Thursday, September 28, 2006

Planning October Shipment

The next shipment to the hospital will be in early/mid October and preparations are well under way. The hospital has said how the budgeted funds should be spent, funds are in place at LIFE, and a preliminary heads-up has gone to the helpers at Mosul Airport. Now I begin to watch and worry and nag and make sure the plan happens as best I can.

It continues to be easier to send and make sure they get there than to find people willing to pitch in and help expand the project. The shipments are getting there almost like clockwork. My efforts to attract support from others (individuals, NGO's, anybody who will listen) continue to be far less successful. It's hugely frustrating and could break a persons will to be totally ignored or politely told "no" or passed off to someone who doesn't care time after time after time. I lost it while talking to a receptionist at one NGO last week - when she offered to put me through to someone's voicemail I said "I think I'll go beat my head against a brick wall instead, it will be more productive". Obviously not a responsible businesslike way to act, and I need to do better.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Another shipment reaches the hospital

I got confirmation from the hospital that the latest shipment reached them Monday September 18th. This shipment was identical to the last:

- 34 Doxorubicin 50 mg vial
- 45 Vincristine 2 mg vial

The icepacks in this shipment were found melted when the shipment arrived at the airbase although they were reportedly still cool (~60F estimated). The shipment traveled in two boxes instead of one larger box like previous shipments and it is suspected that this was the reason the icepacks were depleted. Efforts are underway to ensure that future shipments are packed better (bigger box, more insulation).

I'm working now on organizing the next shipment. First I will find out if anybody else has sent donations to LIFE recently and add what I usually do to the total, then let the hospital know what money is available and ask them what should be sent, then let the pharmacy know, make sure LIFE sends the money to the pharmacy, make sure everybody on both ends knows the shipping schedule and is ready, and finally watch another shipment make it's way to Mosul. Oh yes, also gotta help the pharmacy find a reliable source of big, insulated shipping boxes.

I'm also working on trying to get more folks to help: sent emails to a couple of NGO's in the last week or so and am approaching a local church which has shown some interest. I desperately need to find others to help if there is to be any hope of overcoming the terrible shortages at the hospital - it's hard for me to beg for money from others, and hugely frustrating hitting a stone wall when I approach NGO's and such, but it needs to be done. The total tab for the latest shipment was $3864.25 ($3485.25 for drugs, $379.00 for FedEx shipping). $400 of this was covered by donations from others, the rest by my own.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Interview on Chicago Public Radio

An interview about this project aired today (September 7, 2006) on Chicago Public Radio as a segment of their "Global Activism" series. I got a call from a nice guy in Chicago who heard it, and I found a link to it (and other recent segments in the series) on the station's website here: Link to Interview .

The interview was actually recorded several weeks ago and I was never sure exactly when or if it would air so it was a bit of a surprise to get a call about it today, a very welcome surprise. It is the first media coverage of this project I am aware of, and should bring word of the project to many people who may wish to help.

Folks who are interested in the project are welcome to contact me - I'll try to answer any questions they may have about it. My email is . My other contact info is in the blog description at the top of the page just below the title.

Folks who are interested in helping with this project can do so either by

(1) helping to call it to the attention of as many people as possible; or by

(2) donating funds to help pay for drugs and shipping costs. Please see my previous post Introducing LIFE for specific info on how to donate to the special earmarked "Mosul Hospital Fund" which Life for Relief and Development has established. Donations via LIFE will be tax deductible and all funds are being applied within a month to pay for shipments with the sole exception of a 10% reserve being held to cover LIFE's book keeping and overhead costs .