June 18: Asking for Directions

Jennifer Vasilakos of Santa Barbara, California, needed a kidney transplant, but didn’t qualify for one because of a bout with skin cancer earlier in her life.  As a result, she endured physically-draining kidney dialysis three times a week.

Vasilakos continued researching her condition, and discovered that an adult stem cell treatment had an excellent chance of healing her.  The procedure wasn’t approved in the United States, however, so she set out to raise money to have it done in a hospital in another country.

One day while handing out flyers about her situation at a local festival, a driver pulled over to ask Vasilakos for directions.  The driver turned out to be Ty Warner, the billionaire creator of Beanie Babies dolls.  Vasilakos gave him directions, but also told him about her condition and desired treatment.

After giving it some thought, Warner sent her $20,000 to cover all her expenses because he wanted to help her while also raising awareness about the benefits of stem cell procedures.  A grateful Vasilakos is now receiving her treatment—and hopes to be a model of healing to others.

Assist your neighbor.  (Sirach 29:20)

Create in me a generous heart, Messiah.

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