Monthly Archives: January 2021


by Reid Fitzsimons

Note: This was sent to Sen Toomey following his announcement that he has sided with the Democrats in supporting the impeachment/Senate trial of Donald Trump, no longer in office.

Sen. Toomey:

Almost 20 years ago my (future) wife and I decided to depart from our comfortable small town, middle-class lives and venture into the world of volunteer charity work. This first led us to Guatemala, then East Africa, and finally back to Central America. In Kenya, in 2002 and 2003, I was the medical director (PA) of a very remote clinic, this being during the time of the AIDS crisis. I suspect you couldn’t begin to imagine the misery, suffering, and death I encountered on a daily basis: malaria and AIDS especially, but also diseases as far reaching as typhoid, cholera, and even rabies. There were too many failures, never enough successes, lots of gut-wrenching sadness, and even occasional joy. My wife had the courage to travel by herself and join me at this clinic, and I recall with timeless admiration when a young woman had just given birth with resultant vaginal tearing, and my wife held in one hand the patient’s hand, and in the other a flashlight so I could see to do the surgical repair. In looking at a summary of your biography, I suspect we saw more of this reality of the world in a day then you’ve seen in your lifetime.

In the mid-2000’s we decided to develop a kid’s oriented project in Honduras, which we opened in a small, rural village in 20007. This included educational and reading experiences, a feeding program (typically we served 100’s of meals a week), wholesome recreation and sports- basically a place where impoverished children could feel safe and be kids. Once we were told of a 2 ½ year-old girl who weighed 11 pounds, was hairless, and covered with scars. We took her to an “expert,” a local physician, and were told she was beyond salvage. Nevertheless, we provided her with intensive nutrition and other measures, and today she is a healthy teenager. In this type of work there are frequently unexpected and significant challenges.