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In May 2006, Susan and Patti traveled to Afghanistan to meet the women whose lives they are helping to transform.

"We had seen so many images on TV of women in burkas and women begging on the streets. You think that you're prepared for it, but you just looked around and everywhere there seemed to be somebody in need," Patti says.

In Afghanistan, when a man dies the couple's property automatically goes to the decedents' male relatives—leaving their widows with few options. To help get them off the streets, a portion of Susan and Patti's funds were used to train women in a vocation so they could start to provide for themselves.

Improving the lives of these women has helped both Susan and Patti come to terms with their own pain. "I think having received the amount of support that we did after our husbands were killed on September 11—and [the fact] that we were born in America, and they were born in Afghanistan—it was just by pure luck that we have this wonderful life, and support."
FROM: The Day Your World Falls Apart: Elizabeth Edwards
Published on September 27, 2006