South African Teen Needs Care for Rare Vascular Disease: Fibromuscular Dysplasia (FMD)

Ashleigh Botha

At age 16 Ashleigh Botha traveled across the globe to receive treatment at the Cleveland Clinic for a rare and progressive form of Fibromuscular Dysplasia. For several months she was in a strange country with her mother and close friend Julian living out of hotel room recovering from a renal bypass. Her father needed to stay back in South Africa during that time to take care of Ashleigh's siblings and to continue to raise funds for Ashleigh's care. Now two years later  Ashleigh continues her battle with FMD.  I met Ashleigh and her Family through FaceBook, at the time they had never spoke to anyone who had FMD, and they did not know treatment was available. Ashleigh was the first case of FMD South African doctors had ever encountered. One could honestly say Health Care in Social Media has saved Ashleigh's life. Today, two years later I am asking social media to make a difference in this young girls life again.  Ashleigh is the bravest, kindest soul I have ever met. Her humble and gracious spirit remains despite the set backs she has faced at such a young age. Please say an extra prayer tonight for the Botha Family.

Thank you,  Kari Ulrich

Please take a moment to meet Ashleigh through her website:
Facebook: Ashleigh Botha Support and Prayer Group

I would like to share with you a letter from the Botha family:

We are VERY DESPERATELY trying to raise money, AS FAST AS POSSIBLE, for Ashleigh to return to U.S.A. for major surgery to bypass diseased arteries. ASHLEIGH BOTHA from SOUTH AFRICA, has INTIMAL FIBROMUSCULAR DYSPLASIA which is a very RARE DISEASE of thearteries. Intimal FMD is a very aggressive and progressive form of FMD which causes her arteries to grow closed on the inside with a long smooth narrowing, and if not treated, close. This limits blood flow to her major organs, causing loss of function and other complications. Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, USA has a specialised FMD unit, where Ashleigh went in 2009 for an aorta/renal artery bypass. She was referred to as a most unusual and unique case, where they see patients from around the world. She needs to return urgently to have an aorta/mesenteric artery bypass to restore blood flow to her digestive organs. She also needs her renal/aorta bypass redone, as her vein used ihas dilated to 4 times it's size. Doctors in SA are unable to help much due to the rarity of Intimal FMD. Our medical Aid can only assist us with less than 1/4 of the cost of her treatment, but we have to pay this full amount and claim it back when Ashleigh returns to S.A. 

To donate in U.S.A.:  
Ashleigh Botha Recovery Account 7860881825 
Wells Fargo Bank 
122 East Main Street 
Albert Lea, MN 56007 
or online at

To donate in S.A.: 
Ashleigh Botha Recovery Account 08 500 5436 
Standard Bank Branch - Port Elizabeth 050017