The story I’m linking to today first appeared in January although I only came across it via a segment on the BBC’s One Show on Wednesday.
In 1975, as the Vietnam war was drawing to a chaotic close, a young Vietnamese woman became ill. She placed her infant son in the care of an orphanage whist she was hospitalised for treatment. Soon afterwards American soldiers removed the children from the orphanage for protection in the face of rapidly advancing Viet Cong troops.
Subsequently American planes evacuated a large number of orphan children to the USA. Not to be out done a British newspaper chartered an aircraft to bring 100 Vietnamese orphans to the UK. Among them was the sick woman’s child. After spending some time in an orphanage in the south of England the boy was adopted by a family from Northern Ireland where he grew up alongside their own son.
In adulthood, although he loved his adopted family, he could not help wondering about his biological parents. Last year he found, through the internet, a woman who believed she was his mother. The two agreed to take a DNA test which proved that she was, indeed, his mother. He traveled to Vietnam where the pair were re-united and she explained the circumstances of his apparent abandonment.
The story does not end there, however, because the man has met a young Vietnamese business woman whom he intends to marry and has set up a charity to help young Vietnamese orphans to develop their talents.
The story appeared in several British newspapers as well as the televised report on the BBC. The version I’m linking to is from the Belfast Telegraph.
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It is 7 or 8 years since the Laois Writers’ Group published an anthology which they sold in order to raise funds for the Cuisle Centre. By attracting sponsors and holding a slew of fund raising events we were able to defray the cost of having the book printed locally so that all sales proceeds went to the charity which supports patients and their loved ones following a diagnosis of cancer.
More recently, as Paul Ruddock’s post which follows explains, a group of authors from across the world contributed stories for an anthology published to support the UK’s Macmillan Fund which provides nursing care for cancer patients being cared for in their own homes. I am proud to have had a story accepted for the second such volume which will be published later this year. I am also assisting with the final preparation of the volume.
“In 2015 my good friend and fellow author, Ian D. Moore invited members of our FB writing group the IASD (see www.indieauthorsupportanddiscussion.com) to write and contribute original stories for an anthology of short stories on the theme of Relationships in all their many and varied forms. The idea was born out of the author’s personal loss of a much loved close relative to cancer. See more
The older I get the more I worry about the afflictions that come with old age. What would happen if one of us was diagnosed with Alzheimers? Or cancer? Or suffered a disabling (but not fatal) stroke?
Periodically one or other of my UK pension providers need to reassure themselves that I am still alive and eligible to continue to receive my pension. They have different methods. One sent me €10 I had to collect from my local post office showing proof of ID. Another sent out a form that required the signature of a solicitor or GP. I took it to my GP and used the opportunity to share some health concerns with her.
She submitted me to the test described in the first of the blogs I’m sharing today. I came through with flying colours. A set of half a dozen blood tests did, however, reveal something. Nothing too serious I hasten to add – a deficiency of vitamin B12. It seems this is not uncommon in older people and is caused by the inability of the stomach lining to produce a factor that enables the body to metabolise B12. The treatment is straight forward – weekly injections for five weeks, then a booster every 3 months.
As I say, nothing too serious. But this week I came across two accounts of people facing much more worrying conditions, one of them a well known journalist whose work I have admired for a long time, the other a lady who shared her experience on Lucinda E Clarke’s blog yesterday. What both are advocating is the importance of talking about these subjects that are too often treated as taboo matters.