Cooper’s Story

We knew something was wrong during our first trimester they suspected either dwarfism or Down syndrome. We had the amniocentesis done and everything came back normal so the figured some kind of dwarfism. They told us in so many words without actually saying it (abortion) that there was other options and that was a definite no for us.

Then I was carrying to much amniotic fluid so we had to go to the hospital so they could do a reduction of amniotic fluid. That day I was having contractions and didn’t even know it and I was only around 26 weeks. About a week and ½ later my amniotic fluid started to slowly leak so they flew me about 100 miles to Sioux Falls. They gave me medicine to stop the contractions again and I was on bed rest for the next 17 days.

Cooper was born at 32 weeks and he was 5lb. 4 oz and was 17in. long. They rushed him off and after about 4 hours we got to see him. He was on the ventilator and IV’s. They said he probably has some kind of syndrome and that his liver and spleen were enlarged. The geneticist sent off [...] continue the story

How did you tell your children you were diagnosed with cancer?

member9982 (Survivor (2 – 5 years)) – 09 / 16 / 2011

My husband and I told our children together. At the time they were 14, 15 and 19. Although the diagnosis of Triple Negative Breast Cancer can be frightning, we tried not to pass that on to them. I was a little evasive about the actual stage and type of breast cancer. I followed my oncologist’s lead and was as positive as I could be. My husband and I both decided that leaning too heavily on them would be a little too much, especially at this age. Of course that’s not to say they didn’t have to pitch in and help! If I would do anything differently, I would only have tried to make a little more time to spend with each of them alone to talk about their reaction. At the time with so many appointments, chemo,and surgery, it was overwhelming.

DebbieWWGN (Survivor (2 – 5 years)) – 09 / 16 / 2011 From the time of my mammogram to actual diagnosis was five months. My husband and I decided to tell our children, ages 15 and 12, nothing until I was certain of the diagnosis and treatment plan. I have [...] continue the story

Albino Killings in Africa

Once, albinos only had to fear the burning sun and constantly seek the shade. But now they also fear what is hiding in the shadows. Many of Tanzania’s 170,000 albinos have gone into hiding. They are being hunted because witchdoctors are spreading the belief that albinos possess a magical power. They believe that body parts from albinos can make you rich, so they make potions and charms from albinos’ legs, hair, hands, and blood. Since 2007 Tanzanians have killed 54 albinos, most of them children, hoping to obtain wealth and success. The killings continue despite government efforts to stop the practice. The Mitindo Primary School in the northern part of Tanzania is a school for the blind and visually impaired. Now the school is overrun by Albino children seeking a safe haven. Manyasi is one of the children on the run. His sister was brutally murdered and mutilated by ritual killers in 2008. In September 2009 the first trial against three men accused of killing albinos began.

Suzanne S. Nielsen & Camilla Folsach Madsen

 

Life for a Child

Diabetes is fast emerging as one of the most serious health problems of our time – a global epidemic that claims more lives each year than HIV/AIDS. Children with diabetes in the developing world are particularly vulnerable. Many lack access to proper care and the life-saving medicines they need to survive. As a result, they become chronically ill; many die quickly, while others develop severe complications such as kidney failure, blindness and nerve damage. Directed by Academy Award-nominee Edward Lachman, the documentary “Life for a Child” follows the journeys of children with Type 1 diabetes amid the verdant mountains and swarming streets of Nepal, one the world’s poorest countries. Through their eyes and in their words, we experience their life-and-death struggle to survive – and, in fact, even thrive.

Sibusiso

Sibusiso is a center for children with mental disabilities located in Arusha, Tanzania. Mentally disabled children here have limited possibilities to realize their developement potential because within Tanzanian culture, a handicap is often regarded as a taboo and a punishment from God. Sibusiso’s mission is to increase the acceptance of mentally handicapped children and to give them the opportunity to discover and develop their capabilities.