Tuesday, December 30, 2014

A Birthday Wish

Read an update about Sharon here.
{Please read this story to the end to see what my birthday wish is and how you can help.}
On January 1, 1997, in a little village in Uganda a baby girl was born.  Her mama was only 16 years old, yet this was her second child.  She was probably born in their dark, little home in an unhygienic situation.  Her name would be Sharon.

The next day, January 2, 1997, an ocean away in Singapore, another baby was born.  Her parents were American missionaries there and she was their firstborn.  She was born in a nice hospital.  She was given the name Caralina.

The little girls lived separate lives.  Caralina moved back to America and lived a practically normal childhood for a little girl in America and would soon have a little sister and brother.  Sharon would live a much more difficult life, gaining many more siblings and, at one point when she was 18 months old, getting very sick. Her parents would take her to a small hospital where all tests were negative, so they sent her to a bigger hospital.  There they would find out that she had heart problems, most likely caused by undetected and untreated strep throat.  In 2008, Caralina and her family moved to Good Shepherd's Fold Orphanage in Uganda, only a thirty minute walk from Sharon, but still the girls never met.  

Then, a few things happened.  Sharon was preparing to take the national primary school exam in August 2013.  With all the stress, she suddenly began having heart problems again, got very sick and was taken to the big government hospital. They quickly admitted her even though they knew the family could not pay {this is very rare for a hospital to do in Uganda, so it must have been urgent}.  Then, in February 2014, Sharon's mother had another baby and that baby was put on GSF's feeding program.  In December, when Caralina's mother heard Sharon sing at the feeding program Christmas party, their worlds touched.  After hearing Sharon's story, Caralina's mother asked for more information to see how they could help.  After seeing the information, she was shocked to see that Sharon was born only one day before her daughter, Caralina's birthday.

Upon hearing about Sharon, I {Caralina} wanted to do something to help her.  I kept seeing her picture around our house on the front page of the report about her and wishing I actually knew her and could talk to her.  Since we only found out about Sharon right before the holidays I have not yet met her, but hope to soon.

Here's the details:  When Sharon was taken to the government hospital in August 2013, they told her she needed to go to India for heart surgery.  Since Sharon currently does not have the funds to go to India, she has to travel to the government hospital every month, to get medicine to help stabilize her heart.  In order to fund these trips, she enjoys making mats which she sells for a little less than the equivalent of $5, but she has to sell six each month in order to make the journey and buy the medicine.  The trip to India will cost approximately $8000 and the family's debt at the government hospital is almost $500.

Sharon's 18th birthday is on Thursday and mine is on Friday.  My birthday wish is to give Sharon a gift with your help -  her debt being cleared and her India trip/surgery paid for.  My goal is to raise $10,000 to make sure all her fees are covered.
Would you like to help me achieve my birthday wish and give Sharon a birthday gift she won't soon forget?  Click here to donate.  Click on 'Support' under the Gwartney family, put in the comments 'Sharon's Heart Project'.  All funds with this designation will be used for  Sharon's expenses.  If extra funds are collected or if any thing happens to Sharon before her heart surgery, all extra funds will be used for other medical projects in our surrounding villages.  Thank you!
A picture of Sharon taken by GSF's social worker

1 comment:

  1. I love this and your giving heart Caralina! Awesome job on the blog and starting this project for Sharon. Praying you will reach the goal you have set and Praying for you as you prepare to start college this year! Love and hugs!