Iahnijah Opaleke | Founder of PFFD
Iahnijah Opaleke started a “Mobility Movement” where he has personally donated his gently used prosthetics and mobility aides to kids just like him in redeveloping countries, where these items are in critical need.
Iahnijah was born with PFFD – Proximal Focal Femoral Deficiency, now renamed CFD – Congenital Femoral Deficiency. Together with his mom Tina, Iahnijah Opaleke founded PFFD – Prosthetics For Foreign Donation Inc, using the same acronym of his deficiency to raise awareness about prosthetics and physical disabilities.
As he grew older, Iahnijah had numerous surgeries and outgrew many prosthetics and mobility aides. He and his mom wanted to donate these items but couldn’t find an outlet in Canada to do so; so they decided to do it themselves!
The movement started in Jamaica by donating four boxes of mobility aides and medical equipment to 3 orphanages by way of Non -Profit Organization ‘C.H.A.N.C.E.S.’
Since then, PFFD has worked with other organizations in Nigeria, Tanzania, and Mumbai to bring lightly used prosthetics and medical aides to people in need.
Tina “QueenTite” Opaleke | Co-Founder of PFFD
Tina “QueenTite” Opaleke is the proud mother of Iahnijah & a Winnipeg-born, west-coast grown, Toronto- based multidisciplinary queer artist. She is a Nigerian/Jamaican Hybrid of the African Diaspora with roots laid in activism, the arts, academics, entrepreneurship, advocacy, love and in constant pursuit of more love.
QueenTite a licensed hair artist & owner of NATTY-hair•art•roots, graduate of the Disability Studies Program, ASL 103 certified, and the passionate co-Founding Director of PFFD – Prosthetics For Foreign Donation Inc.
When not busy changing the world, she can be found painting, writing, speaking, and performing spoken word at various black collectives around the country. As a member of Black Lives Matter Toronto QueenTite continues to use her voice to advocate for black love, black liberation, people living with various disabilities, human rights, and promote love.
On October 2, 2008, Iahnijah Opaleke was born with a rare deficiency called PFFD – Proximal Femoral Focal Deficiency (now renamed as CFD – Congenital Femoral Deficiency). This deficiency causes Iahnijah to wear a step-in prosthesis on his right leg. Queen desired to recycle/donate his gently used limbs (as he gets a new leg every 6-9 months), but could not find a Canadian resource to do so. So Iahnijah and Queentite created the resource to fill that void; they founded PFFD Inc.
“We traveled to Jamaica for vacation. This relaxing trip came right before Iahnijah’s 6th surgery (reconstructive hip surgery). We decided to just live, laugh, and enjoy life, as we forgot about the present struggle we were about to face.”
Iahnijah & Tina went to a local market in Brown’s Town, Jamaica. Here they met a man, a double leg Amputee gladly using a skateboard for mobility. Iahnijah was deeply interested & bothered by this fact and offered the man his own prosthetics on the spot. In that very moment, PFFD was born. Iahnijah showed Tina how to re-purpose prosthetics, by every willing amputee re-purposing their used limbs. This was the definitive moment in time that shifted their entire lives, in the direction of their destiny.
On a flight to New York, a destined meeting between a Mumbai, India Prosthetic clinic director and PFFD Inc. founder Tina “QueenTite” Opaleke came into play. They were seated beside each other and began to share stories about mobility, charity, life’s purpose, prosthetics, and destiny. This day was the day we at PFFD Inc. found its purpose. That purpose was to recycle prosthetics like Iahnijah’s in countries like India, where the need is so very high.
Over the next 3 hours he poured knowledge into Tina about his country’s most marginalized. In that moment, they decided to change the way North America saw mobility. It all started with Iahnijah being comfortable being himself.
Iahnijah is the seed of inspiration planted, which has created roots. These roots are the foundation of PFFD- Prosthetics For Foreign Donation Inc. Through Iahnijah’s birth and the birth of this charity, we hope to raise amputee awareness about prosthetics and the people who desperately need them.
The gift of mobility comes wrapped with independence, and a renewed sense of dignity.
Help us give that gift!