The Femmes de Foot Association, in partnership with the Racing Club de Strasbourg Alsace and Mécénat Chirurgie Cardiaque, and with the support of Spie, have set up the “Eleven from the Heart” program, aimed at saving eleven children suffering from heart malformations. Coming from underprivileged countries which unfortunately cannot offer them the necessary care due to lack of technical structures or adapted financial means, these children will benefit from the know-how and excellence of surgeons and the University Hospital of Strasbourg thanks to Femmes de Foot.
The first girl, Mafily Soumah (5 years old), of Guinean origin, who suffered from a tetralogy of Fallot, was successfully operated on last March in Strasbourg by Dr. Philippe Billaud. Mafily, whose health condition rapidly improved after the operation, will give the fictitious kick-off of the Ligue 1 Uber Eats Strasbourg-Ajaccio match on Sunday at the Meinau, accompanied by a Spie representative and her “host mother” (the treated children are accommodated by volunteer host families before joining their families, once fully recovered, in their country of origin).
“We have a magical power in our hands: the ability to repair hearts and thus give a second birth to many children. But this surgery is very expensive and many people around the world will not be able to have it. Money is available. Generosity is great, we just need to motivate it“, writes Professor Francine Leca on the website of the association she founded in 1996. Since then, Mécénat Chirurgie Cardiaque has taken charge of and helped save the lives of more than 4,200 children. Femmes de Foot, which works throughout the year with its partners to help people in difficulty from all categories of the population and all generations, has thus mobilized through the “Eleven Hearts” program. Its donation of €132,000 will finance eleven surgical operations.
“This is one of the most important initiatives we have taken and it has been close to my heart for a long time,” explains Sabryna Keller, founder and President of the Femmes de Foot Association, which in six years has donated nearly one million euros in Alsace. “I have a lot of admiration for Professor Leca and his teams and when the project was presented to us, I obviously didn’t hesitate for a second. I have the chance, in this wonderful human adventure, to work with people of extraordinary kindness and deep generosity. The chance, also, to live very strong moments, intense emotions. To see Mafily arrive in Strasbourg sick, pale and weakened and to see her today radiant and full of energy, is something that cannot be forgotten. The Femmes de Foot Association and its partners are immensely proud to be able to contribute to the most beautiful thing in the world: saving the lives.”