An update and letter from Christina, May 9, 2007
Today I am very happy to report to you that your overwhelming love and undying faith have enabled a miracle to occur. Three short months ago my doctors told me that there wasn't anything they could do for me and that I was to begin preparing for my demise at the age of 23. However, because of your constant prayers and support I was given the opportunity to spend six weeks at a Health Institute in West Palm Beach, Fl. I am pleased to announce that according to all blood tests I have reached a state of complete remission from stage 4 cancer. I am even more pleased to announce that apart from saving me you helped to save our baby girl!! Our baby, Katarina, is strong, healthy and expected to be born in the month of May.
I do not have words to express my gratitude and appreciation for all that you have done for both me and my husband. This ordeal tested our faith and our commitment to each other in every way possible. There were times when both he and I felt as though we were holding the weight of the world on our shoulders. The most difficult aspect of this painful experience, apart from trying to keep the baby safe, was watching the emotional turmoil that was enveloping the heart and mind of my husband. Fortunately, all of this changed for us the day we began to receive such overwhelming responses from all of you. It was you who gave us the strength and courage to continue fighting this and it was you who enabled me to seek alternative treatment. It is only by your prayers, emotional support and financial support that I am sitting here writing you this letter today and it is because of you that my husband and I are eagerly looking forward to the birth of our first child.
Honestly, you have done more for me than you will ever know. You did more than just save my material body, you opened my heart and you breathed new life into my soul. My trust in all people has been renewed while my faith in God has been made ever stronger. You did the same for Bala and I am able to see a light in his eyes that had begun to fade just a few months ago. I thank you with every beat of my heart.
It is said that it takes a community to raise a child, in this case, it took a community to save a child and you are as much her family as we are. She will know what you did for her and for her parents. She will come to love, respect and admire all of you for what you have done. She will begin her life with more love and devotion than any other child because she has felt your love for her all along. There are no words to express my personal gratitude to all of you. I can tell you only that my heart is overflowing with appreciation and love for you and I promise you that I will take this second chance that you have given me and use it to serve those in need and to serve God. May God bless you and your families.
February 12, 2007
My daughter, Prtha, called me one night last week, in tears for her friends, Christina and Bala. Christina and Bala are a young married couple living in Gainesville, Florida. It was recently discovered during a prenatal exam that the 23-year-old Christina, has Stage 4 ovarian cancer. She is 5 months pregnant. When given the choice between the chemotherapy and radiation that could possibly save her life, but would kill her unborn child, Christina decided against treatment. They are hoping she will live at least two more months so the child can be in utero for 7 months.
Her husband, Bala, has quit his graduate studies but is still forced to work a full-time job in order to pay for their housing and living expenses. Kindred Spirits is participating in a collection to raise funds so Bala can stay at home the last few months of Christina's life caring for her and preparing for the birth of their child.
Many of you have already graciously and generously donated to this cause. If you have not and would like to do so, you can drop it off or mail it to the store. All money goes directly to them for immediate use.
While thanking a kindred spirit for donating, she remarked, "It takes a village to raise a child". Reflexively I thought of the unborn baby. But then I contemplated, which is the child that will be raised by these acts of kindness - the baby? Christina? The father? Everyone whose heart goes out in compassion? Do we not all progress to a higher place when, out of compassion, we lend a helping hand? Perhaps it is a child who RAISES a village.