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The Good Works of Our Members

09/18/2009

Today I want to share a story about the good works of one of our affiliate members and former MAIA/PIA employee, Tobe Gerard. She and her family have extended a very warm hand to help a boy in need of a life-saving surgery.

In late August we received word that Tobe (and family) would be hosting a family from Kosovo – a Mother, Behrije, and 4 year old son, Endrit. I wish I was being dramatic, but this family is more than needy. They live in a one room home in a village in Kosovo. Their only income is provided by the small pension Behrije’s Husband receives as a disabled war veteran. They live without so many things we take for granted – including indoor plumbing. Until a few weeks ago Behrije had never left her village, let alone traveled on an airplane.

Add to all of this, their son Endrit was in need of an open heart surgery to save his life. Fortunately, Endrit has been able to come to the US to receive medical treatment through the organization, Gift of Life (which works in conjunction with the Rotary International) and the kindness of strangers like Tobe and her family.

Gift of Life is a Massachusetts based nonprofit that brings children from all over the world to the US for the purpose of having life-saving procedures performed by the skilled surgeons at facilities like Childrens Hospital, Tufts, and Mass General.

MAIA staff recently made a donation to the Rotary of Natick in support of this family, who arrived here with little more than the clothes on their backs. We have been reading updates about their struggles and their progress. To quote from one of Tobe’s updates: “I would like to say that the transition from Kosovo to Boston has gone easily, but that wouldn’t be the truth.” However, we know that each day has also brought triumphs, and  laughter for each of them. You can read more about their journey here at http://heartofhearts.blog.com.

We wish Endrit the best of luck in his surgery and recovery (which is going great!) and Behrije all the best in her quest to give Endrit a healthy full life. And finally, we extend a heartfelt thank you to Tobe and her family. This is a rare moment when we know our world is a better place because of people who are willing to extend their hearts and homes to others.

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