LWB Community Blog

More than Halfway There For Grace!

I am just so humbled by the generosity shown to Grace, the sweet Ugandan girl who needs immediate surgery for her abdominal tumors. We are now at 70% of the funds needed, with $35,000 being raised in just a few short days. THANK YOU for your amazing kindness!

I wanted to share a bit more with you about just how incredible it is that she’s even getting this chance at a cure. So many things have to come together perfectly in order for a young girl living in a remote East African village to travel to Europe for complex medical care.

When we first confirmed the tumors had returned, we reached out to experts far and wide for opinions and were referred to Dr. Wim Ceelen at the university hospital in Ghent. We soon discovered that he’s one of the best in the world at performing the HIPEC (Hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy) procedure Grace needs, but he also told us he wouldn’t put her through such a major operation if he felt she wasn’t a good candidate for the repeat procedure. We waited on pins and needles for his answer, and after reviewing her medical file and test results, he accepted her for surgery!

We then needed a passport issued for Grace, which was a major step since when we first met her in her village she didn’t even have a birth certificate. She had to make several long trips to Uganda’s capital, but thankfully everything was approved with only a few small hiccups. Then we had to ask Belgium to grant her a medical visa, which isn’t always easy from Uganda, but the staff at the consulate in Kampala worked nonstop to expedite everything for her.

Of course, all of us have been feeling nervous about sending Grace and her mom to Europe since they’ve never left East Africa before and since they don’t speak English. But in a remarkable series of events, we connected with a lovely man living in Belgium who is not only from Uganda but from the exact same region as Grace and her mom. This means he SPEAKS RAKIGA, which only a small number of Ugandans do! He is going to pick them up at the airport when they arrive and get them safely to the hospital. It’s given me goosebumps to see everything coming together for Grace to get this opportunity.

And then….when we told you last Sunday about Grace needing urgent medical help, the kindness of those who have given so far has taken our breath away. All I can say is, “WHAT A COMMUNITY.” 

There is still so much good in this world, and I wish more than anything I could thank you all in person. 

We still aren’t to the full amount we need for her care, but I’m feeling SO hopeful that the funds will be raised. If you haven’t yet, would you please consider a donation of ANY amount to help Grace receive this essential operation? It’s truly her last chance to be healed.

Let’s all keep praying that Grace’s operation will go perfectly, with no complications and a complete and total cure. Grace has told us in the past that someday she wants to be a doctor just like the ones who have tried to save her life.

How wonderful is it to picture her in a white lab coat someday as a confident and beautiful adult? I absolutely believe that it’s possible if we all come together to help.

~Amy Eldridge, Chief Executive Officer

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