The picture below is the passport for a friend of mine in China. She is one of the children at the special needs orphanage Global Partners in Life supports. She has many physical issues, but she doesn’t let them bother her very often. She has a severe case of scoliosis. Her hips are out of joint; she has had multiple leg operations; and she has dwarfism. My young friend only eats one meal a day because, if she has a full stomach, her stomach will push against her curved spine, making her very uncomfortable.


Global Partners in Life partnered with Delta Airlines and the Shriners of Atlanta to fly my friend and a care giver from China to Atlanta and then to Philadelphia. Once they were in Philadelphia, we partnered with the Shriners and the Shriners Hospital to provide medical attention for her.

After seeing two back specialists, a hip specialist, and a pain specialist, they were all in agreement that the risks associated with correcting her back and hips were simply too great. She can walk now, but the operations necessary to correct her spine and hips had a very high probability of doing more damage than good. The doctors at the Shriners Hospital were very generous with their time and wisdom; I am very thankful for that.

My friend had come so far in hopes of having some medical procedures done to help her, but they were not the best long term solutions for her. So many people had helped her and there had been such a large build up to this, but no surgeries were going to be performed (though for good reasons). My friend didn’t say much, but her face told me she was disappointed… and I understood why.

By the time we arrived at a restaurant for lunch, my friend seemed to be in a much better mood. I was very impressed by her character and strength. She was very stoic about her bad news, yet she didn’t seem to let it bother her. She taught me a great lesson that day. For that, I must give her a special thank you. Also, Delta Airlines and the Shriners of Atlanta and the Shriners Hospital of Philadelphia were so gracious to us. They went above and beyond our expectations to help a young orphan girl from China that they had never met. So, to them, I must say a special thank you, also! When my friend landed in Atlanta, the Secretary of State for the State of Georgia made my friend an Honorary Citizen of Georgia. I must give them a special thank you, as well. It was very special for me to see so many people combining their efforts, talents, and resources to help a young girl they had never met. In my opinion, the world needs more people, organizations, and companies like these!