I have had the honor and pleasure of loving Rinzin Norbu Lama as an Auntie since he was 8 years old when his father Pasang brought him down from his village in Tsum, north of Gorhka just behind Ganesh Himal in Nepal to receive an education in Kathmandu. We consider him family.
A joker, a teaser, with a great sense of humor and sense of fun, easy to laugh, Rinzin was a good student at Mt Kailash, bright, ambitious, despite suffering from physical ailments. He contracted severe jaundice in 2003 and tested positive for hepatitis B in 2007.
Through amazing discipline, he conquored and kept his arthritis at bay through a vegetarian Ayurvedic diet. He has never been a drinker. His joking always hid his sensitive nature and huge loving heart. He apprenticed with our friend filmmaker Russ Pariseau, worked in travel and tourism, guiding trekkers through narrow trails, entrusting them with their life. When the earthquake hit, dedicated himself to helping his community rebuild after the earthquake. A youth leader, Rinzin was president of the Tsum Society Youth Club and a Board member of Tsum Welfare Committte(TWC)
and ironically actively involved in creating a committee and fundraising for helping Tsum villagers who need medical care in Kathmandu just this past January.
Rinzin wanted with all his heart to contribute back to his community and region and felt it important for good young people people to commit themselves to changing the corrupt political landscape of Nepal’s governance. He ran for mayor in his community of Tsum this past Spring with the aim to bring awareness amongst fellow young people that working together they can bring political and economic change to their communities traditionally ruled by elders. Rinzin aim's to run again for mayor after 5 years to improve life of Tsum valley and beyond.
In December, Rinzin was diagnosed with gall stones and discovered that these were undetected since 2003. The doctors warned these could infect his liver which tested fine in December but by end of April during his mayoral campaign he experienced great pains, loss of appetite and dizzyness. The doctors are puzzled at the rapid deterioration of his liver. Doctor reports say the lessions and tumors on his liver requires a full liver transplant immediately if he is to live. We have had this confirmed by medical experts in the U.S. He is fully jaundiced now.
After seeing doctors in Kathmandu and doctor Dr. Piyush Ranjan, senior consultant and hepatologist and Dr. Naimish N. Mehta , Chief Liver Transplant Surgeon at Sri Ganga Ram Hospital, New Delhi, he is convinced that he will receive better medical care in Delhi.
Many of you may remember a few years back when I made a similar plea for my assistant, Kelsang Wangdu, a close friend of Rinzin Norbu's, a shining light and beautiful young man who passed away because he became too weak by the time a liver was found for an operation to save his life. I cannot express to you the pain of bearing witness to his early death and hope and request you may help me in ensuring Rinzin's long and productive life. I request any of you willing to even offer the smallest amount, to save a life of a worthy human being dedicated to helping others, is an act that not only benefits Rinzin, but his community of Tsum who has rallied around him. All who contribute will be invited to the dance party of the century when we celebrate the return of Rinzin's health and more importantly, the immense compassion and sacrifice of the donor.
Incredibly, in an act of compassion, a young monk from his region has offered his liver-- having witnessed Rinzin's service to his community. The doctors have told Rinzin the operation will cost roughly $40,000 for a liver transplant. We are fundraising for a total of $45,000 to cover the cost of the organ donor and Rinzin's travel and accomodation and food costs and the high cost of medicines after the operation with up to a three week recovery stay in the hosptial. I would happily offer my liver to him as would Liam, but I am AB+ and none of us Kellys are 0+.
Thomas and I are starting this fund with $20,000 so our goal for this fund is to match this with $25,000 with help from the Tsum community and caring compassionate individuals willing to help with the smallest of donations.
We need this money immediately and he requires this surgery immediately. These funds will help Rinzin with transport to Delhi with the help of his friend and the cost of the operation. Please keep Rinzin in your prayers. He is a beautiful being, and I can report to you his strength of spirit is inspiring. We are so grateful beyond words for your help in this urgent situation. Rinzin will not live without this operation. I am grateful to you for your kindness and help for it is only in the act of giving with compassion that we are truly human.
Please message me for further details. Sincerely, Carroll Dunham
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