Sadly, little Jesus Orlando passed today while receiving treatment for his battle with cancer. The funeral will be held tomorrow. He was a brave little fighter, but was in a lot of pain. We visited him on our Christmas trip, but he was too sick to enjoy anything. A new tumor had developed during the week before that visit.
Temps are in the 20's and sleet is predicted. Lots of blankets, socks, warm wool mittens and caps help. We replaced sandals with tennis shoes and socks. Most of the block houses have no source of heat, although some have wood burning in a metal container. One cardboard house had a small campfire burning.
We prayed about Stephania and realized that she was still smiling, that bright and wonderful smile, and that she would want us to push away all sadness and to give the children a good Christmas, filled wit laughter and joy.
We visited homes all day on Friday. On Saturday we helped at two of our Christmas celebrations for children. (Click here to jump to our Christmas page)
When we heard Stephania's phone ring, we were laughing and excited. We called to tell her that St. Jude Hospital accepted her case. I even thought, 'maybe she will not lose her leg, after-all.' When we heard crying and sobbing on the phone, we asked, "Stephania, what is wrong? Why are you crying?" A voice said, "This is not Stephania. This is her mom. She just died."
We learned that Stephania returned home from her latest round of chemotherapy and became sick. She then caught the flu. Her fever rapidly rose and her immune system was so weak that she died.
We now have a much stronger presence on Facebook. Although our main website contains many more pages than FB offers, it is now easy to keep up with the newest information when you visit Facebook.
Our wonderful friend, Sylvia, connected us with the Amazon Smile program
If you shop Amazon through the link to Amazonsmile, 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible items to Paper Houses Across the Border!
Imagine the impact if you, your family and your friends shop at Amazon through this link!
Please share this link with everyone of your family and friends. Your help can make a big difference in the lives of so many children and families.
Like schools in the USA, many schools in Mexico assign work to students that require computers. Most children go to private shops that allow them to purchase time on the shop's computers. Some use the few computers at the one public library. Stefania remains confined to bed waiting for surgery to remove the malignant tumor in her leg. Today, we gave her a laptop and software so that she can better keep up with her studies.
Angel is 3-years old, diagnosed with myelomeningocele (a defect of the spinal cord and backbone) and hydrocephalus (commonly referred to as "water on the brain).
To treat the hydrocephalus, the doctor at the hospital for the poor, inserted a valve to relieve the pressure. An infection resulted in the brain that cost the baby the loss of sight. Part of the child's brain was burned. We are sending him for tests at private hospitals to see what else can be done.
Stafani is a 15 year girl diagnosed with a malignant tumor in her leg. Doctors say that it is possible that they may need to remove her leg because they fear the cancer is spreading.
Most 15-year old girls in Mexico look forward to their quincentenary. Instead of looking forward to her birthday, Stafani is confined to bed and waiting for her next trip to the hospital in Monterrey. Although aware of the possibility of losing her leg, she remains hopeful and the family emphasizes that this is only a possibility. However, the reports from the hospital are not as optimistic.
We assisted with transportation, meals and will help with medical costs. While waiting for the next trip, Stafani tries to keep up with her school work and remain hopeful.
Josue knows that he is dying. Three years ago, he suddenly began having difficulty breathing and walking. The doctors diagnose his condition as pulmonary fibrosis. Doctors in Mexico say that they have done all that is possible, but his outlook is not good.
He told his wife to divorce him so she can find another husband, but she refuses to leave his side. She works full time and takes care of her husband, who now bedridden. They live in a very poor circumstance. We purchased a refrigerator, food and provide additional assistance.
Yulisa did not receive enough oxygen and was declared dead at birth. However, she was revived and doctors in the hospital in Montclover said that the lack of oxygen left her paralyzed and with severe mental disorders. In June, she was accepted by the rehabilitation center in Saltillo and we will help with transportation and additional medical costs.
Arel is an 8-year old little angel with epilepsy and mental conditions. She was recently accepted by a Mexican rehabilitation center in Saltillo where doctors will examine the child, provide therapy and discus other medical options that may be available.
We provided her mother with transportation and will assist with additional medical costs.
Helen is 10-years old. She fell, struck her head and since that time has been having convulsions. We visited her and her mother and sent her to the hospital for an evaluation and medication.
Wendy is 9-years old and has an irregular heart beat. We sent her to the Hospital in Monterrey during the month of May and June. We visited her mother and she said that the doctors prescribed medication.
Jenny was diagnosed with psycho motor retardation, a mental condition that resulted in severer limitations of her abilities to walk and to think.
We provided the "twister' braces that help her to walk.
Guadalupe, diagnosed with spina bifida. After we sent her for an updated exam, the doctors recommended splints and additional testing. The splints were provided and she continues with physical therapy and testing.
We visited Guadalupe in her home and reviewed the latest medical reports with her mother.
Mariza is 24-years old. Born with paralysis and microcephaly. Microcephaly occurs most often because the brain fails to grow at a normal rate). Mariza is a twin (her sister has no medical problems). For 24 years, Mariza has been cared for by her mother and her aunt. The family struggles and it is difficult to pay for the special vitamins and Ensure that Mariza needs. Her mother sells tamales on the street. Paper Houses is now providing groceries, vitamins, Ensure, and diapers.
The After-school Program that we sponsor provides hot meals, supervised playtime, help with school-work, dance and art to children in preschool and kindergarten. Without this programs, many of these children would be home alone for hours, while waiting for their parents to come home from work.
We joined them for a meal and they presented us with a wreath of hand-prints that was displayed on the wall, thanking Paper Houses for our help. Click for photos.
We met this little 5-year old angel on March 9th. She greeted us with laughter and a few words in English. Her mother explained that she has uncles living in the United States and whenever they call, they teach the family new words in English. Estrella began singing a song in Spanish and inserted a few English words! Then, she paused and said, "Applause, please!"
We laughed and clapped. She then continued singing.
Being with her was akin to being closer to God. All of our worries and concerns melted away as we lived in the moment.
Rigoberto was born in a small farming community. The doctors did not tell the parents that there was anything wrong with the infant. As he drew, they say that his wrists, back and fingers seem to be twisting. They took him to the doctor when he was 9-months old and the doctor examined him. He told the parents that their baby was born with 'paralysis, a brain disorder and that he needed surgery because his testicles were twisted.(click here for the rest of the story).