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2021 September Heartbeat

feeding infant with hydrocephalus

If you typically receive Heartbeat in the mail, please note that we did not publish and mail a newsletter in September. Look for the next issue in October!

From the Heart

September is a month of changes and transitions. The long hot days of summer are replaced by shorter days and cooler nights. Children return to school and the leaves begin to turn color and fall. Crops are harvested, and China celebrates Mid-Autumn Festival.

But some things never change. Kids need basics like food, shelter, and security.  Some even need medical care to survive. But to thrive, kids need more. They need to know they matter to someone, that they are capable, that they are loved.

That’s what you bring to orphans in China. Your compassion for kids without a family is out of the ordinary. Thank you for your part in changing the future of orphans!

Spotlight on Hydrocephalus

September is Hydrocephalus Awareness Month!  We would like to highlight a couple of sweet kiddos that were at Shepherd’s Field Children’s Village. It was a pleasure to support and care for these precious little ones. But first, what is Hydrocephalus?

In simple terms, it is the buildup of fluid in areas of the brain, but the location can vary. This buildup puts pressure on surrounding brain tissue and can affect brain function. While there is more than one type of hydrocephalus, the children at Shepherd’s Field were born with hydrocephalus. There are also Acquired and Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus (NPH). Acquired hydrocephalus occurs after birth, while NPH occurs in older adults. There is currently no “cure” for hydrocephalus, but treatment is an option.

Depending on resources available, children with hydrocephalus will often have a shunt put in place. The shunt is a long tube that drains fluid from your brain into your abdomen or chest cavity for your body to absorb. And it is long enough to grow with you!

An infant with hydrocephalus often has an enlarged head. And so these babies need extra help learning to support their head and developing core strength. Because of your donations, our Bright Stars Therapy Team improved the lives of many kids with hydrocephalus. They have a brighter future because of you!

Soft Giggles and Big Smiles

Jean Marie with hydrocephalus

Jean Marie was in our Bright Stars Therapy program at Philip Hayden Foundation. Her shunt was placed before her arrival. Jean Marie worked on core strength and leg mobility with her therapists. Jean Marie was born with hydrocephalus as well as not being able to bend her left leg. She made great strides in therapy, but continued therapy would be beneficial to her future success. Jean Marie still needs a forever family.

Zack with a big grin

Zack is another child at Shepherd’s Field as an infant who received therapy in our Bright Stars Therapy program. Zack was born with hydrocephalus and had a shunt placed before he arrived. He has the most contagious smile. Making him laugh was always the goal so that we could see that big smile! In therapy, Zack worked on core strength to keep himself balanced and sitting up. It was hard to not just cuddle him all day long! We are grateful to share that Zack joined his forever family in China in March of 2019.

We Want to Hear From You!

Because China is closed to visitors, we are missing your stories! What breaks your heart? What brings you joy? Look on Facebook, on our website at or in your email inbox for opportunities to answer surveys or questions. To share a story or ask a question, direct message us on Facebook or email or 

You can be sure we will not share your comments and stories without your permission. What you share with us can help shape our future changing the lives of orphans in China.

Access Your Account Online

Great News! We have updated our online donation system, and you now can access your account online. For your security, you will need to request access through a link on our website here. You will be asked to provide your email address, and a link will be sent to you. For your security, that link is only good for 24 hours. But you can access your account as often as you want.

Your new self-service page will let you update your physical address or your email address. You can also change your online donations, view your donation history, and even print receipts for past donations!

If you have any questions, please email

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