The Fight of Her Life

One would think that being born into a poor and destitute Roma village would be the pinnacle of hardship. The battles of everyday life, just surviving, is more than most of us deal with in a lifetime. But now one of our most beloved families is facing a new kind of battle. Five year old Sidonia Gandac, a child we have known since birth, is battling a rare form of Leukaemia.

With Head Supervisor Alisha in 2011.

Many of our past volunteers will recognize Sidonia from her time in the Brasov Children’s Hospital as a baby and toddler, and more recently as one of our most rambunctious and loveable Kids Club kids. Since birth she has been a joyful child, always smiling and laughing, and as we have watched her grow we have seen her blossom into an intelligent, sassy and kind little girl. We were shocked when she was sent to the the Children’s Hospital this spring with an undiagosed illness. After almost two months of testing it was determined that she is indeed suffering from a rare form of Leukaemia.

Playing doctor, after being in the children’s hospital so
much, she knows what to do.

Thankfully she has been transferred to a hospital in Cluj that specializes in treating this life threatening illness. The city is a four hour drive away so it is impossible for the family to visit. Sidonia’s grandmother has been staying with her at the hospital for the past two weeks, and we will be sponsoring the journey for her father to go and trade places with her.

Decorating a tree this past Christmas in Budila.

This family is heavy on our hearts at this time and we ask that you would join with us in praying for healing for Sidonia. The doctors have a realistic perspective and know that this form of cancer is extremely aggressive. But we know that our God is bigger than any disease and He is holding Sidonia in his hands. Please forward this blog post to those who would pray for this precious little girl. She will begin chemotherapy in the coming days and we will keep you updated as we hear progress of her treatments. Thank you for your heart and love for these children, your prayers make a difference.

Swollen from the treatments, but still smiling. At the Brasov Children’s Hospital, just before being transferred to Cluj.

The Hills Are Alive..With Our Teens.

“We had an amazing time in Pestera. We left at 10 am from Budila and I brought them back at 9pm. Everyone from the church loved the girls. At the end of the trip the girls thanked me and said that they really enjoyed their time and that we should have stayed longer. We went in the cave but the girls were scared to go in all the way. We also made barbecue and it came out delicious. It was a great day!” 
Juliana Timofte, Teenage Mentorship Coordinator
Enjoying a picnic.
Romanians are serious pros when it comes to grilling.
So much beauty to enjoy!
Pestera is a small mountain village 30 minutes outside of Brasov. It has become a favorite spot for FFR for its steep rolling hills with farms set at their very peaks. Being up there you feel as if you’ve entered the movie Heidi. Often FFR will take volunteers up there to enjoy its beauty, and also explore the famous caves in the area. We so enjoy being able to give these teens to opportunity to get outside their community and see the world. There is so much to learn and see, even in their own county. 

Our First Teen Moves the Tassel.

Andreea with mentor and friend, Juliana Timofte
We are so proud to announce that our first teen has graduated from High School this Spring. Andreea Mondoc came into our program in 2010 and we began tutoring and mentoring this young girl, encouring her to stay in school. Through sponorship we were able to move her out of her village into Brasov so that she could focus on her studies. For the past four years she has remained dedicated to her goal of completing high school and is now the first teen from the Roma community of Budila to graduate. What an amazing accomplishment! She has become a role model for other teens in her community, showing them that it is possible to have a life outside of the cycle of poverty, it is worth it to stay in school and there is hope! We are inspired and encouraged by this beautiful girl and know that God is going to do amazing things through her in her life. 
Andreea with little sister Irina, also in our After School Program.
Andreea has become a roll model for other teens in our program.
She has also become involved in helping us with our projects.