Life-Giving: Give an Alternative Gift
this season that keeps on giving, as a single gift or a
monthly pledge.Your gift will be acknowledged to the receiver
with a beautiful card.
Lucia raises her nine grandchildren in
her small home that also holds seven other adults. Two
of her grandchildren, Sofia (age 3) and Raúl (age 5 months)
are HIV positive. They contracted the virus from
their mother, Carla.
Carla is in denial that she has HIV. She is irresponsible, at least
in the area of her sexual health and that of her children's
health. She has abandoned her children to their
Lucia, the grandmother, gets paid a little by some of the parents
of the grandchildren whom she is raising. Many Nicaraguan
parents leave their children with grandmothers in order to find
some kind of paying job…with under- and unemployment so high in
Nicaragua (almost 50%), people have to make choices between
bad and worse.
When Lucia can leave the children, she goes out and collects
clothes to wash for some extra money, but it is never
enough. Until recently, when our clinic started
providing formula for Raúl, he drank a watery mixture of
fine corn flour.
Sofia receives antiretroviral medications from the Ministry of
Health (MINSA), but has to be taken to the other side of Managua
(2 hour bus ride there and 2 hours back) to receive them.
Raúl has been officially placed in the system to receive treatment
Our clinic cannot afford the antiretroviral drugs and we cannot do
the T-cell testing to know what drugs to give the children or
other HIV positive patients, but we can provide some
nutritional supplements and all the secondary medications they
Equally important, we would like to provide support…like transportation,
education, and emotional support but we need funding.
Lucia is overwhelmed. Our health
promoter, Jessenia, does home visits and encourages Lucia to bring
Sofia and Raúl to the clinic when they are sick…like yesterday,
when Sofia was running a fever and Raúl had a rash.
This season, give a gift that will help
Lucia's family and others like them who suffer from
poverty and living with HIV.