Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Our greatest need by far is your prayers. Please pray for God to graciously bless Ferlando with a miracle of healing to accompany the miracles of joy and love that God has already given to bless Ferlando and our family.
More of Ferlando's story is in the photo gallery.
In December 2016, our family with the Robbins family went to visit New Life Children's Home, a missionary boarding house and orphanage housing about 130 children in Port Au Prince, Haiti. While doing a feeding at another orphanage we found Ferlando, who has retinoblastoma (eye cancer) and appeared to be malnourished. He was in desperate need of medical attention. Ferlando's mother died when he was 2, and his father, unable to care for him, gave him up to an orphanage when he was 3. His cancer went untreated, for months, and potentially over a year due to his circumstances.
Miriam Frederick, the founder and director of New Life was able to get Ferlando transferred to New Life and get medical treatment for him. Ferlando received 3 rounds of chemotherapy and the Haitian doctors removed his right eye. We were able to get CT scans and medical records from Haiti, and Dr. Debra Friedman with Vanderbilt Children's Hospital graciously volunteered to review his medical situation. As an expert in pediatric oncology, Debra and her peers determined that the treatment that Ferlando was receiving, which was the best the Haitian doctors could offer, would not be sufficient for him to beat cancer. In addition to chemotherapy, Ferlando needs stem cell, radiation, and MRI evaluations to have a chance of beating cancer, none of which were available in Haiti.
My wife Rachel, along with our daughter, Katelyn (14) and Jake (11) returned to Haiti in February and spent several days playing with Ferlando (4) and Bridens (6) who was living with him, speaking with his medical care providers and the directors at New Life. They determined that Ferlando's best chance was to bring him to the US for treatment. We applied for and received a Medical Visa - thanks to the support of New Life, Bob Goff, Farrell Mason, Elizabeth Hassellbeck, and the office of Congressman Jim Cooper. In March of 2017, with Ferlando's medical visa, and power of attorney making Rachel and I responsible for Ferlando's care and medical decisions, Rachel, Katelyn, Jake and I returned to Haiti, and spent 4 days at New Life with Ferlando and Bridens. We brought Ferlando back to the US with us to begin his treatment at Vanderbilt Children's Hospital...