Hi! My name is Sara. I am an occupational therapy student from Indiana. In my free time, I like to eat pizza, play card games with my grandma, and walk around malls – just ordinary college student stuff. However, I am about to embark on a journey that is totally out of the ordinary for me…  a trip to China! In January of 2018, I will be traveling with a group of fourteen classmates to Beijing where we will work in orphanages that house children with various medical conditions.

The purpose of this trip is to establish training protocols and provide education to caregivers in the orphanages. Many of the children in these specific orphanages are on feeding tubes and staff are not properly trained on how to manage and care for this delicate equipment. Our team of students will strive to improve the feeding conditions for the children through demonstrations, hands-on training with the staff, and training protocols for future staff. Our team also hopes to reduce the number of children on feeding tubes by providing education and proper equipment, such as specialty bottles for children with cleft palates.

I am looking forward to the opportunity to improve the health and well-being of children at the orphanages in China. I have always had a passion to help improve the lives of others both near and far and this trip will enable me to do so in a greater capacity. As this is my first time leaving the country, it will challenge me to push myself and step out of my own comfort zone to better serve others. I am excited to fully immerse myself into the Chinese culture and experience the world from another point-of-view.

This trip would not be possible without the Live Like Ally Foundation. I am incredibly grateful that I found the LLAF website and had the chance to read and hear stories about Ally and her family. Though I never had the pleasure of meeting Ally, these stories reveal the true compassion, ambition, and excitement she had for serving others.  I am honored to be a part of this incredible foundation and help carry on the legacy of Ally.

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