Festus (13), James (11), and Alfred (7) are brothers. They were born with a rare skin disorder. However, their parents thought their sons were cursed and left the three boys with a distant relative. Their grandfather, in his 60s, heard the news and went to search for them. After finding them, he took them into his own home. The grandfather does not work and depends on his son, who works as a casual worker in Nairobi, to send him money.

For years, the grandfather tried to find a cure to his grandsons’ disease. He took the boys to multiple doctors. However, none of the doctors could diagnose the children’s illness. He remembered one of the doctors saying, “Do not worry. What they have is just skin rash that one day will go away.

Youthful Faces learned about their story. We visited them and later reached out to two of the best medical specialists we knew, Dr. Razak Mannan and Dr. Stephen Feagins. Both agreed to help. They diagnosed the brothers with ichthyosis, a disease that causes the skin to dry and scale up. The dryness of the skin means constant pain and scratching that leads to bruising.

Festus, James, and Alfred are now part of the Youthful Faces family and we make sure they receive proper nutrition and medication to treat the skin disorder. The bullying they receive at school – because of how they look – does not deter their determination to attend schools. The boys are very courageous, bright, and always have good grades. Festus is determined to find a cure for his skin disorder and Youthful Faces is determined to help them succeed.