Today We’ve been reflecting on the generous support that you have shown, most recently through our #GivingTuesday fundraising efforts-THANK YOU! In these turbulent times, we find it refreshing to know that so many of us can come together to help others with whom, on the surface, we have little in common. Often we are separated not only by thousands of miles, but also by language, race, religion, gender, education level and culture. We believe that our world needs more people like you, who can find the similarities among others–humanity, kindness, grace, compassion, love for our children and a desire to give our children every opportunity possible. So many of us tend to focus on the differences and let ourselves and others be defined by differences and not by what we have in common. Now more than ever, focusing on goodness, kindness, compassion, healing and caring seems so very important. But, the need in the world is overwhelming, and we may want to throw up our hands, paralyzed by not knowing what to do–and simply do nothing. Time and again we hear stories about individuals who make an enormous difference in the world. One act of kindness, one life touched, one cleft lip repaired–these are but the beginning of the ripple effect. Thank you for extending your helping hands instead of throwing them up in frustration.
From a public health standpoint, the repair of a cleft lip or palate is just the beginning, the first tiny ripple in the lake. In a Low or Middle Income Country (LMIC) the surgery can yield not only an improvement in form and function for the individual child (ability to eat, drink, speak, attend school, marry and work), but also benefits his or her family (inclusion in the community, return to work for parents) and can avoid significant lifelong disability for the child which translates into an improved economic future as he/she grows to become a contributing member of society.
Thank you for being the difference that you want to see in the world. We are delighted to partner with you and we rejoice in the ripples that you are sending across the globe.
Global Medical and Surgical Teams (GMAST) turned one-year-old on November 30th! That was the day, in 2017, that we formally submitted the paperwork to become a business and then applied for 501(c)(3) status. We received that approval shortly before our trip to Uganda last spring. What a whirlwind year it has been! We have received donations from folks residing in the US, Europe and Australia! We’ve had volunteers travel with us from Alaska, Oregon, Switzerland, New York and South Carolina. Our village is growing indeed.
Our own Liz Wood and Michelle Vessely held #GivingTuesday campaigns on their personal Facebook pages–thank you to their friends and family who gave so generously! And a big thank you to Facebook and Paypal for matching the Tuesday gifts!
Today in Valdese, NC, the Waldensian Presbyterian Church included GMAST in their Alternative Giving Fair. We are feeling the love! Thank you Emily Church for putting this amazing poster together and supporting our cause! If you have an idea for fundraising, please reach out!
Take a peek at some of our amazing before and after pictures from patients we’ve treated this week!
(Note: Many of the post-operative shots show the absorbable sutures and packing that will be removed.)
Our medical and surgical team members, along side the excellent CURE staff provided life changing physical transformations in our patients. The spiritual needs of patients and families were addressed beautifully by the CURE staff. And, we also had several volunteer team members who were not medical but contributed substantially to our endeavor.
Donny brought shoes and socks, many collected from a donation drive that he organized at Marist High School in Eugene, Oregon. He measured each child’s feet and outfitted each with a new pair of shoes and socks.
Donny giving Nike bag full of goodies to Kiptoo after lip repair surgery.
A variety of sizes and colors of socks were also donated by Debbie Hammond. Mini backpacks that were donated by Athleta and Nike were filled with the new shoes, socks, small toys, discharge medications as well as a hat knitted or crocheted with loving hands by a group of kind hearted and talented Oregonian women: Diana Frederick, Susan Wales and Yvette Molter.
Nina was our tireless photographer, capturing pre and post op photos and adding social media posts so family and friends could keep up with us throughout the week. And then…we discovered Nina is a natural at assisting in surgery–who knew?
Paul Bertucci unveiled a new remote capable EMR system, iTriage, that he developed for GMAST and that CURE may be able to use at the hospital and for their mobile clinics throughout Kenya. Dr. Theuri and the IT staff were very excited to learn about this product.