man,” Obama reportedly told Mark.
Make a Wish Foundation grants wishes of children between the age of 2-and-a-half and 18 years, diagnosed with a life-threatening medical condition.
In October, Carol will celebrate her second full year free from sickle cell anemia.
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