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The Miracle of Prayer

In 2001 I created The Vanilla.COMpany, a web-based, socially-
conscious business located at, My dream was to
make a difference for tropical farmers – the majority of whom are
women – to create better conditions and opportunities for them and
their families. Two years later I was diagnosed with end-stage breast
cancer in my liver and told to put my affairs in order. I had no idea at
that moment that farmers, their families and their communities would
permanently change – perhaps even save – my life.

At the time, I was assisting vanilla farmers however I could, to
negotiate an international crisis. Most of the growers were in remote
regions in Africa, Asia, Papua New Guinea and Central America, often
traveling hours to Internet cafes in search of assistance.

The vanilla industry is small and opaque; until I launched my site,
there was nowhere for farmers to turn for information or help. As
there was a severe shortage of vanilla and prices were sky-high, I
could not afford to buy their vanilla. Instead, I helped them sell their
vanilla to big traders, and advised young growers on how to help their
communities. Frequently all I could provide was hope.

Now I was suddenly fighting for my life, possibly to die within a year.
I was in shock, but somewhere deep inside I felt that I didn't have
time for cancer; there was too much to do for tropical farmers also
desperate to survive. Via e-mail I contacted the farmers, telling them
of my diagnosis and assuring them I would continue to help as long as
I could.

Immediately e-mail poured in from around the world, notes and letters
filled with love, concern and prayer. In churches, mosques and Hindu
temples, entire communities prayed for my life. I was stunned by the
overwhelming outpouring of care from people who had never met me,
men and women old and young whose lives were marginal at best,
selflessly praying for my life.

The love and prayer I received from around the world was – and
continues to be – a miracle. Three years ago I qualified for liver
resection surgery, rarely possible with breast cancer. I am currently
in remission. It has been seven years since my diagnosis, yet farmers
continue to pray for me!

This year I will launch a non-profit and foundation for vanilla farmers,
providing them with a voice and opportunity. They are my miracle.



duth.kimsru's picture


Dear Patricia,

It is not only Vanilla farmers are your miracle, but your kindness and inside strength are also your miracle. When I read "The Miracle of Prayer," I feel that I am one of the luckiest people who get to read this wonderful inspiration.

Even though your connection within people around the world seem invisible, but god (in whatever religion) knows and moves by your action.

I am proud of you.

Love, care and warm to my dear Patricia,


Patricia Rain's picture

Thank You

Your comments are so kind. Thank you. We women are amazing, aren't we?

Patricia Rain, Vanilla Queen

olutosin's picture

The Work of God

The vanilla work is the work in God's vineyard! Therefore, you will nt die, you will fulfill your mission on Earth! Ah May God continually strengthen You. I just fall in love with your Miracle.

Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale
Founder/Project Coordinator
Star of Hope Transformation Centre
512 Road
F Close
Festac Town


LauraB's picture

They need you


Your work here is not done; the vanilla farmers need you.

I think the living world has claimed you; as you said you didn't have time for cancer. I love that- you didn't have time for cancer! That is really quite a wonderful statement.

I really loved reading your story. Thank you and I am so very happy that you are alive doing the important work that you do.



Patricia Rain's picture

Thank You Laura

Ever since you wrote I've wanted to write back to you. I actually posted information about PulseWire in yesterday's blog. I'm having difficulty keeping up as I'm working seven days a week -- clearing out e-mail as I'm flying to Italy tomorrow for a three week holiday with friends. The first holiday in a very long time. When I return I would like to write something for Pulsewire.


Patricia Rain, Vanilla Queen

LauraB's picture

Vanilla Company Website

Hi Patricia,

I hope that you will share links with PW about what is happening for vanilla farmers.
PW could act as an important platform for you.

I hope you will write a blog post here on PW about your work and provide us with links.



philo Ikonya Gacheri's picture

I met you Patricia!

Hei Patricia!

This is great! Since I met you, I always wondered how you were getting on... more prayers.. more miracles to you!

Santa Clara University Summer- 2006

"Communication is the real work of leadership" Nitin Nohria

Patricia Rain's picture

Thank You Philo!

I have thought a lot about you as well. I was sad but relieved that you decided to move to Sweden. Sad because no one should have to leave one's country for personal safety reasons. But you are an amazing woman and I know that you will continue to make a major difference in the world.

I'm currently fundraising to get a Kenyan woman to Oxford. She's been accepted but couldn't get a scholarship. She has done so much to help Kenyan women including raising two girls whose parents couldn't afford them. If you can think of any connections that I should follow to help her, please let me know. If you go to my blog at (you'll see it in the lefthand corner), you'll see her story.

Big hugs to you!

Patricia Rain, Vanilla Queen

Hi Patricia!

You not only remember me but carry my country in your breast. They say to educate one woman is to educate a nation. I say to help one woman is to cure the world.I have posted it on fb and I will be sending the information around. I am pleased you are helping Theresia. Not so long ago someone was asking on faceboo which area they could support and though it was not scholarships I quickly said agriculture.. . many women are in this. I will see who else I can link up.

Patricia, I woke up with a poem that is still rumbling in me as I try to read, reply mail, blog, sweep and cook! I will do my first draft for you. Unfortunately it is one of those that insists on a certain pattern and it is not yet fully there.. . but for you...

For Patricia Rain

Where women gather

(c) Philo Ikonya

I will be where women gather
It is not that I do not love other gender
But I will be where women gather
I just know that together
we share a history no one can sever.
and in their hands stones turn tender,
race and class sometimes a river.

I will be where women gather
and beside any woman left alone
I know it does not flatter
sometimes where women gather in name
But where did diversity never tether?

I will be where women gather
for eventually they fly
And when I feel the pain I would rather
Watch the V formation of birds and firefly
then I know that the clouds gather
and Rain comes too for our daughter

I said I will be where women gather
I like it when they ulalate in Cairo
singing a song out of hearts, sister
I like it when together
they set out to clear boundaries yonder.
So, just look and see
I will be there
I will be where women gather

"Communication is the real work of leadership" Nitin Nohria

Patricia Rain's picture


My poems come like yours -- when we do physical work that frees our minds to be creative.

Thank you for helping me get the word out for Theresia. The more eyes, the greater our chances.

What is your e-mail address? Then we can keep in touch directly.

Love to you,

Patricia Rain, Vanilla Queen

curvesalish2's picture

Beautiful Story

How wonderful it is to see selflessness such as this? Both on your part and theirs. Thanks to shining light on an issue I wasn't aware existed.
Warm wishes,

Aarti's picture

For you

Amazing story. May you live another 100 years continuing the work you do.


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