Saturday, March 03, 2012

Update on Amanda, February 28


This is the fifth week since Amanda entered the hospital for cancer. We have entered a transition period for both Amanda and Starfish. Here are the updates for each:

1) Amanda has completed her first round of chemotherapy. She came through it like a champion and without significant side effects. She is now taking one week off, resting at a friend’s home in Xi’an. Per her request and the agreement of the Board, she will be transferred to Nashville, Tennessee in the United States where she has been offered free services for the hospital, doctors and medications for her continued treatments. She has a number of friends in Nashville who are setting things up for her so she will have a comfortable place to recover in between hospital stays. Amanda is alert and involved in all the decisions pertaining to her health and well-being.

2) The babies at Starfish are doing great. Doctors from the large orphanage nearby come weekly to check on the babies’ health and make sure they are all doing well. Patrick Belnap, the Starfish interim director, is working hard to keep everything organized and well-run. The staff and volunteers are busily engaged in doing their share, and there is even time to celebrate a little. With this note is a photo of a recent team dinner put on at Starfish by the volunteers.

3) Starfish Foster Home continues to go through transitioning. Since Amanda is not able to be front and center at this time, we are working closely with the Xi’an Orphanage and civil authorities to settle legal, financial and logistical issues in her absence. Amanda has been assisting with the decisions and direction as much as she is able. It will take some time to get the issues resolved, but we are hopeful that in the near future we will be over this bump.

Thank you to all the friends of Amanda and Starfish. Without your help, we could not be weathering this challenging time as well as we are. Thank you for your continued prayers on Amanda’s behalf. She is buoyed up in spirit by those prayers and it gives her courage to “keep on keeping on.” I will continue to post weekly updates on Amanda and Starfish.

Thank you for your kindness and support.

Patrick McLaughlin and the Starfish Board

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