The Red Thread Promise

The Red Thread Promise is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization dedicated to bringing hope and healing to needy and orphaned children.
Nov 13, 2013

Where there's a will

Frenel during his eye tests
Frenel during his eye tests

When The Red Thread team sees the faintest glimmer of hope to improve the life of a child with a disability, we JUMP! Each child is treated as if they are our own. We explore every option imaginable, even if it means coming to Haiti to accompany two blind boys to the ophthalmologist.

So that’s just what we did. This past Thursday, Sonya took two St. Vincent’s students—Frenel and Geraldo—to see one of the most highly regarded ophthalmologists in Haiti. 

The testing process was very thorough, allowing the doctor to see the tiniest details of each boy’s eyes to help determine if either would be eligible for further treatment to restore any bit of sight.

Geraldo, having been blinded within the past two years due to head trauma, sustained detaching of both retinas. The doctor was able to drain the blood from the front of the eyes to more clearly view the retinas and assess the damage. The amazingly detailed photos showed the scar tissue and irreparable folding of the retina. The conclusion: there is nothing more that can be done. Not the news we had hoped to hear.

 However, the news with Frenel was quite different. An illness at the tender age of three took away the majority of his sight, leaving him only the ability to distinguish color and light sources. After a sonogram on his eye, the doctor offered a glimmer of hope for this child. While his left eye is completely lost from the sickness he sustained, his right eye may be operable. 

The doctor explained two very different procedures that might be an option for Frenel, following the results of one additional test that will be performed at a later date. Both surgeries present serious risk factors that need to be considered before any course of action is decided upon, discussions that will involve the surgeon, Frenel’s mother, St. Vincent’s, and The Red Thread.

At the conclusion of the appointment, Sonya had the opportunity to speak with the doctor about The Red Thread’s care for these boys. She explained that we treat each child as though they are our own flesh and blood, doing everything we can to improve their health and wellbeing. She clarified that we would seek specialists in Haiti to perform any recommended procedures, and, only when all in-country options have been exhausted, would we put a child through the potential trauma international travel for treatment. 

With this reassurance, he smiled broadly, and shook Sonya’s hand.


Geraldo & Frenel waiting to see the doctor
Geraldo & Frenel waiting to see the doctor
Detailed photos of Geraldo
Detailed photos of Geraldo's eyes
Ready for testing!
Ready for testing!
The ophthalmologist office downtown Port-au-Prince
The ophthalmologist office downtown Port-au-Prince

Links:

Sep 23, 2013

Music to my Ears

Helmet On, Ready To Go
Helmet On, Ready To Go

Sometimes we are lucky enough to see the world tilt a little toward the good.  Last night was one of those times. 

There was Kyle, riding his horse, Dallas.  Alongside were his therapist and his horse handler.  He’d just completed a matching and sequencing exercise, concentrating intensely. 

He urged the horse forward, using his muscles, and Dallas began to trot gently.  Suddenly Kyle was laughing, filling the entire indoor arena with the sound. 

“This is music to my ears,” said Kelli, Kyle’s mom. 

Kyle completed one six-week session of hippotherapy over the summer.  Amy, his therapist, reports that his core strength increased and continues to increase, his balance has improved, and toward the end of the six weeks, she saw (and heard) him vocalizing much more.  And at this first night of fall session, he picked right up where he left off, retaining the strength and skill he’d gained.

We at Jacob’s Fund love hippotherapy, because we see the results. 

But what we love more than anything is the change that happens to families when their child is at last able to communicate his needs, or to express the  pleasure she feels when playing with her brothers and sisters.  When a child that could not stand alone walks, that is a miracle.  When a little one that could not talk whispers “Good night, Mommy” families’ lives are transformed.  When a child gets out of the car at the carpool drop off and is greeted by another child and they walk away hand in hand, an inexorably heavy weight is lifted off a parent’s heart.

We’re thrilled, as we know our GlobalGiving donors are, that Kyle is growing in strength and capability.  We eagerly look forward, as you do, to seeing him reach new goals.

But we’re ecstatic that, last evening, as the sun began to set over the rolling hills and farmlands that surround Hilltop Equestrian Center, Kyle, not waiting for his parents to hold his hand, hurried into the barn to find his horse and begin riding.

 

Colorful Therapy
Colorful Therapy
Sep 18, 2013

From immobility to mobility

Zacharie
Zacharie

Independence is a precious gift, especially to people with disabilities. Each time The Red Thread Promise gives an All Terrain Wheelchair (ATW) to an impoverished child, teen or adult in Haiti, we shift the paradigm from immobility toward mobility. Through these gifts—gifts that you have made possible—lives are being changed. 

In the US and other countries, many resources are available for people who can't walk:

  • quality medical care and treatment
  • insurance policies and governmental programs to offset costs 
  • readily available manual wheelchairs
  • wheelchair-accessible vehicles and public transportation
  • facilities with wide doors, railings, ramps and elevators
  • solid infrastructure with smooth streets and sidewalks  

These opportunities give a wheelchair-bound person the chance to actively engage in life, moving about in their homes, schools and communities.

The scenario is quite different for a person under the same circumstances in a developing country like Haiti:

  • limited quality medical care is extremely costly with no subsidy 
  • lack of infrastructure—dirt roads, sand, rocky surfaces—makes passage in a standard wheelchair nearly impossible
  • wheelchairs that perform well on rough terrain are financially out of reach for most Haitians, often costing more than 6 years wages* 

But there is hope! 

We are committed to raising the funds for another full container of wheelchairs that will change more lives. Each shipment holds 100 - 120 ATWs plus maintenance parts. These durable wheelchairs are made from inexpensive bicycle parts that keep the cost low—$350 each—and simplify upkeep and maintenance. They are specifically designed to pass over Haiti's rough terrain, giving independence that most recipients have never experienced.

With your support, we will fill this container and continue giving the gift of mobility to those in need. 

*The gross national income per capita in Haiti is US$660. Source: World Bank 2010

Auguste
Auguste
An anonymous donor will match all new monthly recurring donations, but only if 75% of donors upgrade to a recurring donation today.
Terms and conditions apply.
Make a monthly recurring donation on your credit card. You can cancel at any time.
Make a donation in honor or memory of:
What kind of card would you like to send?
How much would you like to donate?
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $200
  • $360
  • $800
  • $3,120
  • $11,700
  • $25
    each month
  • $50
    each month
  • $100
    each month
  • $200
    each month
  • $360
    each month
  • $800
    each month
  • $3,120
    each month
  • $11,700
    each month
  • $
gift Make this donation a gift, in honor of, or in memory of someone?

Reviews of The Red Thread Promise

Great Nonprofits
Read and write reviews about The Red Thread Promise on GreatNonProfits.org.