AMBASSADOR MARSHALL! Marshall is doing extremely well. With his pneumonia and skin infection largely under control, Marshall is beginning antiretroviral therapy. He has quickly become the special darling of the staff and patients of the AIDS floor where he is receiving excellent care. In an environment where there are very few children, Marshall's presence, punctuated by his huge smile, has been a tremendous encouragement to the other patients and their families. He has brought the community together as the patients and families take turns entertaining him and lavishing him with gifts (including this Chinese New Year's outfit--yup, they discovered Marshall's penchant for snazzy clothes). With his quick recovery and charming personality, Marshall has become a very welcome symbol of hope in an environment which needs it. You can literally see patients' faces suddenly light up when they get around him. This is a small example of what we all know, that our Baobeis are tremendous gifts to our world! (Some of you may recognize, to the right of Marshall, Baobei Ana, who is now seven and starting to help take care of Baobeis herself! She adds, "Please ignore the curlers in my hair. I was getting ready for a night on the town after my volunteer work!") 2015-2-26
A MOTHER'S INTUITION - Although Baby Timothy had no fever and no overt signs of illness, Tianjuan, his volunteer caretaker, could sense that something wasn't quite right with him. He just wasn't his usual happy and gregarious self. Thank goodness for this experienced Shanghai mom's special sensitivity and quick response, because tests have now confirmed that Timothy is suffering from a digestive disorder, and he is getting treatment for it. Thanks to Tianjuan, Rob and Sera for moving so quickly to attend to Timothy's needs. 2015-2-26
MARSHALL'S MYSTERY SOLVED - After some persistent problem solving and numerous tests that led to dead ends, our Chinese medical team, working from an experienced hunch, suggested we retest Marshall for HIV even though he had previously tested negative in other hospitals. The day before Chinese New Year, Marshall's tests confirmed he is HIV positive, so we rushed to enter him into a specialized HIV program. The good news is the infectious disease specialist at the hospital says Marshall may have been diagnosed early enough to avoid lasting damage. Thank goodness for the skilled persistence of our team of Shanghai doctors, some of the best in the country, who solved a mystery physicians in other cities were unable to solve. We are especially glad they did it in time to get Marshall the help he needs! As many of us know, some public apprehension can remain about being around a patient with HIV or AIDS, so this is a special opportunity for us to stand with Marshall. Thank you to Dr. Summer, Scot and Louise for leading the way in this respect. Meanwhile, this smart little man has us all wrapped around his little finger, flashing a melt-your-heart countenance mixed with strategically timed whimpers to assure he gets held 24/7! 2015-2-20
THEN I SAW HER FACE, NOW I'M A BELIEVER! - Xi Tong and Joy, who both came in with severe cases of spina bifida, hydrocephalus and a host of other problems, were two of our most critical patients. Initially, some physicians advised us to give up on these babies because they didn't see the point of investing resources on children who were unlikely to live and were certainly not going to flourish. But the extraordinary surgeon in this picture never wavered in his hope for these children. Thank goodness for him, because these girls have indeed flourished! They are full of life, hilariously funny, and smart as whips! We'll be looking for them on the rosters of Harvard in a few years! Xi Tong has been adopted by a wonderful family living in Shanghai, and Joy will be adopted next month. One of the physicians who originally advised us to give up hope recently shared that Xi Tong has changed his mind about cases like these. He says, "I am now a believer in great possibilities for children like these!" 2015-2-15
SMILE! - What is harder than getting a baby to smile? Getting eight babies to smile on cue at the same time! At least cool Mateo remained chill while making sure Zach didn't slip off the sofa! In spite of the look on a couple of our cute Baobeis' faces, everyone had a great time at a recent playtime photo shoot. 2015-2-14
TAOTAO UNDERGOES HIS SECOND SURGERY - Taotao completed his second surgery the first week of February to remove his brain tumor. After four painstaking hours, the tumor was successfully removed. Taotao is now starting what will likely be a long journey towards recovery. The first step is for him to re-learn how to walk and talk, functions which were damaged by the tumor. Local college student volunteers, Thomas and Michael, have started Taotao's therapy, skillfully engaging him in conversation and drawing him out of his shell. Taotao has responded especially well to the gentle guidance of these young men he calls "哥哥," or "brothers." He took his first assisted walk today, journeying about ten meters from his bed. Go Taotao! 2015-2-8
BABY LUCIE JOINS US - Sweet baby Lucie joined us this week. Just as in Marshall's case, reasons for Lucie's developmental abnormalities remain a mystery, so she will undergo a range of tests in upcoming weeks as our team explores her condition. 2015-2-6
BABY MARY COMPLETES HER ADOPTION - Mary completed her adoption this week to a family in the U.S. She came to Baobei in spring of 2014 with sub-dermal hematoma and respiratory issues. We are excited to see her united with her permanent family and starting her new life! 2015-2-5
JINQIAO RUN 2015!
SAVE THE DATE - The official date of the annual Jinqiao Run has not yet been released, but it is usually the 2nd Sunday of April, so that means it will likely be April 12 this year. We will announce it here when it is confirmed or if it changes. When you sign up through Baobei with a 100 rmb donation (which goes fully to support a baby), in addition to the standard race packet of shirt and number, you will also receive a Baobei race banner showing support for our designated baby and free lunch at Baobei's after-race celebration. We will announce our sponsored baby closer to the time of the race when we see the baby most in need of financial support.
Concordia High School student Karis Tai shares in a TEDX presentation what happened when she crossed paths with a Baobei child.
You may have noticed we kicked off 2015 with a new website format. We offer a big thank you to Homa, Zheng, Nicholas, Mauricio, Bill, Abbey, Tom, Thomas and Elijah for their excellent help and advice on the design and construction of our new site.
See what our Baobeis are up to all around the world now.