This year, as part of our campaign we have taken the idea of
"sow a seed … change a life".
What does this really look like?
I want to introduce you to H.S. (in white on the right).
Last April she graduated treatment at Dongdaewon. Although she was not one of our patients, her story could be the story of any one of our patients. A story of perseverance, despair, hope and change.
H.S contracted TB when she was 25 years old and has fought for her health for the last 7 years. In her fight for life, she went through five rounds of TB treatment. Because she has been sick for so long, she has no family except her parents (marriage is very important in North Korea). The experience she has had with TB and the love and care that she has received through her treatment with EB at Dongdaewon has been life changing.
The thing we hear from patients the most is their desire to be reunited with their families. Graduation is often a time of excitement, not only because patients have a new chance at life, but also, because they have been separated from family for a long time and eagerly anticipate rejoining them. Upon graduation H.S. decided to train as nurse and dedicate her life to helping patients with MDR-TB. When asked if her mother wanted her home, she replied, "my mother understands how parents worry for their sick children. She told me to stay and help as many patients as possible".''When asked if she wanted to be married in the future, her reply was, "I am not ready to get married. I want to study and I want to help other patients. I want to learn more. Without knowing, you cannot move a step forward. I want to learn a lot so I can help the patients".
Wow. I don't know about you, but after being treated for so long, I would want to put the whole experience behind me and get as far away from a TB centre as possible. H.S is an amazing example of how sowing a seed bears huge fruit. A small seed not only changed her life, but through her experience with love and compassion and generosity, she is now becoming a change agent in other people's lives. Who would think a little seed like buying a caramel apple at the DDW fair would grow into something beautiful and strong and bear such amazing fruit? You are life changers!