We invite you to remember your loved ones who have died by committing an act of kindness in their honor. Love, kindness, generosity, sharing, these are the gifts we can give to them.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas!!

This year I made a donation in memory of Theo (and in honor of Lula) to assist in purchasing an ultrasound machine for the pregnant women in Uganda.  

This is a project spearheaded by an anesthesiologist that I worked with for many years, Judy Gustafson.  She and her husband, Mark travel twice a year to Magale, Uganda to educate nurses, physicians and midwives.  Their team teaches infant CPR, heart sounds, surgical techniques, basic hygiene and hand-washing, and sunburn protection.  Their latest efforts were to help the albino members of the community and to provide equipment that we take for granted, like the ultrasound machine.  Through the years our staff has organized and supplied stethoscopes, medical equipment, teaching materials, and baby blankets for them to take to the clinic.  It has been a community effort within our OR/PACU departments.  In return, Judy provides us updates, photos, and needs lists for the next trip.  It has been a wonderful experience seeing this medical clinic evolve.  I wish there was more I could do to help, as I would love to travel with them sometime.  

Wishing you all a peaceful Christmas season!

All my love --- Meg


I hope this makes it to you on time. This year has been especially hectic. I now have a baby son I am caring for at home while I teach classes at night and online, so I hope you understand about this gift coming in at the last minute. I have been thinking about you a lot again this year, as I have watched my son grow.  He has blond hair, like you, and he makes me laugh every day.

This year, in your memory, I have made a series of donations to a family in crisis. Their son was born with a rare and likely fatal condition called HLH. When little Sam was born this spring, his parents were seeking financial support so they could take time off work to be with him. The prognosis wasn’t good and the hope that he would make it through chemo and a bone marrow transplant was a long shot. He has had rough road, but he made it through these procedures, and the transplant seems to be taking. He went home from the hospital for Thanksgiving and is going well. The doctors believe he is likely to live a normal life. It truly is a miracle.

Aside from my donations to Sam’s family, I have resolved to always keep something in my car for the homeless folks I pass on occasion around Richmond and Bon Air. I kept bottles of water that I would hand out when the weather was warmer, and now, in the (not so cold) winter, I try to keep some cash on hand.

I have also joined a group—well, it’s an app actually on my phone—that allows me to offer guidance to blind people via my smartphone. They call and ask me questions and I am there to give them a little help. Last week, I helped a woman choose a color of yarn for an afghan she was knitting.

I am grateful to you, Theo, for reminding me to get involved and to help other people. It would be so easy, now that I have a baby, to put off helping because I feel busy much of the time, but you encourage me to live in the present and to do what I can when I can. That’s the gift you give me all year long.

Merry Christmas, sweet little boy.
Becky Boncal

Dear Professor Fueglein,

2 years ago, Safyre Terry lost her entire family in an arson attack. Today she is 8 years old. She suffered horrible burns all over her body and has lost her right hand and foot from the attack. This year for Christmas Safyre asked for Christmas Cards to fill her Christmas card tree. She's received many Christmas cards already! Her story and request went viral which is how I heard about her. My family wrote her a Christmas card and sent it to her. If you would like to send her a Christmas card as well, you can make it out to Safyre Terry, PO Box 6126, Schenectady, NY, 12306. I just wanted to share this as a dedication to Thelonius. Wishing you and your family Happy Holidays!
----Kinjal Patel

A week prior to finals, another student rushed up to me at the library as I was printing. She looked like she'd been or was about to start crying. She told me that she'd lost her student id and couldn't print anything, and that her final speech assignment for class was due in six minutes. Without her paper, she couldn't present. It was only 8 cents, so I printed her page out. She was ever so grateful and thanked me before sprinting off to make it to her class.
----Kal Boone

Professor F,
On my way back from work this morning I saw a homeless man holding a "anything helps" sign. I had a couple extra meal swipes on my card so I went to Bleeker and got a sandwich and chips and brought it to him. If nothing else, I know he had a damn good meal ‘cause Bleeker is the best!!
Yours truly,