CREATING A FUTURE IN GUATEMALA
By Mary Dowling, Co-Director
Having crossed eyes is not easy for a child to live with anywhere. On February 2, 2003, fourteen medical professionals from the Madison area, LaCrosse, and Washington State returned to the U.S. from Guatemala City. They were weary but elated, having completing the first Sharing Resources Worldwide Medical Mission to that city, a trip which was organized by Sharing Resources Worldwide (SRW). Although most of the team members were medical-mission veterans, all seemed to agree that this was one of their best trips in every respect. Surgeons operated on fifty-two children that week to repair clubfeet, deformed/maligned legs, unstable hips, crossed eyes and blocked tear ducts. The medical team screened 140 children during their first day at the host clinic, which was founded and operated by Fundacion Pediatrica Guatemalteca in Guatemala City.
This foundation began eighteen years ago, when several Guatemalan pediatricians saw a need for improved medical care and related services, dedicated to the future men and women of their country, the children of Guatemala. Since the foundation has hosted 18-20 medical mission teams each year, their experience was a huge part of the success of SRW's first medical mission. We salute and thank them for their dedication, friendship and professional talents, not to mention their love for the children and families of Guatemala.
As with most medical missions, our days were long and full and our surroundings were unfamiliar; yet we returned to Wisconsin exhilarated by the challenge and with hearts full of a sense of companionship and cooperation - all essential to the success of any mission.
Sadly there are some that no one can help... but one never forgets them and is humbled by them. We were constantly asked that week if we could return again.next month. Following this first eye-and-orthopedic mission they've hosted, Fundacion Pediatrica Guatemalteca members are now more keenly aware of even more needs among the children of their country. SRW is anxious to return - but not quite that soon.
Team members contributed in many ways that are difficult to measure or mention here, including the contribution of their own airfare, as well as room and board in Guatemala. The value of the services delivered and supplies provided on this mission is $236,600. The cost to SRW was $1772. This is SRW delivering $133 worth of services and supplies for every $1.00 donated to support the medical mission.
To each of our team members, we express our appreciation for a job well done-because we should, we can and we will. The mission and goals of SRW are exemplified in the caring and self-sacrifice of our mission team, who gave because they desire to improve the lives of others. The best way to predict the future is to create it.
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