Saturday, February 11, 2012

Update from February 10

UPDATE from STARFISH BOARD as of 1pm Friday Feb 10th, 2012,

From Patrick McLaughlin:

My last post was an appeal for recommendations of high level medical administrators that can help us get Amanda the medical care she needs at a US, Canadian or European facility. My sincere thanks to all of you for your amazing networking! The response has been absolutely overwhelming, and we now have a clear idea of our top level options. We will sort through the requirements of each one and made a decision as quickly as possible. Thank you again!

Amanda has been diagnosed with uterine cancer (stage 4/type B). We shared all of the medical records with multiple oncologists and specialists scattered across globe. The physicians concur with the diagnosis and agree in principle with the chemotherapy regimen that commenced on February 8th. Amanda’s physician in Xi’an, Dr. Ma, has been forthright in his communication to the team and is clearly open to hearing the opinions of other qualified physicians. I have personally shared this information with Amanda’s mother and brother as well.

The near term plan (7-14 days out) is all about chemotherapy, analysis of that treatment and pain management. The long-term plan (30/60/90 days) will frankly be driven by both the results of the chemotherapy and Amanda’s direction to us based on those results. As you can appreciate, this is a very fluid and dynamic situation and I am on the phone four times/day with my team in Xi’an gathering information.

We can all take comfort in the fact that Amanda is surrounded by a compassionate cadre of dear friends and Starfish fans that continue to offer her love, friendship and guidance. The support group is literally bedside 24/7 taking full responsibility for feeding, hygiene, clothing changes, etc. The culture of Chinese hospital care requires all of the services be rendered by friends and family.

Regarding the ongoing care of the Starfish babies and the ongoing operation of the foster home, I have asked a fellow board member, Patrick Belnap, to fly to Xi’an to be an official representative of the Starfish Children’s Services Foundation. Patrick is married to a woman from Xi’an, has lived in China for six years and speaks fluent Mandarin and he will arrive in Xi’an on February 15th. Patrick is very well suited to be the “eyes and ears” for Starfish. His role will be broad and responsive as I have asked him to give me unvarnished feedback and advice on Amanda’s health, her care, the foster home, to act as a liaison with the local and provincial authorities

The kids and the nannies are doing well at the foster home considering the circumstances. I get daily confirmation of sufficient supplies of food, formula, diapers, medicine, etc. Rest assured we have a focus on the foster home and will keep you posted on any news.

Thank you to everyone for your service, commitment, and dedication to Amanda and to the babies of Starfish. We continue to request donations be made in Amanda’s behalf, by using the “Donate Now” button in the upper right hand corner of the website Please indicate your donation as a Dedication “in honor of”, and then type in “Amanda”. All the donations will be used to pay for Amanda's care.

As you can imagine, we are all heartbroken over Amanda's illness -- all of us on the Board have a special relationship with her, the foster home, and of course the babies. I want you to know that we are doing everything humanly possible to drive positive outcomes.

Thank you for your support, kindness, and love,


Patrick McLaughlin, Starfish Board President

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