A well-known millionaire in the United States, she has dedicated time and effort contacting many major hospitals and universities in her hometown, and launched charity campaigns to fundraise for the surgery of a Vietnamese man.
Her name is Amanda Schumacher, founder of The Tree of Life Foundation International headquartered in Florida, and the man is Nguyen Duy Hai, whose 82kg tumor was removed from his right leg at the Ho Chi Minh City-based FV hospital in early January 2012.
Amanda learned of Hai’s health condition through Cindy, his biological sister, who is an employee at a Vietnamese-owned beauty salon in Florida, in 2009. Feeling special compassion towards the poor man, she decided to raise funds for him, although she had only talked with him via Skype once before.
The Tree of Life Foundation has been helping Hai since 2009. They have raised funds for him a few times and sent his family money for medications. Amanda also gave Hai a laptop for entertainment.
In July, 2009, she contacted Dr. Bruce Perler, Director of Surgery Vascular – John Hopkins Hospital, to search for support for Hai’s transportation to the US – but she failed. One month later, she contacted Oprah’s Foundation, founded by world-renowned host Oprah Winfrey, seeking financial support both to bring Hai to the US and for his surgery, but again, she did not succeed.
Disappointed, but not discouraged, in February 2010, Amanda contacted the office of Florida Senator George LeMieux. At the same time, she emailed the US consulate in Ho Chi Minh City to suggest bringing Hai to the US for tests, exams, and pre-surgical evaluation with an expected length of stay between 6-12 months.
In February, 2011, Christine Do (Owner of the Salon where Cindy works) was the one that persisted in finding a way to help Hai. She was watching the Discovery channel when she saw Dr. McKinnon performing a high risk surgery.
In November 2011, Amanda and her daughter came to visit Hai in Vietnam for 3 days when he was at the HCMC-based Oncology Hospital. A plan was being made to operate on Hai on November 18, but the hospital could not proceed.
January 2012, Dr McKinnon came back and performed a 3-day marathon surgeries on Nguyen Duy Hai, Thach Thi Sa Ly and Kieu Thi My Dung. The latter two patients were also dreadful tumor cases that Sam had asked Dr McKinnon to add to his first-time ever Vietnam caseloads miraculously accomplished in January 2012.
Tree of Life paid a $4,000 bill for the total costs of $12,000 required by FV for Hai’s surgery while the rest was covered by local and international donations.
Amanda's Family Foundation (The Schumacher Family Foundation) supports 100% the Tree of Life Foundation International, paying for all administrative costs and donations.