In September 2021, Mary* arrived in the United States from Ghana to pursue her PhD in biochemistry. However, within one week of her arrival, she found herself in the hospital facing life-altering news: she had Leukemia.
“It was a difficult moment for me,” Mary remembers. “I felt so scared and abandoned, especially because I had no family members here.”
“I felt so scared and abandoned, especially because I had no family members here.”
Beginning treatment, Mary felt lonely. Although her sister had planned to join her in the U.S. in hopes of offering support and providing a needed bone marrow transplant, she ran into difficulties acquiring her visa and was unable to make the trip.
Mary originally was introduced to IFI through a colleague in her program. Through IFI, she had the opportunity to meet volunteers like Karen, who extended care to her during a difficult time. One volunteer from Africa even handmade a new hat for her out of brightly colored fabric. As she made more friends, Mary began to feel increasingly at home.
Mary believes that God has provided a lot for her. Ultimately, she would find out that her treatment would not require a bone marrow transplant from her sister. In addition to this good news, her sister overcame the original hurdles and ended up getting her visa to come visit!
“I’m thankful to IFI volunteers like Karen who visited me frequently and Seth who brought food every day. A lot of them supported me with prayers and cards,” Mary says. “In a lot of ways, God provided healing.”
*Name and photo changed to protect privacy.