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Jesuit Center Fellow delivering Christmas miracle to Haiti

December 10, 2010

Loyola University New Orleans Jesuit Center Fellow Katrina Weschler is helping bring a miracle to earthquake-ravaged Haiti this Christmas in the form of former Port-au-Prince security guard Marcel Faugue.

In August, Faugue was visiting a friend in a Port-au-Prince tent hospital when he was noticed by Weschler’s mother and father, who had volunteered to treat the sick and injured in the capital city following last January’s devastating earthquake.

What Weschler’s parents noted was a massive, orange-sized tumor on Faugue’s head. The benign tumor had burrowed itself into Faugue’s skull and was threatening to cut off blood supply to his brain. Jody, Weschler’s mother and a practicing nurse, took immediate action by arranging a State Department humanitarian visa to the United States, while her father, Dr. Frank Weschler, contacted a medical colleague in Chicago about treatment.

“My mom told my dad, ‘We’ve got to do something.’ When they got home they raised $40,000 for the operation from family, friends or anyone who would listen to his story and felt compelled to donate to save this man’s life,” Weschler said. “It was amazing to see so many people reach out to help save the life of a man they didn’t even know.”

This Saturday, three months later, Katrina is scheduled to meet her mother and Faugue in Miami. There, they will board a plane to Port-au-Prince and bring Faugue back to his wife and three daughters just in time for Christmas.

“I think it’s an amazing story. We were taught that when you come from a blessed family, you should continue to give to others, and I think that’s what my mom and dad have done from day one,” Weschler added. “They taught us to use our gifts and never stop giving. They never did.”

Upon graduating from Duke University, Weschler spent a year with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps in New Orleans working as an advocate for survivors of domestic violence. Being a full-time volunteer further fueled her interest in service engagement with diverse communities and commitment to social justice. She now works as a Jesuit Center Fellow at Loyola, where she shares the Jesuit mission of service to others with the university community and through her work with the Ignacio Volunteers, the Jesuit Center’s international immersion program.

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact Matt Lambert in the Office of Public Affairs at 504-861-5448 or mlambert@loyno.edu.

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