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Posted from White Swan, Washington (USA) at 11:33 PM local time
Help Z Help Sitthy
Happy Thanksgiving to all of you out there who celebrate the holiday. Our family was together this year, and we just followed up our typical feast with a Ma Labbee exercise of thanks. Our task this year involved recording notes of thanks on paper leaves. We were instructed to write down things we were grateful for and scatter our notes throughout the house; then, at the end of the evening (leaves collected), we sat around the room and took turns reading notes from the pile of leaves. For every leaf of thanks shared, a small sum of money would be given to a charitable cause. So, after making it through thanks for new babies, warm beds, hot showers, and all the other blessings of life, we decided our donation would benefit a Cambodian woman named Sitthy.
Twenty-three-year-old Saem Sitthy is suffering from kidney failure. Until her September diagnosis, Sitthy was working for Action Pour Les Enfants, a non-governmental organization fighting to protect children's rights. She has since been hospitalized, and her medical bills are mounting. Sitthy's parents are subsistence farmers, and while they've been at her side throughout her hospitalization, the family is unable to afford the medical services she requires. Monthly expenses run in the hundreds of dollars, while a kidney transplant would require roughly $25,000. Sitthy's survival is dependent upon receiving adequate medical care - and in a country like Cambodia, there's no guarantee she'll get it.
One of Sitthy's colleagues is a human rights lawyer who grew up in Zimbabwe. Due to the sensitive nature of her work bringing cases against foreign pedophiles in Cambodia, I will refer to her simply as "Z." Upon her arrival in Cambodia, Z quickly became attached to Sitthy, a woman she calls "remarkable." In response to her diagnosis and the crippling expenses associated with Sitthy's medical care, Z decided to seek sponsors to support her entry in the Bangkok Marathon. This Sunday, she will be running 42.185 kilometers in Thailand's sultry heat to raise funds ensuring Sitthy's survival. (She did include those last few meters in her email. For the metric-challenged among you, that's over 26 miles.) Of course, Z needs help to make her run worthwhile.
And that's where you and I come in. In this season of giving thanks, perhaps collectively we can make a difference in the life of a less-fortunate human being. While I don't know her myself, by all accounts Sitthy is a wonderful woman. You can see pictures and learn more about her situation at HelpSitthy.com. On a personal note, my cousin is donating a kidney to a Mexican farm-worker on December 13th. In just three weeks, young Julie will give up one of her kidneys to give ol' Chuy a second chance at life. That's commitment to a cause. Z's running 26 miles. Julie's going under the knife. The rest of us, well, many of us can afford to make financial contributions.
So that's my appeal today. Help Z help Sitthy. Registered charity Stop Exploitation Now! (SEN) has agreed to collect funds on Z's behalf in the United States, which means your donations to Sitthy are fully tax-deductible. As a gesture of thanks from me, donors contributing here via Paypal or major credit card will earn a small gift featuring ONEWORLDIMAGES.COM photographs. Follow this link to learn more about gift options and contribute to Sitthy's survival. Alternatively, funds can be wired via the accounts listed on HelpSitthy.com or checks sent directly to SEN. Do note, however, that ONEWORLDIMAGES.COM gifts are only available online; also, since wired funds are not routed through SEN, they may not be tax-deductible.
Thanks for your consideration! If you are unable to contribute yourself, please forward this appeal along to others who might be able to help. As soon as Z finishes her Sunday jog (I do not doubt she will), her results will be posted via a comment here. Again, Happy Thanksgiving - and thanks in advance for contributing to this cause.
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