Adonai Child Rehabilitation (ACR) is a Christian faith-based ministry in Myanmar that was established on May 20, 2016. This ministry creates a place of rehabilitation for children and teenagers from various backgrounds like orphans, unwanted children, street children, and poor children. We are partnering with them to help provide nutritious food for their 11 orphans this year, as well as some other basic necessities like school supplies, clothing, and bedding.
Thanks to our donors, Henry and Lisa Chang and Grandma Chu's Love Fund, our fundraising goal for ACR this year has already been met!
Behcet's disease, also known as "the Silk Road disease," is a rare disease that leads to the development of ulcers. On May 28th, the Behcet's Disease Patient Union from Beijing Baikailan Behcet's Disease Care Center hosted the 2016 International Behcet's Disease Care/Awareness Day with a conference for doctors and patients in Guangzhou to promote awareness.
Behcet’s disease patients and their family members, medical experts, researchers, media staff, and volunteers from all over the world (with a total of 70 people) attended this event and talked face-to-face about disease prevention and control.
Our annual Little Red Scarf Summer Camp in Gansu is coming up in August. This weeklong camp gives us a chance to interact more with our post-surgery children and their siblings. We are pleased to welcome volunteers Cindy and Shawn Chung to help us serve this year!
Cindy’s family immigrated to Canada from Taiwan in 1998. They got connected with TFish through Cindy’s aunt, Amy Chao, who is one of the founders. Cindy and Shawn, her 14-year-old son, have already been volunteering as translators for LRS for a few years. Their desire to meet the children in Gansu has grown from reading about them in the stories they translate.
Unbearable Pain from Serious Illness
This family of 7 lives in a remote mountain area in Zhangjiachuan County, Gansu. In the past decade, they have had to deal with 4 of their members battling serious illnesses. We first learned about them when they needed help for their son Xiao Ma, who had congenital heart disease. Now they are desperately trying to save another son, Xiao Jun, from bone marrow cancer.
Xiao Ma Diagnosed with Congenital Heart Disease
Xiao Ma was diagnosed with congenital heart disease when he was only 7-8 months old. The doctor told the family the surgery would cost 10,000 RMB ($1,500 USD), which the family couldn’t afford. They had to give up on surgery for Xiao Ma at that time.
This creative fundraising event connects young musicians for a worthy cause. Emily and Lauren Kam started YMW in 2013 and have hosted it for 4 years in a row.
Emily and her older sister Lauren started Young Musicians Workshop the summer after Emily finished 7th grade. They have both been playing violin and piano for many years and especially love playing in quartets. Emily plays viola as well. “We wanted to use our gifts and abilities to help others,” Emily shared.
At the end of 2014, I met Xiao Yong, a patient with complex congenital heart disease. One operation was not enough to heal him, so it was difficult to receive support from other organizations. I saw Xiao Yong in Yunda Hospital when he had just completed his first operation. He was a timid 14-year-old boy.
On April 15, 2016, I saw Xiao Yong and his mother in Yunda Hospital again. 15-year-old Xiao Yong had grown much taller but was still shy.
His mother explained their family's situation. Their family of 5 has a little more than an acre of fields, which they use to plant tobacco and corn. They have about 20,000 RMB ($3,000 USD) of income per year. Life would not be too difficult if everyone were healthy. However, Xiao Yong's grandfather died of cancer in April 2014, and his grandmother was diagnosed with cancer, too. Life became desperate.
Xiao Yong’s grandparents had earned enough for their daily expenses by working small jobs outside of the house. All the field work was done by his parents. Xiao Yong was diagnosed with complex congenital heart disease when he was 3 months old. His mother was concerned and wanted to give him treatment in the hospital. They tried their best to save money, but his grandparents’ illness spent all their savings. They owed heavy debts.
We hope they will not have to wait too long. Xiao Yong is very young. He deserves a healthy and fresh future like his peers. LRS will try its best to care and protect patients like him, no matter their age. Let’s pass on blessings to one another for life.
His mother said his grandmother passed away last July. There are 4 people in the family now: the father, mother, Xiao Yong, and his brother. The family owed 110,000 RMB ($16,600 USD) after paying for the treatment and funerals for his grandparents. They planted some wheat, but lost all of it due to frosty weather last year. They borrowed 3,000 RMB ($450 USD) this time from relatives to come to the hospital. After paying 2,000 RMB ($300 USD) to the hospital, they only had about 300 RMB ($45 USD) left.
Almost Giving Up
Jia Jia had heart surgery with the support of LRS in January 2015. Before then, her family had a difficult time seeking treatment for her. When her parents were told they had to prepare 190,000 RMB ($28,700 USD) for the operation, they were about to give up and leave the hospital the next day. Her father could not help but cry on the street corner. When they were doing paper work to leave the hospital, her mother saw San San, a staff in Zhongjia who had gone to the village to screen children for heart disease. The same day, San San called LRS.
Jia Jia brought me a cup of water when I first saw her. When her mother was telling me their difficult situation, she was sad and tried hard to keep back tears. She put an apple in my bag quietly. I often thought of her black eyes.
Our staff is committed to staying in touch with LRS beneficiaries and their families, even years after the heart surgeries.
In July 2012 Little Red Scarf funded 10 children with congenital heart disease. After 4 years, we have been able to stay in touch with 8 of those families. (Two families have changed their phone numbers and can't be reached—Xue Juan's and Yong Run's.) One family in particular has a father who has been seriously ill for 2 years, resulting in significant poverty.
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