I worked long and hard with Matt, a single man looking to start his family with the help of a very selfless and caring gestational carrier and egg donor. He wanted to be a father although hadn’t yet found a mate he wanted to settle down with. He took matters into his own hands and is now happily a father. Congratulations, Matt. I was proud to be part of your team.
It is with great joy that I welcome baby Eric. We are happy to finally meet you. Check out his personalized birth announcement. It’s not the typical announcement, which is a testament to the fact this boy’s life is going to be anything but typical!
I received this wonderful official update via www.change.org regarding little Sarah Murnaghan. I wanted to share it with all our followers to let you know that your voice was heard!
To all of you who have taken up Sarah’s cause and signed this petition to change the Under 12 Rule – thank you! Your incredible efforts have helped change policy and save lives.
On June 10, the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) board unanimously passed a resolution to allow children under 12 to be considered for the adult lung transplant list on a case-by-case basis by OPTN’s Lung Review Board.
Three days before, a federal judge had granted Sarah and another boy – Javier Acosta, who is also in Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia with end-stage cystic fibrosis – a temporary restraining order that allowed them to be considered for an adult lung transplant based on their Lung Allocation Scores (LAS).
On June 13, we received news that adult donor lungs became available and Sarah received a lung transplant.
Sarah got lungs quickly after going to the adult list because her LAS finally mattered and she was the sickest one on the list. She had an LAS of 91 out of 100 when transplanted.
We are in the early stages of recovery and Sarah’s battle has been rough, but we’re continuing to fight.
As difficult as this process has been post-surgery, we appreciate that OPTN has now opened the door for other children in Sarah’s unique position to become eligible for adult lung transplant.
The OPTN’s decision does not mean that children under 12 will automatically go to the front of the transplant line. They will not receive special treatment, but they will now be placed on the waiting list based on the severity of their illness the same way people 12 and over are listed.
We hope Sarah’s story moves people to become organ donors, because more than any ruling, it is the heroes who donate their organs that save lives.
God bless you all for standing by Sarah. Thank you to Congressman Pat Meehan, Senator Pat Toomey, Senator Bob Casey, Congressman Lou Barletta, Governor Tom Corbett and all of the other elected officials who fought to change the Under 12 Rule. To all of Sarah’s supporters who signed this Change.org petition, we thank you and ask for your continued prayers in support of Sarah and all people waiting for organ transplants.
Janet, Fran, Sarah, Ella, Sean and Finn Murnaghan
Little Sarah Murnaghan has end stage Cystic Fibrosis. I received this email from my sister in law and hope that all our followers will read it seriously and do what they can to help change the policy to allow pediatric transplants of adult lungs based on medical necessity. You may have seen this story in the news and not known how to help. Here is the information that will direct you how to take a few moments to help implement change.
If you can, please send the suggested letter below to help save little Sarah’s life. Time is of the essence. I may have mentioned before that my co-worker, Sharon, Sarah’s aunt, lost her young son in a matter of months to a rare disease a few years back and now her sister and brother-in-law are in the same painful state with their beautiful young daughter. So incredibly sad. These two women are some of the most unselfish and amazing women I can think of. Between the two of them have adopted 5 very impoverished kids from other countries and are opening a school for orphaned children. There has been a media blitz to bring light to this transplant issue. Pretty amazing to get 70 thousand signatures on a petition on 3 days.
Here’s one of the clips from CNN:
Of course this is a personal choice, but if you feel like you’d like to help, please send the letter below. Please also feel free to share this email.
From: Family and Friends of Sarah Murnaghan
Sent: Thursday, May 30, 2013 10:21 AM
Subject: Update about ‘OPTN/UNOS: Change Policy to Allow Pediatric Transplants of Adult Lungs Based on Medical Necessity’ on Change.org
We need to act quickly to get this policy changed. Please email HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius at firstname.lastname@example.org. She oversees OPTN/UNOS. You can use the below email to reach out to her. Thank you for your continued support as we work to save Sarah!
Dear Madam Secretary:
The refusal of the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network to permit 10-year-old Sarah Murnaghan to receive an adult donor lung is tragically unfair.
I write to you today to join Sarah’s more than 70,000 family and friends who have signed www.change.org/savesarah (in just 3 days!) requesting that you convene an immediate meeting of the Board or its Executive Committee to address this situation and act to give Sarah a chance at life and an adult lung from the next available donor.
Time is truly of the essence for Sarah, so please act now. Thank you.
As Mother’s Day sentiments are flying around social media today, I think of how blessed I am to have my children; children that are my miracles and I’m so very thankful for my mother. Without her, I wouldn’t be half the person I am today. It’s an honor to help women on a daily basis so that they can realize their dream of motherhood.
Appropriately, I received this note today; it warms my heart and reminds me of why I do what I do.
I want to wish you a very Happy Mother’s Day & express my gratitude yet again to you & my donor for enabling me to be a mother. As I said last year, there is not a day that goes by, not just on the holidays, that I am not eternally grateful for the blessing that I have been given. I’m sure that I will always feel this way. I will never take this gift that I have been given for granted. As a matter of fact, this year I am doubly blessed because I was able to provide a brother for my daughter just 3 months ago. Words don’t adequately express the joy that I feel & my amazement that all of this is even possible however, I think that you have an idea.
Much love, S.H.
I came upon this inspiring video this morning among all the other quotes and resolutions being posted on social media. It really hit home and was by far my favorite. I hope that you enjoy it too. My wish for you for 2013 and everyday is that you are filled with abundant joy, prosperity and positive healthy thoughts should tough times visit you.
MOSCOW (AP) — President Vladimir Putin on Friday signed a law banning Americans from adopting Russian children, abruptly terminating the prospects for more than 50 youngsters preparing to join new families and sparking critics to liken him to King Herod.
The move is part of a harsh response to a U.S. law targeting Russians deemed to be human rights violators. Although some top Russian officials including the foreign minister openly opposed the bill, Putin signed it less than 24 hours after receiving it from Parliament, where it passed both houses overwhelmingly.
The law also calls for the closure of non-governmental organizations receiving American funding if their activities are classified as political — a broad definition many fear could be used to close any NGO that offends the Kremlin.
The law takes effect Jan. 1, the Kremlin said. Children’s rights ombudsman Pavel Astakhov said 52 children who were in the pipeline for U.S. adoption would remain in Russia.
The ban is in response to a measure signed into law by President Barack Obama this month that calls for sanctions against Russians assessed to be human rights violators.
That stems from the case of Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian lawyer who was arrested after accusing officials of a $230 million tax fraud. He was repeatedly denied medical treatment and died in jail in 2009. Russian rights groups claimed he was severely beaten.
A prison doctor who was the only official charged in the case was acquitted by a Moscow court on Friday. Although there was no demonstrable connection to Putin’s signing the law a few hours later, the timing underlines what critics say is Russia’s refusal to responsibly pursue the case.
The adoption ban has angered both Americans and Russians who argue it victimizes children to make a political point, cutting off a route out of frequently dismal orphanages for thousands.
“The king is Herod,” popular writer Oleg Shargunov said on his Twitter account, referring to the Roman-appointed king of Judea at the time of Jesus Christ’s birth, who the Bible says ordered the massacre of Jewish children to avoid being supplanted by a prophesied newborn king of the Jews.
A painting depicting the massacre and captioned “an appropriate response to the Magnitsky act” spread widely on the Internet. The phrase echoed Putin’s characterization of the ban while it was under consideration.
U.S. State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell expressed regret over Putin’s signing the law and urged Russia to “allow those children who have already met and bonded with their future parents to finish the necessary legal procedures so that they can join their families.”
Vladimir Lukin, head of the Russian Human Rights Commission and a former ambassador to Washington, said he would challenge the law in the Constitutional Court.
The U.S. law galvanized Russian resentment of the United States, which Putin has claimed funded and encouraged the wave of massive anti-government protests that arose last winter.
The Parliament initially considered a relatively similar retaliatory measure, but amendments have expanded it far beyond a tit-for-tat response.
UNICEF estimates that there are about 740,000 children not in parental custody in Russia while about 18,000 Russians are on the waiting list to adopt a child. The U.S. is the biggest destination for adopted Russian children — more than 60,000 of them have been taken in by Americans over the past two decades.
Russians historically have been less enthusiastic about adopting children than most Western cultures. Putin, along with signing the adoption ban, on Friday issued an order for the government to develop a program to provide more support for adopted children.
Lev Ponomarev, one of Russia’s most prominent human rights activists, hinted at that reluctance when he said Parliament members who voted for the bill should take custody of the children who were about to be adopted.
“The moral responsibility lies on them,” he told Interfax. “But I don’t think that even one child will be taken to be brought up by deputies of the Duma.”
Many Russians have been distressed for years by reports of Russian children dying or suffering abuse at the hands of their American adoptive parents. The new Russian law was dubbed the “Dima Yakovlev Bill” after a toddler who died in 2008 when his American adoptive father left him in a car in broiling heat for hours.
In that case, the father was found not guilty of involuntary manslaughter and Russia has complained of acquittals or light sentences in other such cases.
The Investigative Committee, Russia’s top investigative body, on Friday complained that its attempts to have the acquittals overturned or reconsidered had been ignored by the United States. Under U.S. law, acquittals are final except in rare cases.
Russians also bristled at how the widespread adoptions appeared to show them as hardhearted or too poor to take care of orphans. Astakhov, the children’s ombudsman, charged that well-heeled Americans often got priority over Russians who wanted to adopt.
A few lawmakers even claimed that some Russian children were adopted by Americans only to be used for organ transplants or become sex toys or cannon fodder for the U.S. Army. A spokesman for Russia’s dominant Orthodox Church said that children adopted by foreigners and raised outside the church will not enter God’s kingdom.
Mansur Mirovalev and Nataliya Vasilyeva in Moscow contributed to this story.
Copyright © 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
I love Mondays with good news! Here is a note I received this morning…
It is our time! I am pregnant
Thank you so much for all that you did. There are no words right now. One step at a time -
Heartfelt Congratulations to D&V!!
These are the days I love – when prospective parents communicate their appreciation of their egg donor in writing. I encourage our prospective parents to send a letter to their egg donor (through me) so that their donor can truly understand the impact of their donation. Below is a letter I received from prospective parents; their words are from the heart and I’m sure they will touch the donor’s heart in a way she will appreciate for the rest of her life.
I am writing to let you know that you have given me and my family a chance of fulfilling a dream that seemed elusive and impossible to us for so long. I am specifically writing before my transfer because you need to know of the impact you have made in our lives before we find out the results.
I was barely 25 when the doctor who diagnosed me with my illness sat across from my husband and me and said quite flatly that I would never have children. We found out later that he went beyond what he was supposed to do during my surgery and damaged my ovaries beyond repair. So there I was, 25 and having hot flashes with my mother-in-law and aunts and watching my sisters and cousins having their first, second, and third children.
It hurt in many inexplicable ways. First, so much so that I was just in a bad mood constantly and couldn’t figure out why. Eventually, I was able to become spiritual enough that I was able to look inside and accept the situation and find joy in the many nieces and nephews that surrounded me. I got to a very good place of not being jealous, but truly happy for the opportunities that I was given to have the love of a child.
There were sticking points in that place, however. It was the look on my husband’s face when we went to yet another baby shower or christening in addition to the look he and everybody else would give me at those events. The pity was almost as bad as the insensitive folks who would ask “what is taking you so long”. So, we decided to look forward instead of backward and we knew that there was a way as long as we had faith.
That is how we found you. Having been through what we had to go through a few times, words alone cannot express the gratitude that was in my heart as we left the doctor’s office on Monday. The thought that someone would so selflessly give up a part of themselves to help us was overwhelming and silent tears fell all the way home.
So, regardless of the outcome, we thank the heavens for bringing you to us and we thank you for the hope that we will always have because we have gotten this far.
All the best in everything that you choose to do,