Monday, February 9, 2009

Project Musa update

(Note: There are photo images in this post that may be upsetting.)

As many of you know, I have been working for about a year now, along with friends from church, to bring a little boy from Sierra Leone here to the US for much-needed medical treatment. As I wrote a few months ago, we've had to make some difficult decisions lately about how to proceed.

Unfortunately, despite many phone calls and e-mails to various doctors, hospitals, and aid organizations around the region and across the country, we have not been able to find a hospital in this country willing to take on Musa's treatment. In addition, every professional we talked to felt that bringing Musa and his mother to the US for treatment would be far more disruptive to him and his family than it would be helpful. And, because these hospitals were not able to donate their services, raising the hundreds of thousands of dollars it would take to bring him here doesn't seem like a feasible plan in such trying economic times. In fact, all of the hospitals and many of the organizations we approached told us that their budgets for such aid had been cut, and they have to focus on children in the US and immediate region.

We've decided, therefore, to focus our aid to Musa in a more practical way. We have been able to secure free and reduced-cost medical supplies for Musa through Hollister International, for as long as he needs them. This provides a huge amount of support for Musa and his family, and we are happy to have been able to help in this way, at least. We also have opened a special fund at my church for Musa to help the family get him medical treatment in Africa. Musa's uncle, who lives here in Delaware, has opened communication a few people in Ghana, in the hopes that medical treatment might be available for Musa at the children's hospital in Accra. We have already provided the family money so they could get passports for Musa and his mother, and we are hopeful that this hospital in Ghana may be a good option. Then the money we have raised so far can be used for Musa's travel and medical expenses in Ghana -- which is a much more feasible trip, obviously.

I'm writing today for a couple of reasons: First, to update you on our endeavors, because you have asked me of our progress, and because you have prayed for Musa and for me during this last year. I can't tell you how much I appreciate your support, suggestions, and prayers. Second, many of you have asked if you can help in any way financially. Please know I am not asking you to give money unless you feel absolutely compelled, because really, I don't know how the money will ultimately be used, other than to help Musa in some way. However, if you do feel called to help with a small donation, you may send a check payable to Trinity Presbyterian Church, 1120 Darley Rd, Wilmington DE 19810. Mark your check "Musa" on the notes line.

You don't have to let me know if you plan to contribute, but we're hoping to wrap our fundraising up in the coming week. If you have any questions and would like to contact the church directly, please call 302-475-5495 or e-mail Barbara Price-Martin at

Thank you for all your prayers and support -- even though most of you knew I'd bitten off more than I could chew, you all have been so encouraging and hopeful. This was truly a learning experience, and although I am disappointed that I didn't meet my ultimate goal, I feel satisfied knowing that Musa will receive continued care, and quite possibly the medical treatment he needs in Ghana. I have felt strongly through this whole process that just showing this child and his mother our love is more precious than any amount of money we could give them.

Please keep Musa and his family in your prayers. As the family keeps reminding me, with God, all things are possible. I hope to someday post another update -- with a photo of this beautiful kid, smiling and happy and whole!

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