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North Carolina’s Nepalese Community Aids Earthquake Victims

I’m going to India soon. It’s my first trip back to the country of my birth in 20 years. This will be my husband and sons’ first time there. We’ll be visiting this vast country, rich in its colorful tapestry of history and culture. We had actually toyed with going to Nepal as well. Plans changed.

I exhale a sigh of relief while simultaneously inhaling a grand  breath of disbelief. In a matter of days I will be with my family in India, not far from the devastation that has rocked her neighbor Nepal.

North Carolina has a robust Indian and Nepalese community. We benefit from the myriad people who comprise this community in countless ways. Today this community stands tall and proud as it seeks to lifts its own.

Generous in spirit and so much more…

HOW TO HELP

The Nepal Center of North Carolina is raising money online at ncnepal.orgor by mail at 108 Marengo Drive, Morrisville, NC 27560

The N.C. Baptist Men group is sending volunteers and is raising money at www.baptistsonmission.org/Projects/Type/Disaster-Relief.aspx or by mail at P.O. Box 1107, Cary, NC 27512

Duke University students are raising money online atwww.gofundme.com/swg6psg.

Duke’s Dr. Sallie Permar Researching AIDS Vaccine, Devotes Her Life to Maternal and Children’s Health

SalliePermar

Duke has more than a championship basketball team. Even more amazing than Coach K is Dr. P.

The photo of Dr. Sallie Permar snapped by Bill Giduz of Davidson College perfectly captures her confidence, affability, and good nature. But don’t be fooled. Behind that smile is a bad ass.

Dr. Permar is an MD, PhD and a pedigreed pediatrician with degrees from Davidson, Johns Hopkins, and Harvard Medical School. What warms the heart of this public school advocate is that Sallie is also a product of Wake County Public Schools. She graduated from Broughton High School, just up the hill from my house.

Dr. Permar’s titles at Duke are impressive, if not a tish intimidating.

Associate Professor of Pediatrics

Assistant Professor in Immunology

Assistant Professor in Molecular Genetics and Microbiology

I hope 60 Minutes producers are standing by to schedule an interview with Sallie. She’s one of the few lucky ones whose work is changing the world. Sallie is a decorated doctor and researcher working on vaccines for AIDS and CMV, Cytomegalovirus, at Duke. I’m warning you to not Google Dr. Sallie Permar, lest you feel highly unaccomplished. Or maybe that’s just me…

Sallie’s contributions have been recognized by the White House, among others. Just last year she was awarded the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government to outstanding scientists and engineers beginning their independent careers.

Here’s the thing…Sallie Permar is jovial, funny, candid, and ever so approachable. She takes her work, but not herself, seriously. There’s no ego to bust through, and Sallie isn’t out to impress anyone with her accomplishments (I think I’ve already established that there are many.). She clearly loves what she does and is committed to maternal health and disease eradication.

Part of my advocacy work is with the UN Foundation’s Shot@Life program. I work to provide vaccines to children in developing countries, where a child dies of a vaccine preventable disease every 20 seconds. Let that sink in… I was fortunate to travel to Uganda with Shot@Life, where many mothers spoke of the horror of AIDS. Sallie’s work in Zambia and other parts of the African continent is leading to promising breakthroughs. There were mothers in Uganda who told me their wish for their family was that their children did not die of AIDS. That conversation has stuck with me, like a pin in my heart. Imagine how heartening it is to have met Dr. Sallie Permar, the woman who might be the key to making these mothers’ wishes come true.