Our thoughts are with Texas right now but the urgent situation below can't wait.
We need your help to literally, physically save someone's life. To literally keep a young mother's heart beating. Read on, friends.
Who We Are: The Hope Fiends
We're a brother & sister who have been through some incredibly rough times but find ourselves on the other side - happy and alive. We survived all that we did through what we can only assume is grace, powered by the rocket fuel of Hope. (Capital H.)
Hope kept us going through everything that was dark and horrible. Hope that we could find better times, hope that change was possible. Sometimes it was only the tiniest sliver of hope - but that was enough. We got through.
And now we call ourselves Hope Fiends. We travel the world seeking out others who've made it back from the brink - and learn what gave them the strength to do it. We share their stories, knowing that the world needs more Hope, always.
But sometimes, the story of hope isn't quite finished yet. Sometimes it's still unfolding.
That brings us to...
Jewel Badeo. She's 27 years old. She lives in the Philippines and is the mother of a four year old boy named Juan. He is the light of her life.
When she was a little girl, Jewel got strep throat. It was untreated - and turned into something called "rheumatic heart disease." The disease destroys your heart valves and ultimately can lead to death within just a few years. Jewel needed an operation years ago to replace her valves but the cost has always been far out of her family's reach.
But money is nothing compared to the will and power of a sister's determination and love. That's how we heard about this story, about Jewel. From HER sister Jeng.
Cori (Myke's sister) is a documentary filmmaker who helped make a movie about the exact same condition that Jewel has. The film followed a group of kids in Africa who needed the same surgery. The movie is called OPEN HEART and she was nominated for an Oscar for it.
OPEN HEART aired in the Philippines and Jewel's sister Jeng heard about it. The love of a sister is a powerful thing. Jeng didn't rest until she launched a major Facebook campaign to get Cori's attention. Their whole family - and many people in the Philippines joined in to find her.
Jewel & Sisters
Finally Jeng tracked Cori down - and fervently asked for help to get her sister the same surgery as the kids in the movie. She said - and she wasn't exaggerating - that this was the only hope her sister had at life. Bingo. The magic word - Hope.
Cori turned to Myke - and together, they agreed. The Hope Fiends are taking this on.
Jewel is very very sick. We've seen her medical reports, and have read the doctor's opinion. Without surgery very soon, she very likely could die. This is all completely legit. It has been deeply vetted by super savvy people.
But there is HOPE. Through great contacts - the wonderful Annabel, founder of GLOBAL HEART NETWORK - we now have an incredible surgeon in India who will perform the surgery for free, and provide the hospital costs. GLOBAL HEART NETWORK has agreed to provide the airfare for Jewel to fly from the Philippines to India in September.
Now WE - the Hope Fiend Team - have agreed to raise $3300 to pay for the actual heart valves that will be placed in Jewel's heart. We know that sounds weird - that we have to buy two heart valves - but it's the part of the surgery that is a hard cost that can't be waived.
While it's a risky surgery - and we can't guarantee anything - we have hope that this will save Jewel's life. A line from Cori's last movie Bending the Arc that we both love is: "Optimism is a moral choice."
So, we're making the choice to have hope that we can work together to save Jewel's heart.
Join us. We're going to keep you updated every step of the way. You'll be part of our team, as we work together to do something real, right now, to measurably change someone's life for the better.
Hope Fiends Forever,
Myke & Cori
ps - If you want to make a larger tax-deductible donation, get in touch with us and we can arrange for you to give directly to a US nonprofit that can give you a receipt.
- Jessica Lucio
- William Shea
- Shannon Whitemore
- Lila Igram
- Michael Blazey
Organizer and beneficiary
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