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The Center of Two Worlds
Steve Rushin
September 04, 2006
My people perish for lack of knowledge," says Dikembe Mutombo, paraphrasing the Old Testament, from whose pages he seems to have sprung, like some prophet from a pop-up Bible.
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September 04, 2006

The Center Of Two Worlds

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Listen to his story long enough, told in his weary rasp, and Mutombo might sound like a prophet of doom, a Hoarse Man of the Apocalypse. But he's the opposite, a harbinger of hope. In professional sports, putting your money where your mouth is usually means getting gold teeth, but Mutombo has received hundreds of thousands of dollars from Patrick Ewing, Juwan Howard, Tracy McGrady, Alonzo Mourning, among many others. "Even Yao," he says, "who comes from a country of a billion people, is helping mine."

Those of us who don't make millions can help too. Mutombo prays that 100,000 people will call 1-877-FUND-DMF and pledge at least $10 a month for one year to cover the hospital's operating expenses. In return, those people will get something priceless--the sense "that you're making a difference," says Mutombo. "You can feel that joy."

It isn't enough to be heartbroken for 35 million orphans. As Gandhi said, "Be the change you want to see in the world."

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