Ottawa woman will skydive for expectant mothers in Uganda

Damron, friends to raise money for medical equipment for expectant mothers

Debbie Damron (right) poses with medical clinic staff and over-the-counter medicines sent by “Believe in Uganda” supporters in Ottawa. Damron will skydive May 28 to raise money for maternity equipment in rural Uganda.

Debbie Damron of Ottawa believes so strongly in the future of Uganda she’s willing to jump from 13,000 feet to prove it.

Damron and two friends will jump at Skydive Chicago north of Ottawa on Tuesday, May 28, to raise money for medical equipment for expectant mothers.

“Our focus for the jump is to purchase maternity tools to help care for and diagnose medical issues a pregnant mother might encounter from conception to delivery,” Darmon said. “If the equipment can’t be purchased soon, our clinic cannot sustain itself.

“Without a ‘mama kit,’ women cannot enter a medical facility and they’re only $7 – the cost of a special coffee, and most still cannot afford it.”

Damron recently created, “Believe In Uganda,” a field of interest fund with the Starved Rock Country Community Foundation in La Salle to help facilitate her group’s work. To donate, visit

Mama kits include everything needed for a safe delivery: plastic sheet, gauze, razor blade and a strong thread for tying off the umbilical cord. Mothers walk 10-12 miles to receive kits, barefoot and often with several young ones accompanying them.

Damron said there also is a constant need for medicines to stock the pharmacy at Amagara Ga’Boona, the clinic she founded in Kahondo-Kamwenge in western Uganda, and at mobile clinics that attract hundreds.

“That’s when we realized the great need for services. People stood in line for hours to get three aspirin for severe headaches. Reading glasses, malaria medicine, etc. Those clinics are vital but we cannot do them if we cannot provide the necessary medicines.”

A large donation of over-the-counter medicines was presented in March when Damron spent the month in the villages.

Since 2008, Damron has led more than a dozen teams to serve the poor. Their work has been enhanced by Ugandan nonprofit “Innovations for Transformation Initiative” and its director, Milton Tusingwire.

“As Americans, we take our healthcare for granted,” Damron said. “In Uganda it is a luxury.”

A mother rests while her daughter receives an IV.
ITI’s Milton Tusingwire explains that clinic beds were constructed locally to save money.
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