Dear PATS Supporters,
We hope you are enjoying the beginning of your summer. With the summer we wanted to share a very heartwarming update written by our community health workers, Ming Yue and Li Chao about one of our kids, Dian Dian. We've edited some of the translation to make it clearer, but we wanted to preserve the essence of the way they wanted to tell Dian Dian's story.
We also wanted to share an exciting matching drive tomorrow, July 16th, starting at 9am EDT.
Meet Dian Dian
We met Dian Dian in 2010. Her mother comes from Yunnan Province, then got remarried in Li Xin Village Fuyang City. Dian Dian’s stepfather is kindly and simple-hearted. They lived with Dian Dian’s grandfather and her uncle. They built a new house which was much better than before. The road was paved under the whole village’s efforts.
Dian Dian studies in a primary school which is near her village. Her neighbors know her family’s situation but there has been no discrimination. Dian Dian plays with her friends and they study together without AIDS’s influences. Dian Dian does not like to study. We even went to her school, the education there is not good and teacher’s level is not high. Children at this age like to play and because their parents focus on the farm, it is easy to ignore kid’s studies. Sometime we bring the books and toys to them. They like them very much.
In these years, our program changed their drug awareness. In the beginning of this program, they often ate the wrong medication. At that time, we taught her mother the importance of taking their medication. Now Dian Dian’s adherence is much better than before. Although her mother now supervises Dian Dian in taking medication, sometimes they sleep very early and forget to eat meds. Since we came to her home for visiting, the influence is positive.
There are 3 kids in this family. Dian Dian was brought here from Yunnan Province, so she gets less love from stepfather than her brother. Every month we went to her home and brought her food and gifts, these food and gifts will be taken by her little brother. Dian Dian knows her situation and has no choice. When we talk to her mother, Dian Dian will rely on her mother’s shoulder. Maybe her mother is the only one who she can trust. Dian Dian can bear her brother’s bullying, because her mother teach her to be kind and tolerant.
One day, we visited her home. We walked around in her village for almost an hour. Dian Dian talked to me a lot without any guard. She told me about her classmates and the games they often played. Sometime her brother will bully her. In our conversation, we heard her grievances and her tolerance. We believe she is a kind girl and she will have a lot of friends in her life in the future.
I still remember our last home visit. Dian Dian wore a very thick jacket. This jacket was a new one. I said today is a little hot why do you wear a thick jacket. She was very shy and did not say anything. Her mother told us that because of our visit, she wants to show her beautiful side to us. Actually, Dian Dian’s the most beautiful girl in our heart. Because during every home visit we feel her pure heart.
We want to wish everyone a Happy New Year! We hope that 2013 brought you joy and prosperity, and best wishes for the year to come. We couldn't have done it without you! In 2013, we raised more than $11,000 USD Gross (not even including matching donations from GlobalGiving or participating employers) from our GlobalGiving supporters, which included friends, family, and many supporters from around the world that we haven't met. We thank all of you for your generosity, it is with your support that we can continue on our mission to help our kids in China have happy, healthy childhoods.
Now for the update:
We have continued our regular calls between PATS Board member Dr. Jessica Haberer, and the PATS workers in China. Initiated in December of 2012, these calls are a time to discuss specific issues related to the children, such as possible drug resistance, changes in drug regimes or doses, and behavioral challenges with regard to medication adherence. The workers have been eager to continue with these calls and have benefited greatly from Dr. Haberer’s advice. In fact, Dr. Haberer has been a key advisor in determining the drug regime of a former PATS child (turned employee), who is HIV-positive and just had her first baby. With Jessica’s help we are happy to report that this baby- a little girl- was born HIV-negative!
PATS Profile - XueYan
XueYan is13 years old. She is regularly in a good mood although she is quiet and shy. Despite being a bit introverted she enjoys playing with her classmates and is overall a happy girl. She is living with her aunt and is thriving there. Sadly, XueYan's biological father is working in Shanghai and rarely calls home which is hard for her; however, her sister called during the Chinese New Year which was a source of great excitement. Her aunt's daughter is working out of town so she doesn’t get to see her too often either, but her aunt has a son who works nearby so he is a regular visitor. The PATS health workers report that this sense of family has been very important for XueYan and she likes it very much when her cousins visit.
XueYan's adherence with medication has been good, although she has on occasion missed a dose of her medication. The PATS workers understand that her new “mom” is new to caring for an HIV-positive child so they regularly refresh her mom’s education about the importance of adherence to ARV medications. They ask her to regularly remind XueYan to take her medicine, but she pointed out they don't sleep in the same room so sometimes it's hard to be diligent about the reminders. XueYan said she may forget her medication because she goes to bed early some nights and forgets to take her meds. The workers told her she needs to get her water glass ready immediately after dinner and she shouldn't go out to play or to bed right after dinner in case she forgets to take the medications later. So far this has been a good way to help her remember. We train our workers to think creatively and solve problems with the family on a case-by-case basis. These seemingly mundane details bring tremendous amount of value to the well beings of the children.