A gift of life

December is the month set aside to reflect on Rotary’s area of focus Disease Prevention and Treatment.
The Rotary Foundation global grants have allowed me to see how the lives of six hundred children in China have been changed in the past ten years.
I have been involved in four global grants to support Gift of Life in Shanghai, China. These grants have provided life changing heart surgery to children as young as three months old, with most of the children age five or six. The global grants have each been US $150,000 to $200,000.
Part of every grant is training for new doctors and nurses to perform the surgery and to ensure post surgery care. Training new medical staff in remote areas has reduced costs by allowing the children to have post-operative care locally rather than the long bus or train journey to Shanghai.
I was asked why I spend so much time in a different country helping these children. On one of my first trips to the hospital, a doctor explained that one little girl needed emergency heart surgery, but her family could not pay for it. I asked him how much and he said $5,000. This small sum for one child’s life. The hospital just wanted the commitment that the money was available. My Rotary club made the commitment.
One year later, I went back to visit this little girl. She opened her shirt to show me her surgery scar and said, look this is my zipper. I said it's so beautiful and she said, do you think I would ever get married with this? I said, yes, I guarantee you will get married. It is this child and all the others that make me want to raise more dollars and save more children.

The parents come and kiss you and hug you and say thank you. They want to give me gifts, small things to me, great gifts for them. Sometimes they give bags of peanuts, hand made slippers or a scarf. This is from families with next to nothing. How can a person not want to work on the next grant and the next?
Magdalen R Leung
Member, TRF Maternal and Child Health and Disease Prevention and Treatment MGI committee.
Rotary Club of Richmond Sunset, District 5040
A gift to the Disease Prevention and Treatment area of focus can be made at www.Rotary.org/donate.  You can also support an area of focus with a gift in your estate plans or by establishing an endowment.
The Rotary Foundation named endowments are established with a gift of US $25,000 or more. Rotarians or friends of Rotary may create a permanent legacy in their own name or in honor of a friend or family member. Rotary pools these gifts for investment purposes but maintains a separate accounting for each named endowed fund. Donors receive a personalized endowed fund certificate suitable for framing when their fund is established, as well as annual financial updates.  www.Rotary.org/en/rotary-endowment