Thursday, August 11, 2011

I'm leaving for Haiti...

I’m excited to officially announce that I’ll be traveling to Haiti tomorrow morning. This entire journey began when I interviewed Kim Cornell on the FOX CT Morning News for National Nurses Week. I was so inspired by her story of traveling to Haiti, being there for the 2010 earthquake, changing her career path to nursing and now adopting a little boy named GayePaye from the orphanage in Haiti. Read her blog, and you’ll see just what an amazing woman she truly is…

I went down [to Haiti] the first week of January 2010. I stayed after the rest of the team left to head back home, and that is when the earthquake struck. My life would never be the same. I would never know such fear and terror that I did on January 12th, when I felt the earth move beneath me and felt so incredibly helpless. We immediately traveled through the destruction to get back to the orphanage to make sure the kids were okay, including my little guy, and what I saw on the way will be forever engrained in my mind… It was that moment when I found out he was okay that I decided I just had to move forward with trying to adopt him.”

When I started researching the non-profit that inspired Kim to volunteer in Haiti, I knew I had to be a part of this incredible group. Generations of Hope, Haiti (Go-Haiti) is a non-profit organization committed to reaching the lost and poor of Haiti. President and founder, Dr. Franco Jean-Louis has been working as a missionary medical doctor since 1995. His goal has always been the same: to meet the physical and the spiritual needs of the Haitian people, especially abandoned children and the sick. With Kim’s help, 34 volunteers will be working with Go-Haiti for the month of August. During this time, volunteers will be working at a medical clinic, counseling center, community orphanage, primary school and more.

I’m lucky to have two of my best friends traveling with me. As fate would have it, a fellow Mizzou alumni – Sarah – recently decided to switch career paths from the journalism field to the medical field. I applaud her for figuring out what she wants in life and going for it! And this trip to Haiti was perfect timing for Sarah. She’s an amazing travel companion (we traveled to China together to cover the 2008 Olympic Games), and I’m so happy to have her on this trip. Click here to read Sarah's blog.

Joannie is another gem in my life. If I ever have a bad day, I talk to Joannie and quickly realize – like the book says – “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff.” Joannie worked in the burn unit at New York Presbyterian Hospital. When she moved to San Francisco, I was sad not to have her close in NY anymore. But she must have been there for a reason because when the gas line explosion happened in San Bruno, Joannie had just started working at a small hospital near-by and she was one of the only nurses with burn unit experience. I realized, in that moment of my life, that things happen for a reason. We might not always be able to explain why. But I think they do.

Many people ask me why I’m going to Haiti. They say it’s too dangerous. It’s just deplorable living conditions down there. But all I could do was think… If not now, when? If not these volunteers, then who?

So I booked my ticket and off I go.

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