Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Another shipment reaches the hospital

The hospital confirmed that it recieved the latest shipment OK on Monday October 16, 2006. This was the 9th successful shipment, the seventh this year, the fifth in which the funds were handled by the earmarked Mosul Hospital Fund at Life for Relief and Development.

This shipment included the following:
- Doxorubicin 50 mg vial : 35 vials
- Vincristine 2 mg vial : 30 vials

Although I'm still carrying most of the weight as far as funding, it's important that people know that I am not the only one supporting this project. Eight other people have donated to the fund so far, their gifts have ranged from $25 to $500, and some have made multiple donations. I don't know all their names, but I want to present the best accounting I can so they will know their money is going where they intended.

Donations to the Mosul Hospital Fund at Life for Relief and Development so far are as follows:

5/24/2006 - $4400.00
6/5/2006 - $100.00
6/20/2006 - $3750.00
6/22/2006 - $300.00
6/26/2006 - $100.00
7/28/2006 - $3875.00
8/2/2006 - $200.00
8/8/2006 - $200.00
8/23/2006 - $25.00
8/24/2006 - $3,875.00
9/7/2006 - $25.00
9/12/2006 - $100.00
9/29/2006 - $3900.00
10/5/2006 - $20.00
10/5/2006 - $25.00
10/11/2006 - $500.00
TOTAL: $21395.00

These funds have been applied as follows:
$18644.68 (87.15%) Paid so far to Ameristat Pharmaceuticals in Minneapolis for Shipments to Mosul.
$610.82 (2.85%) To be applied to next shipment to Mosul.
$2139.50 (10%) Reserved for LIFE's overhead (office space, accounting, etc).

I ask those who have contributed to not be concerned by the reserve for LIFE's overhead costs. I am adding an amount to my own donations to cover the overhead costs, as well as shipping costs, and all your donations ARE being applied to payments for drugs and nothing but drugs. For instance, I will notify the hospital that $3678.69 will be available for drugs for the next shipment ($3000 from me, $610.82 from others, and $67.87 which I will chip in to offset the overhead reserve associated with that $610.82).

Does it make sense to spend this kind of money, folks? I know for my part it's hard to do. I'd rather plow the rent I'm pulling in from my tenants and my social security check and the insurance settlement that should have gone into body work on my truck into savings and repairs on my own home and maybe even a nice vacation. But if I did that I'd be letting down the folks in Mosul. This project is beginning to eat into my savings this month, but I don't expect to live forever and I'm getting a bigger bang out of this project than anything I ever did. Call it charity, call it waging peace, call it an internet shopping spree that got out of hand, I'm having a blast and doing some good in this world. I extend my thanks to all the folks who have chipped in to support this fine madness.

How it will end I have no idea. Ultimately it can't go on forever. The Iraqi government, the Ministry of Health and Kimadia, are eventually going to have to find a way to deal with whatever it is that's preventing them from properly supplying the hospitals of Iraq. I can't imagine that the people of Iraq will tolerate anything else. It could happen in months, or maybe in years. For the time being, tell everybody you know that there is a desperate shortage of supplies at the hospitals of Iraq, and this project is doing what it can to resolve those shortages.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Drugs Are In The Air (again)

Once again drugs are in the air on a FedEx plane bound for Mosul. This time sadness weighs on the hearts of some of the folks involved in the project. A Baghdad staff worker for Life for Relief and Development, the organization that handles funds donated to the Mosul Chemotherapy Project, was pointlessly murdered by ignorant thugs who apparently felt that weapons and slaughter are the only available solution to the problems they perceive. A news release describing that sad event will be found here: LINK

Sitting safe in my house in California I am continuously aware of the chaos and violence that engulfs Iraq in these days and the risks people there face. The situation there will not improve until people recognize that weapons and murder are not appropriate tools for the improvement of society. The murder of Abdul-Sattar Abdullah in Baghdad protected no one and improved nothing. There is nothing to indicate that he was anything but a decent man working for the improvement of Iraq. It was a tragic act of ignorance and stupidity. Only a fool could imagine that it served any reasonable purpose or pleased god in any way.

The shipment of chemotherapy drugs that is, as I write, on a plane over the Atlantic ocean will hopefully prolong the lives of the people it is used to treat. Perhaps the courage of the people those drugs benefit will serve as an example to those around them. Perhaps their prayers will please god. Perhaps the love they share with family and friends will inspire others.

Which is better, efforts expended in the ignorant slaughter of the innocent, or efforts expended in hope of improving and extending the life of decent people? I know the answer in my heart with total certainty. I can only hope that those who slaughtered Abdul-Sattar Abdullah in Baghdad learn to recognize it.

I never knew Abdul-Sattar Abdullah or the many others like him who have labored in Iraq to try to improve conditions there, only to be slaughtered by the forces of chaos and ignorance. I can do nothing to erase the loss his death brings to his family and friends. All I can do is try to do what is right, as he seems to have done, and hope that others learn to do likewise in increasing numbers.

This project continues.