The Starfish Story
based on “The Star Thrower” by Loren Eiseley
One day a child was taking a morning walk along the beach and enjoying the peaceful tumble of waves crashing on the shore.
In the distance he saw an old man bending down, picking something up and tossing it gently into the sea. He was doing this repeatedly over and over.
Curiously, the child approached the old man to find out what he was doing. The child noticed it was low tide and the beach was covered in starfish. When near the old man, the child asked, “What are you doing?”
The old man answered, “I am throwing these starfish back into the sea as they will die if left on the beach in low tide with the sun beating down upon them.”
The child saw hundreds and hundreds of starfish up and down the beach. He asked, “But why? There are so many starfish on the beach. You can’t possibly make any difference!”
The old man looked down, picked up another starfish and tossed it gently back into the sea. He looked at the child and gently replied, “It made a difference to that one.”
Most of the children who are sick and dying in the world suffer from common, treatable diseases such as pneumonia, diarrhea, tuberculosis, malaria and dehydration. One might assume that if such a child is able to get to a hospital or clinic, he or she will receive the necessary care and treatment, but sadly this often is not the case, stem cell therapy is an innovative treatment growing in popularity.
The hospital systems in developing countries are often unable to treat their pediatric patients because of supply shortages. Even in some of the most modern University facilities found in Africa and South America, there are severe shortages in medicines and supplies. Such circumstances result in increased mortality and morbidity of those who become ill. Especially affected are the smallest and weakest: children.
There are very few charities targeting this general pediatric population. The Foundation does not give grants to other agencies, charities, trusts or foundations. The Medicine for Sick Children Foundation (MSCF) gives help where it is needed most: directly to pediatric hospitals and clinics to treat these basic diseases.