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A Story of Hope

Joanna Genevieve Erkel was born in Jinan, China on August 8, 2000 with a mild form of Spina Bifida. During a surgery to close the spine, nerves were severed, leaving her with no bladder feeling or control. If born in America, her condition would not have had such dire consequences. In China, however, when only one child was permitted per family, a painful decision was to be made. This precious baby girl, known as Qian Qian, was left at an orphanage by a family who hoped her life saving destiny would unfold.

Updates (2)

March 15, 2018

Genevieve has had her kidney transplant! The doctors say it is adapting to her very well, and should last for many years. She is still recovering from the operation two weeks ago, which was successful, but because of some complications recovery has been slow, and she is still confined to her bed the majority of the time.

April 25, 2017

Last winter when the transplant team at UVA encouraged us to use this website, within two months we saw our friends and family come through by raising over $20,000 required for Genevieve to have her surgery.

After a Winter of preparation, on April 12th, we met Genevieve’s transplant surgeon, Dr. Rasmussen, and learned that Genevieve would finally begin her “bags packed” phase on April 24th. Now she’s on the top of the list, which means our family could get the call to take her to the hospital any day.

This news would not have been possible without your combined generosity and we’re so grateful to each individual who sacrificed to help us care for Genevieve’s future. As strange as it may sound it’s a difficult task to do updates while wondering ourselves. Running to and from dialysis and keeping up with the Doctor appointments makes little news, but the fact that she is now at the top of the list is the perfect place to stop and say thank you. Because of you Genevieve is able to focus on her goals, which are young and ambitious.

The other night Genevieve’s science teacher visited and it seemed from her questions that others might enjoy seeing some of Genevieve’s photos of when she first came from China, and I found some adorable ones of her adjustment to country life. We hope to enjoy more posting now that we’ve reached “bags packed” status. There may still be a wait, but we simply could not have gotten here without each one of you. We’re so thankful for your kindness – we’ve been surprised, gratified, and humbled by such amazing companions on this journey.

Thank you…

The Erkels

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