Post by Mai
I want to thank everyone who made 2018 our most successful year yet at Hearts for Hearts. We were able to send medical supplies to Sri Lanka, Ghana, and Nigeria in 2018 with help from you! It has been a hectic year for me both scholastically and personally but I am looking for to a great 2019. This new year brings a lot of new adventures for me which I am excited about. More about that in a moment.
To summarize the last year at Hearts for Hearts:
An amazing year with help from all of you!
Now onto the personal side, in 2018 my family lost our matriarch, my 98 1/2-year-old Grandmother, Harriet. She was amazing, and I am grateful to have had her in my life for so long, it's hard to believe she is gone. My mother is very similar to her, and I am similar to my mom so she will live on within us. Now when I go to the developing countries that I am bringing supplies to I have a guardian angel to make sure I will be alright.
The other personal news is now that I am in my Senior year at Santa Margarita Catholic High School, I am applying to college for the fall of 2019. I will not know if I am accepted to my top choice for a few more months so look for an update in April sometime. Choosing a college to attend is a really big deal for me. Yes, I realize it is important for all prospective students but for me, I was looking for a couple of essential things in a school. I applied to schools that have both strong pre-med and public health areas. Because of my exposure to disease and health of the people in Ghana and Sri Lanka, I am very interested in epidemiology which is the branch of medicine that works in controlling diseases and outbreaks.
The university that I will attend will have to have students with a passion for helping others and want to make a positive difference in this world. I have been able to grow Hearts for Hearts by being part of a community. I will always be a part of my community at home, but now I will have the opportunity to reach a whole new group of people. I hope to attend a college with peers that are like me with similar values.
This summer, before starting college, I plan to bring medical supplies and return to Ghana. Now that I have been there it is easier to plan and determine what kinds of medical supplies are most needed in the areas I will go. Maggie has been able to help to identify what is needed so we can make the best impact within the community. I am researching to see if the foundation could sponsor a person in a community from a developing country, such as Ghana, that needs more intense medical help. When I was there in 2017, there was a little girl who couldn't walk due to a problem with her spine and required surgery, rickets I believe. The surgery would only cost about $2,000 which isn't cheap, but in a small remote village in Ghana, it means the difference between life and death. I am still researching the feasibility of doing this since the logistics are a bit daunting.
I will let you know what I decide to do once I can get the IRS on the phone to ask questions. The government shut down means the non-profit help line is closed until further notice...