09 Nov 2013
The super typhoon didn’t directly hit Cebu City, instead its eye passed
over the North of Cebu island. While I am thankful for it not hitting us
directly, my heart goes out to those that were affected: many are
without shelter in Cebu City, those in the North of Cebu are worse, the
earthquake victims in Bohol haven’t had shelter since Oct 15 - only
tents, and the islands of Leyte and Samar who were the first landfall
points for the storm saw the massive, unrestrained force of a category 5
storm. There isn’t a lot of information at the moment as power and telco
lines are down and/or overwhelmed. Please keep them in your thoughts and
prayers and directly donate to relief organizations. On a side note:
Glory Reborn was a small shelter yesterday with many families in the
neighborhood coming in for safety as the storm hit. We will continue to
assist those in surrounding communities and islands as we recover from
the series of natural disasters, if you feel inclined to help us, you
can donate at https://gloryreborn.org
13 Sep 2013
The choice of life
My phone rings. Its Hilary. I answer it, Hey hun, whats up?
“David, how much money do we have in the bank?” she says frantically.
“I dont know off hand, Ill have to checkWhy?” I reply, slightly nervous
about what my wife has planned to spend our money on.
She blurts out I hate the public hospital! Do you remember that patient
that we referred to them on the 6th? Yes. I say, just to keep the
conversation going. Well do you know what they did? They sent her home!
She needs to be induced or her baby is going to die! I am silent, so she
continues. She came back to the clinic, we checked the heart beat and we
sent her back to the public hospital. Again she was not accepted. She
then went to the second public hospital. They sent her with a note back
to the first public hospital. Doc was informed that we were sending her
back again as she is out of our scope and requires hospital care, and do
you know what they did?
I know the answer already, this is not a new situation for us to be in,
but to keep the flow moving, I reply No, what? She yells They sent her
back to us again! Three times they have sent her back! Almost two weeks
past her due date with a terrible fetal heart beat and no signs of
labor. They said they cant do anything because the baby is fine, she is
not in labor and they are full. They told the patient that if she wants
to be induced we should take her to a private hospital instead! I reply
On September 12th, 6 days after the patient was originally referred to
the hospital, the patient came back to the clinic in tears, worried
about her baby. The babys vital signs were troublesome on the 6th, and
now they are much worse. Immediate action has to be taken or this baby
will die. Even if we do take action, there is a chance that the baby
will still not make it.
“David, the baby will die if we dont do something. Can we afford to put
her in the private hospital?”
Life is filled with choices. I make choices everyday. I choose what
shirt to wear with what pants (Im colorblind so this choice can be
dreadful at times). I choose if I have time for breakfast or if I can
only afford the time to grab a granola bar and run out the door. I
choose what projects I will work on: will I focus on my startup or will
I focus on our charity. I also make choices about peoples lives. Not
just their lives as in this will effect them. I mean that I choose if
they will live or die. Ive been choosing these type of things for 10
years now. I thought it would get easier over time, or maybe I wouldnt
have to face these choices anymore it hasnt gotten easier and I am still
“Do what you need to do.” “Yes, lets save a life today!” “Do we really
have a choice? Admit the patient.” “Okay, Ill figure out a way to cover
it.” “We really dont have any budget right now.” “I am sorry but we cant
right now, we dont have the money.” these are some of my answers to this
question throughout the years. These choices are etched into my memory,
and I can recall all of the situations and most especially the outcomes
that we lost. I said yes to baby James, but in spite of that we lost
him. I said no to one young boy and then yes a few days later when we
had funds and we lost him. I said yes to sweet baby Hannah and we lost
her a few days later. In an ideal situation we would save them all, and
hopefully no one would have to make the hard choice, rather the obvious
choice that every one deserves the chance of life.
I took a deep breath, knowing full well the balance of Glory Reborns
bank accounts wouldnt cover all of the next months operating costs and
this procedure. In a hurried exhale as if I didnt get it out quickly I
would change my mind I stated: Yes, just do it. Hilary hung up the
phone, forgetting to even say bye as she was in the Save A Life Zone.
I stared blankly at the pixels on my phones screen wondering about these
choices of life.
A couple of hours later I called Hilary to check on the outcome. The mom
had to undergo an emergency C-Section and the babys vitals were not
well, so he was admitting into the Neonatal ICU. I would be lying if I
said that this news didnt make my stomach drop as I worried about how
much this was going to cost, but how can I put a cost on the value of a
life? What if it were my wife and baby in this situation and their lives
depending on someone making a similar choice?
I hope that everyone faced with this choice would choose life. Both the
mom and baby are doing well as of today September 13th. We hope that
this amazing baby boy will be out of NICU tonight and that they will be
discharged from the hospital in a few days. During the C-Section we
found out that the baby had 3 tight cord coils around his leg and very
minimal fluid inside the water bag. These were the factors causing the
problems with the heartbeat that we saw on the monitor days before. In
this case, I made a choice in spite of the resources. The family has
raised around $400 to cover some of the cost, which is truly amazing!
By donating to this situation, even small amounts, you will make a
difference! And Id ask if you could choose to save a life with us today?
If you feel inclined to donate to Glory Reborn (a 501(c)(3) non-profit),
you can do so here:
23 Aug 2013
I was recently asked to infer my knowledge of a specific situation into
a general topic. It made me think about generalization, you know
Generalizations are generally good, but they are never great. Details
and specifics are so valuable to understanding and specifically in a
startup, it’s the details that we should be paying attention too.
I’ve also noticed that it is easy to give general advice (or criticism),
but being more specific in our advice (or criticism) takes an
investment. Time must be invested to be able to clearly give specific
I value this type of input more than generalizations, and I am going to
do my best to give feedback that is as specific as possible.
24 May 2013
Difference between Startup Weekend and a Startup -
Dan Fennessy explaining the difference between the experiences at
Startup Weekend Amsterdam and launching an actual startup (Party with
I really think Startup Weekend is a great event, it’s like a crash
course on startups. At the end of the event, the teams have an
opportunity to continue on with their products. Some do. Some don’t.
I think the relationship analogy used for theTeam section is
A Startup Weekend team is like a one night stand- youre
together for a short time, its intense, rushed, at times clumsy, its
usually alcohol-fueled,you dont get much sleep and you may or may not
ever see them again.
A real startup team is more like a marriageyou meet (often
introduced by a friend), you date for a while, see how you click and
work together, if it starts to go well and things are getting serious,
then its time to formalise the relationship.
I highly recommend that if you are interested or intrigued by startups
you join a Startup Weekend, it is still one of the best ways to get to
know startups and know that there will be some similarities and
differences between the weekend and Monday morning.
27 Jan 2013
Three year olds should not know what starvation feels like. Three year
olds should not know how it feels to sleep on the streets. Three year
olds should not know how to sift through garbage in a dump site. Three
year olds should not know what scabies is. Three year olds should not
know what it means to be raped or murdered.
There are certain things in this world that we have a responsibility
for, one such thing is children. Last night, on an outreach to a
community living at the margins of society (a.k.a. living in poverty) we
learned of some truly tragic situations. A three year old had been
raped. A three year old had been murdered. We did as much as we could
for the families involved and gave what seemed like futile condolences.
With heavy hearts we continued to walk through the streets this
community calls home and found another three year old. This situation
was a three year old girl living with scabies - she was covered from
head to foot. Her grandmother, who tries to care for her, wasat a loss
on what to do, so the child has just lived with this. We aren’t even
sure how long these rashes have tormented this poor child.
After providing them with some basic salve and ointment, which was all
we had with us, we left the area and Hilary and I decided that we needed
to do something more. We called friends who run an orphanage to look
into the rape situation, as the child was under the care of the Social
Welfare Department. We knew that we could also help the little one with
the rash, so we returned to the area Saturday afternoon and walked to
where this grandmother told us she lived. We found a small community of
makeshift shelters - pieces of trash, tires and cardboard held together
by hopes, ropes and prayers.
One of our Glory Reborn team members was with us and we talked with the
neighbors as our grandmother and three year old were not there. We
learned that she would be back later, so we left for a meeting we had to
attend, and our team member, Katrina, vowed to return later with more of
the team to find this grandmother and bring them to the clinic where we
could treat the child.
Our team returned later, and the grandmother agreed to go to the clinic.
Katrina immediately fell in love with the child and despite the rash,
she carried the little one back to the car. Our team at the clinic
responded in their usual amazing way and sprung into action - they found
clothes and toys for her and began to prepare the treatment. Hilary and
I stopped by the grocery and department store to pick up food and
supplies to care for her with. We knew that due to the severity of the
rash, the treatment will take time, so we asked if the grandmother would
leave the child with us until Monday. This way we could get her
treatment started and keep her out of the environment in which she
contracted this. The grandmother agreed and just as she was leaving the
clinic, a woman in labor walked into the clinic. Hilary glanced at me, a
glance I have seen before and have come to love, the “You have to do
something about this now, David” glance. I said, “Lets take her to the
house, she can stay with us.”
For the past 24 hours, I have been blessed to know and care for a
marvelous three year old. A three year old, who at the onset did not say
a word, yet while in the car ride home, she opened her arms for me to
hold her when Hilary was getting out. She screams when we bathe her from
the pain of her rash and we do our best to comfort her. Today, on a
short walk, we held her hands, and when I let go, she kept her hand
extended just waiting for mine to return. She still has not said much,
though there was a little singing. Today, as I walked in, she smiled. It
melted my heart and I realized that I have so much to be thankful for.
There are things three year olds should not know or have to live
through. It is our responsibility to care for them and to do something
to change that. We each have the capacity to do that.