Deborah's Joy Trip Fundraiser 2017

raised of $1,000 needed
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I am thrilled to announce that I will be traveling to Ethiopia in October to raise awareness and funds for a cause close to my heart.   I was first introduced to obstetric fistula in 2007 through the film A Walk to Beautiful. My friend Allison Shigo co-produced the Emmy Award winning documentary that followed the lives of five Ethiopian women who suffered from obstetric fistula. Fistulas occur when birth is extremely difficult and the mother's birth canal is damaged, resulting in the leaking of their bladder and/or fecal matter through the vaginal canal. The baby is stillborn in 90% of all cases. In Ethiopia women are married off very young and their underdeveloped bodies are often not ready for the stress of childbirth. Women with obstetric fistula are often abandoned by their husbands and ostracized by their families and villages. Many are left to live their lives in isolation, lonely and ashamed. A Walk to Beautiful follows five women who take the long walk to the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital to receive treatment in hopes of reclaiming their lives. The film also highlights the incredible work of the Doctors at the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital.   After working on the film Allison saw the need for an organization in Ethiopia to help these women, and founded Healing Hands of Joy in 2009. Thanks to Healing Hands of Joy, those suffering from obstetric fistula receive psychological care, education, post-surgery support, and then are reintegrated back into their communities. Healing Hands of Joy trains survivors of fistula as Safe Motherhood Ambassadors, to educate and identify those in their communities that need treatment and provide access to safe delivery options for pregnant mothers at fistula hospitals. Safe Motherhood Ambassadors are also empowered economically with income-generating skills training and a micro-loan to start their own businesses.  Always motivated to help those in need, this is an opportunity for me to raise funds and meet these inspiring women whose struggle has touched my heart for so long. It’s also an opportunity to celebrate my friend Allison’s accomplishments and continued efforts through Healing Hands of Joy’s mission to radically reduce fistula by 2020.   While I am paying for the trip myself, part of the mission is aimed at fundraising and I am reaching out to family and friends in effort to raise $1000 (or more!) - the cost of one Safe Motherhood Ambassador to go through the 2-week intensive program. No donation is too small and all the funds will go to Healing Hands of Joy. This trip is a dream come true for me and I thank you for your support and encouragement.
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Campaign Activity

Andrew Paredes donated $75
Amanda Reardon donated $50 and said, "You are doing an amazing thing but that is not suprising because you are an amazing woman. We love and support you! Best wishes and safe travels xo"
John Morgan donated $125 and said, "Happy to support such a good cause, in honor of my sister’s upcoming trip."
Jennifer Ostrega donated $50
Margaret Breines donated $125 and said, "I am so proud of you."
Claire Morgan donated $100 and said, "I love you very much and I'm so proud of you. You will bring lots of love to those you work with."
Whitney Morgan donated $125 and said, "Debbi, I'm so proud of you and look up to your strength and care for others. What your doing is remarkable. You are literally saving lives. Love you to the moon and Bach forever! ❤️"
Chelsea Silvernell donated $200 and said, "What an incredibly important cause! We are so proud of you! Love the SIlvernel"
Valentine F. Morgan donated $300 and said, "We're so proud of you Debbi for taking up this very worthy cause."
Lynne Florio donated $250 and said, "We are so proud of you and are happy to help support your dream."
Someone donated $125
Lauren Albert donated $250 and said, "This is amazing. We're so proud of you!"
Lauren Albert donated $250 and said, "This is amazing. I'm so proud of you!"
Suzanne Bottigliero donated $125 and said, "What a hearfelt endeavor. I am pleased to help. My prayers and best wishes to you and these amazing doctors/ nurses / caregivers and the young woman who are in such need."
Nanyc Plumer donated $50 and said, "Great work and changing women's lives....thank you, Debbi!!"

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