I admit that I am a big fan of Rebel Wilson. I find her to be a talented young actress who is absolutely hysterical. The other day I saw a clip of an interview she did where she credited malaria for pushing her to become an actress (stick with me, this will make sense). After school she was a youth ambassador in South Africa when she contracted malaria through a mosquito bite. She became incredibly ill and while in the hospital dreamt that she was an actress. When she recovered, she followed that dream.
Many people believe that malaria is an illness that only affects those that are less fortunate. And while the majority of malaria cases do occur in impoverished areas of Africa, it doesn’t discriminate. People from all walks of life have contracted and battled this terrible mosquito-borne disease. Here are some that may surprise you.
In 1503, Christopher Columbus had to cut one of his voyages short after contracting malaria.
Mother Teresa fell ill with the disease in 1993 while visiting New Delhi. She went to the hospital complaining of a fever, nausea and restlessness. She stayed in the intensive care unit before ultimately being released.
British actor Michael Caine may be Batman’s rock in the films, but in doctors told him he wouldn’t live past 40 after he contracted a rare form of malaria while in the armed forces. One doctor took a chance and combined two other malaria medications and Caine recovered.
Malaria is just one of the serious ailments that Ernest Hemingway survived. He also fought anthrax, dysentery, hepatitis, anemia, a crushed cerebra and ruptured liver!
Mahatma Gandhi became gravely ill from malaria while in prison in 1944. The British released him from jail while sick.
George Clooney got malaria while visiting Sudan. He recovered quickly after starting medication.
During a post-high school survival strip to Africa, Cooper Anderson picked up malaria. He now advocates the same nonprofit that we do: Malaria No More.
For the past four years, Mosquito Squad has been a proud supporter of Malaria No More, a nonprofit with the goal of ending malaria deaths in Africa by 2015. One of our franchisees, Patrick McKennon of Nashville, is currently in Africa on a mission with the organization with his daughter. We can’t wait to update you on their trip!
If you want to help fight this terrible disease that is both preventable and treatable, please donate now at SwatMalaria.net.