As most of you know, Jakob, my dad and I raised money for the charity Reece’s Rainbow during the mountainrace Lavaredo Ultra Trail in Italy almost five months ago. Reece’s Rainbow sponsor families who wish to adopt children with Down’s syndrome, that are HIV-positive or have other special needs, often from orphanages overseas. As always, you wonderful people helped us raise an amazing $ 2 325 for Reece’s Rainbow right here. A few days ago, I got a mail from Michelle at Reece’s Rainbow, asking us whether we had chosen a specific child to support yet. We asked her to choose a child for us, since we thought that she was best suited for the task and knew which adoption processes would need our money the most. Yesterday, Michelle replied that she had gone through the children on their site several times, feeling that she was unable to choose one child over another, and once again asked us to make a choice. I spent last evening browsing through the photos and stories on Reece’s Rainbow’s website and I appreciate Michelle’s dilemma. The more photos I saw and stories I read, the more I felt that our donation was a drop in the ocean for these kids. To spread all of the money out thin for all of them would accomplish a small bit, but with literally hundreds of children on the website, our donation would be only that. A drop. But the ocean would be smaller without that drop.
My wife, bless her, finally stumbled upon the child that Jakob, dad and I have chosen. Jacob is 4,5 years old and lives in China. He doesn’t have a definitive diagnosis, but probably has Down’s syndrome and a congenital heart defect featuring a ventricular septal defect. He hasn’t started to speak yet but understands the word “no” and doesn’t like to be bathed. He’s stubborn but gets along well with the other kids at the orphanage. He can roll but has poor muscle tone and can’t crawl or sit on his own. He can hold objects and follow them with his eyes. Considering his name, stubborness and diagnoses (I’ve recently started to specialize in pediatric cardiology), the choice was obvious. If you’d like to donate specifically to this small guy, visit his site right here.
If you like, you can consider Jacob the face of all of the children you have helped us support through your generous donations during the last few years with the various charities we’ve raised money for, including HOPE for Children, UNICEF, the children’s ward at Saint Francis’ Hospital in Katete, Zambia, and Reece’s Rainbow. 70 000 SEK in total and counting! Your commitment to our causes inspires us to continue our fundraising and we promise we’ll be back with a new challenge for you next summer!
In conclusion, please let us leave you with a few words by one of the greatest saints of the last century, the blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta:
Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten. That is a much greater hunger than the person who has nothing to eat.
J + J + J