Terminally Ill Woman Dedicated Her Last Days To Help Others – We Are The World Blogfest #WATWB

The aim of We Are The World Blogfest is to shine a little light on any darkness in the world or in ourselves, by sharing uplifting stories. The blogfest seeks to promote positive news. There are many cases of love and light out there, stories that show compassion and the resilience of the human spirit. Sharing these stories increases our awareness of hope in our increasingly dark world. This gathering takes place once a month.

Our special lead co-hosts for this month are: : Simon Falk, Inderpreet Uppal, Lynn Hallbrooks, Eric Lahti, and Mary J Giese
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How would you spend your last days if you had an incurable disease that would take your life in a few months? Something to think about, isnt it?

An inspirational South African was diagnosed with a terminal illness and given only a few months to live. She decided to dedicate her last days to helping others.

This is Lerina Stander’s story.

A young nurse from South Africa, Lerina spent 3 months on the ADRA-Adventist Help project in northern Iraq.

“The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) is the global humanitarian organization of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Through an international network, ADRA delivers relief and development assistance to individuals in more than 130 countries—regardless of their ethnicity, political affiliation, or religious association. By partnering with communities, organizations, and governments, ADRA is able to improve the quality of life of millions through 9 impact areas.”

Lerina had a terminal illness and the doctors had given her the prognosis of just a few months to live.

When she heard about the ADRA – Adventist Help new project in Iraq, to provide medical care to refugees from Mosul, she immediately enlisted as a volunteer.

She helped to plan and build the ADRA Adventist Help Emergency Unit (a small hospital) in the Hasan Sham U2 camp near Mosul while seeing patients in less optimal conditions.

At the beginning of July, when the illness began to make it difficult for her to remain in Iraq, she decided to return home to await the inevitable.

Viriato Ferreira, a friend of Lerina shared her story on Facebook with a simple message.

“Last Friday (August 18), Lerina’s physical heart beat for the last time.”

“However, it continues to beat in our hearts, as we have been touched by her friendship, dedication and hope in a better world with God. Her heart continues to beat in the hearts of so many people she helped. ADRA – Adventist Help decided to give Lerina’s name to the Emergency Service she helped to plan with care and love.”

“What about us? What are we doing with our lives?”

Days before she passed, a plaque was revealed dedicating the Emergency Room to the inspirational South African.

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If you like this initiative please help spread the word on social media via the hashtag #WATWB.

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  1. Hilary Melton-Butcher on August 26, 2017 at 11:10 am

    Hi Michelle – what an amazing woman and so sad she has left this world … but most definitely has left it with more positivity for others … which will continue on. That’s great the Emergency Service has dedicated Lerina’s name to their title. She has made me think … cheers Hilary

  2. Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor on August 26, 2017 at 1:58 pm

    Wow, Lerina was an amazing woman. Thanks for sharing her story with us. We can definitely all benefit from hearing about the positive things that are happening in our world.

  3. Pamela on August 26, 2017 at 6:32 pm

    It’s really humbling what people can achieve when they are faced with the fact that their life is going to end soon, and should make those of us who are more fortunate take a look at our own lives.

  4. Deborah Weber on August 26, 2017 at 8:17 pm

    What an inspiring story! That’s quite a legacy she left behind, and something to celebrate indeed.

  5. L. Diane Wolfe on August 26, 2017 at 8:42 pm

    That is what we hope we can do before we die under such circumstances. The greatest thing in the world is our positive impact on those around us and that woman accomplished it.

  6. Lizbeth Hartz on August 26, 2017 at 10:41 pm

    Michele, what an inspirational, moving story! This compassionate young nurse certainly left this world a better place for her having been here. She must be wearing stars in her crown in Heaven for having been such an angel on earth. Thanks so much for sharing.

  7. Emily Bloomquist on August 26, 2017 at 11:24 pm

    Lerina is such an inspiration. What an impact she must have had on all who met her. It is nice that the dedication occurred before she passed. Thanks for sharing this great story for WATWB Michelle.

  8. Kate McManus on August 27, 2017 at 3:41 am

    A touching story thanks

  9. susan scott on August 27, 2017 at 9:11 am

    Truly an extraordinary story Michelle, thank you for sharing it with us – it certainly gives cause for pause, how best to use our lives which can be cut short at any moment.

  10. Misha on August 27, 2017 at 2:48 pm

    I’ve never heard of her, but it sound like she was an amazing woman. Thanks for sharing her story. 🙂

  11. Guilie on August 27, 2017 at 8:38 pm

    Lovely story, Mish. A friend was diagnosed with cancer (stage 4) in April this year, and given maybe 6 months. He died in June, and they were two crappy, crappy months. With that in mind Lerina’s will and commitment to helping others takes on a whole new dimension for me. Good for her for making the end of her life mean something more, for living for something bigger than any single one of us. Great story for the #WATWB!
    Guilie @ Quiet Laughter

  12. Patricia Lynne aka Patricia Josephine on August 27, 2017 at 11:50 pm

    I’ve thought about this. I’m torn because I’d like to see places I’ve always wanted to see, but the idea of spending my last days helping others is appealing too.

  13. Belinda Witzenhausen on August 28, 2017 at 12:00 am

    What a sad but touching story. Lerina is leaving a legacy that is so meaningful, helping so many others, a small piece of her will carry on. Thank you so much for sharing this story and for being a part of #WATWB

  14. Lynda Dietz on August 28, 2017 at 1:48 am

    What an extraordinary person. So many people, when faced with that circumstance, would be concentrating on all the things they’d not done for themselves. Her memory will certainly live on in so many lives.

  15. Amrita on August 28, 2017 at 6:18 pm

    This is definitely food for thought .Remember to count my blessings.So important to have my role done properly.

  16. Lynn Hallbrooks on August 29, 2017 at 12:51 am

    Sometimes in life, we may have plans for down the road, except the path becomes shorter than we realize and we must make a choice. I think she chose well. Thanks for sharing this story. – #WATWB #InDarknessBeLight

  17. Eric Lahti on August 29, 2017 at 2:45 am

    That’s an excellent choice, much better than tuning out and waiting to die.

  18. Jemi Fraser on August 29, 2017 at 5:15 pm

    What an amazing person! We need more like her in our world!

  19. Mina B. on August 29, 2017 at 7:14 pm

    Hi Michelle. Great story. That woman was amazing. Completely selfless in a selfish world. Thanks for sharing.

  20. p.j. lazos on August 29, 2017 at 7:19 pm

    It’s amazing what we can achieve when we lift the veil from our eyes.?

  21. Simon Falk on September 5, 2017 at 11:45 am

    Michelle, this is a really touching story about Lerina who gave her life and death away for others. No wonder they said her physical heart stopped beating, for something of her heartiness for life still enchants others. Thanks for sharing Simon’s Still Stanza #WATWB

  22. J.Gi Federizo on September 6, 2017 at 7:17 am

    What an amazing thing to do! I would like to do something just as amazing while I’m still on earth, even way before any reason to leave happens…

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