What if you could not walk? Adolf is 12 years old. Five years ago his aunt punished him by pouring hot water and banana leaves on his legs. With the resulting extensive burns on both of his legs, he cannot extend his legs and can only shuffle around on all fours.
Adolf was brought to the Bringing Hope to the Family orphanage in Uganda earlier this year. When I was at the orphanage in June, I would walk Adolf and the other kids to school in the morning. Adolf would lag behind but he always had a smile on his face.
When I returned home, my friend and fellow Rotarian Susan Griego saw a photo of Adolf and introduced me to Carol Horvitz, Executive Director at the Children's Burn Foundation. Tanya Sorkin, the Foundation's Operations Manager, worked with me to get all of Adolf's information to the doctors at the Grossman Burn Center. Another Rotarian, Bill Barrett, sits on the Foundation's Board and reviewed Adolf's case.
The result? Adolf and an adult from the orphanage (Eva) are flying in on Monday to start eight months of surgeries and rehabilitation, all paid for by the Children's Burn Foundation. They will live with my brother (a Rotarian in Santa Monica), his wife and their four children.
When I think of the things that I am thankful for this season, I think of Adolf and the fact that he will be able to walk and play again. I am also thankful for the many friends who were so willing to help out to make this possible. I am thankful for my brother and his family who so readily agreed to take in an orphan in need. This Thanksgiving I recognize all of the things that I take for granted and all the blessings that are all around me. With thanks.