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Appeal for Fraternal Assistance: Save Susan's Baby!

May 10, 2005 Friends:

Your help is needed to save the life of a child who is struggling for life in one of the most tragic of circumstances.

Last Saturday, May 6, Susan Torres — 26-year-old vaccine researcher at NIH, mother of a two-year-old son, Peter, and parishioner at St. Rita's Catholic Church in Alexandria — collapsed of a brain hemorrhage. She was rushed to the Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington, where she has been diagnosed with stage four melanoma and is brain dead with no hope of recovery.

What makes this situation especially tragic is that Susan is 17 weeks pregnant. Right now, doctors are fighting to keep her alive through artificial respiration and other means until July 11, to give her baby a fighting chance at life.

As a young family, Susan and her husband Jason Torres have few assets and their health insurance is severely limited. This family faces financial ruin — simply lying in the bed in ICU is costing more than $2,000 per day, before drugs, interventions, and other medical costs — and Jason may have to care for a premature baby on top of the expense of Susan's care. Not to mention raising one and, God willing, two children in the coming years.

Why am I writing? First, to ask for your prayers for this family in this terrible time. But also to ask you to consider making a contribution to a relief fund that is being set up by friends of the Torres family to allay the costs of medical care for Susan and her baby.

Stay tuned for more information on a fundraiser that is being organized for later in June, and for information on how to contribute to the fund. And keep praying that God will grant Susan life until July 11th (the feast of St. Benedict) and bring some joy out of this terrible tragedy.

As many of you know, Jason is a member of KofC Council 6292. He has helped us with Food Basket deliveries at Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter, has helped me personally with the Night of Magic, has worked the Easter Egg Hunt, helped with the Crayons for Kids delivery, and has helped with the Council's efforts at the March for Life (particulary appropriate in this situation). While he can't often make to to a business meeting, he has certainly been active in our Council.

Please send this message to everyone you think will keep the Torres family in their prayers, and who may be able to help out financially in the near future. A fund has been established to help pay for Susan’s and the baby’s medical expenses. Gifts can be sent to the following address:

The Susan M. Torres Fund
P.O. Box 34105
Washington, D.C. 20043-0105

Thank you in advance for your generosity.

Also, please keep praying for the entire Torres family. I think the only thing keeping them going is the prayers from around the world (we actually received an email from an American living in Italy). We will be conducting some fundraising events in the future, so stay tuned for more info. Thanks for all you’ve done in this time of great need.

Thanks for caring, and keep up the prayers!

Fraternally,

Dan Purtill

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