Friday, July 26, 2013

Help Mark Get His Miracle!

It takes at least two months for the subtle signs of Biliary Atresia to manifest, to be more than just jaundice and discomfort; for parents to begin to worry about their fussy little baby whose skin is turning more and more yellow. Worry turns to horror when a doctor explains the reality of Biliary Atresia: expensive surgeries, uncertain prognosis, local hospital's inability to perform the surgery, medicines that would cost them everything they own... an extremely high chance that the child would need a liver transplant as soon as possible and a lower than low chance that an organ would ever become available for their son.

Their son...

Mark was born on a crisp day in November in a southeastern province of China. Four months later he was abandoned at the local hospital. The police searched for his parents but couldn't find him and Mark was taken to the orphanage. When he arrived at the orphanage he was very jaundiced. A generally content baby, Mark was always in discomfort. The local hospital confirmed that he had Biliary Atresia but there was nothing that they could do. Ill-equipped to save his life, yet holding on to the belief that no child should be given up on, the orphanage contacted New Day Foster Home. They asked us to save his life.

In June, seven-month old Mark arrived into our care. We had never seen a little one with such severe and progressed liver disease. Mark's abdomen was so distended he could not roll over. He was in continual pain and comforting him was a huge job for our nannies. But we discovered that he loved to be interacted with, that when he was feeling his best he would delight us with a sweet laugh and that he loved to go outside.

A month after he arrived we admitted Mark into a hospital in Beijing that specialized in liver disease. They had successfully found livers for two of our other children who had needed liver transplants - beating the odds and proving that miracles do indeed happen. The hospital promised to try, while at the same time reminding us that organ donation is so unusual in China that Mark had little chance of getting an organ. Meanwhile visitors, hearing the stories of our other miracle children announced in awe that "it's impossible for an orphan to receive an organ."

Mark is currently very sick and in the beginning stages of liver failure. The doctors have told us that he doesn't have much time left and are working double-time to find him a liver. It's his only hope.

Not only are Mark's chances slim, but his costs are high. The surgery will cost $35,000. But we were willing to take the risk and love Mark, bring him in and give him a chance at life. We're also willing to pay the high costs for his surgery... when a little boy's life is at stake, how can you say no?

Today we are giving you an opportunity to play a part in Mark's Miracle. Please know that we won't postpone Mark's surgery if it has not been fully funded. Right now, Mark is in the hospital fighting for his life but we are thankful that he has a loving nanny by his side at all times providing him with the tender loving care that is so essential for survival.

What can you do? 
Give a donation towards Mark's medical costs by making a one-time donation to our Medical and Surgical fund and putting "Mark's Miracle" in the memo.

Get your kids involved! We are arranging for "Get Well Soon" cards to be carried over for Mark. Encourage your children to write prayers or blessings for Mark and then do their best artwork. E-mail Hannah Samuels for mailing information.

By participating in this fundraiser you are helping to save not just one child's life, but you are giving orphans all around China a hope and a future. Thank you

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