Wednesday, October 21, 2009

China's Children still need You

From the narrow, crowded roads of Kakinada, India, I finally arrived to the broad streets of Beijing: Home of 16 million people and 4 million cars. With that many cars, it doesn't matter how wide the roads are, they get just as packed as the roads in Kakinada.

Although many of the cities of China are now huge modern metro regions, there are still numerous issues that Children's Hope is attacking for China's orphans and children from impoverished homes.

Today at a Beijing Hospital, that regularly performs some of the more complex surgeries for Children's Hope cases, I met Yun Lian, from an orphanage in Yunchen. She was brought to Beijing for a possible surgery to correct a previous operation on her Spina Bifida, first performed at a county hospital near her orphanage seven years ago. Over 450 surgeries for Chinese children have been completed in 2009 because of your great support. Many of these were life-saving heart surgeries. Some are life-changing like Yun Lian's.

In the northern reaches of Beijing, I went to the ErKang Hospital to see a program that is changing the lives of children born with Cerebral Palsy. Through this program, the parents of children with CP are learning the therapy they need to administer so their children will have better range of motion. One 14-year-old, who had never walked prior to the program, is now rambling down the halls of the hospital with a big smile on his face.

For many of the poor rural families who have one of the three million Chinese children with CP, therapy is not available in their area and they can't afford it even if it was. So this program houses the parents and the children at the hospital so the child can receive therapy and the parents can, at the same time, learn how to perform the therapy techniques back at home. The length of stay is determined by the severity of the child's CP.

It was heart warming to hear about the numerous children who, with only the beginnings of therapy, are making great progress.
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