Archive for October, 2009

Honduras Video

The focus of the news has been on Afghanistan as of late. But you may recall that last summer there was turmoil in Honduras as the country’s president, Jose Manuel Zelaya Rosales, was ousted. Since then, the situation has remained mainly peaceful, but at times uncertain. CURE has a hospital in Honduras in the city of San Pedro Sula, which we opened in January 2009. The husband-wife duo of Daniel and Ruth Castro serve as the spiritual and executive directors of CURE Honduras. Just a few days ago, they shared some of their thoughts on the current situation in their country and how it has affected the hospital.

We’d be most appreciative if you’d keep Honduras and our hospital in your prayers. Also, please keep Afghanistan and our facilities in Kabul in your prayers as that country prepares  for the next round of elections on November 7.

A Mid-Week Update…

Good Wednesday morning…
A few quick updates for you.

Dr. Scott Nelson has updated his blog on his most recent trip to Haiti.  As always, it is  fascinating reading.

wonderkidslogo-copyCURE has teamed up with a great organization called Wonder Kids to help support children at our hospitals. Wonder Kids offers fun and inspiring Christian books and music for kids of all ages.  Now, whenever you make a purchase at mywonderkids.com, a portion of the proceeds goes to help heal a child at one of our hospitals.

And finally,
CURE International has become a Covenant Member for Standards of Excellence in Short-Term Missions (SOE). This is a tremendous honor for our global outreach team and a true reflection on the efforts they all put into planning and executing our short-term trips.  In fact, CURE offers many opportunities to volunteer at one of our hospitals.  So, if you are interested, find out more here.

One Million Patients!

Good Monday morning to you…

We are celebrating an exciting moment in the history of CURE!  We’ve reached a million patients.  It is an exciting milestone, which could not have been accomplished without the hard work and dedication of all CURE employees around the globe.  I’d like to share a couple of things in connection with this.

First off, we are very honored to have received congratulations from the Zambian Ministry of Health as well as the Kenyan Ministry of Medical Services on our million patient milestone.  CURE truly appreciates the cooperation and support they’ve given to our hospitals.  We also appreciate the support we’ve received from all of the government ministries in the countries where we operate hospitals. Their partnership has helped us deliver care to so many children over the last 11 years.

fransicah photos

Franciscah

I’d also like to share comments from two former patients of ours named Franciscah and Grace.  Both were among CURE’s first patients in 1998, and both had their lives changed forever because of the care they received at the AIC-CURE International Children’s Hospital in Kijabe, Kenya.

Here’s what Franciscah had to say about her life before she came to CURE,

“My family perceived me as a curse to them. I was of no value to them, and, if anything, they saw me as an unnecessary burden. In fact, they wished I could die in my childhood to get rid of the shame of having a disabled child.”

This changed for her after her experience at CURE Kenya. Today she is a completely different person,  “My life has been transformed full-cycle.  I am self-dependent and happily married. I see even a brighter future. AIC-CURE Kenya is an oasis of hope for disabled children and their families in Kenya.”

Grace has a similar story.  Growing up with a physical disability was difficult for her, “I was stigmatized by children of my age at school and the community at large. I became withdrawn. [Verbal] abuses and [being] laughed at were the order of the day.”

grace

Grace

Her life changed for the better though when she came to CURE Kenya. Grace recalled, “I was welcomed well by the dedicated and loving staff who encouraged me and raised my self-esteem. I even came to know that I was not the only child with spine problems. Indeed, there were others with more complications than I had.”

And today, she lives a full and productive life, “Life has positively changed both physically and spiritually. I can now do anything without fear of being withdrawn or abused.  I can walk long distances and run without having difficulty in breathing.”

There stories have another great twist.  Franciscah and Grace both now work at the CURE Kenya hospital.  Not only have their lives been changed, they also can share their stories with the hospital’s patients.

These stories are amazing and testify to the legacy CURE is leaving throughout the developing world.  We celebrate the first million and look forward to the millions more we’ll transform in the coming years!

And I can’t forget to add.  We reached these patients because of people who have given generously to CURE.

So, to all of you who have supported our cause over the years, we owe you a big Thank You!

Afghanistan Earthquake

In case you might not have heard, an 6.2 magnitude earthquake hit near Kabul, Afghanistan, earlier this morning. We got word from our staff over there that everyone is okay. Here’s more info.  Please keep the people affected by this in your thoughts and prayers.

Remembering a Medical Pioneer

We at CURE International are saddened by the passing of Dr. Ignacio Ponseti. Dr. Ponseti developed a nonsurgical treatment for clubfoot known as the Ponseti Method. This procedure is the standard treatment method for our CURE Clubfoot Worldwide initiative and has been used to cure more than 6,000 children of clubfoot at our CCW clinics around the world. We extend our condolences to his family and friends even as we celebrate his legacy. You can find out more about his life here.

While there is sadness in his passing, an email we received a few days ago is a true reflection of his legacy. It is from a mom of a child who was treated at our CCW clubfoot clinic in Kenya:

My name is Caroline.  I just want to pass my message of gratitude to you.  I have a boy who has just turned 2 years.  The boy was born with bilateral clubfoot and, ever since I started visiting CURE International in Kenya, there is great improvement.  The boy can now walk, and everything else a normal baby at 2 years can do.  He is a great testimony in my life.  Thank you for your selfless service and may God bless you abundantly.  Many, many thanks.

That email says it all, and we will forever be grateful for Dr. Ponseti’s contribution to the treatment of clubfoot.



Have a blessed day.

CURE OBGYN to Appear on Sirius XM Radio

I’m trying to figure out where October has gone.  It has been a busy month!

For you SiriusXM listeners out there, be sure to tune in for an interview with Dr. Wajiha Azimi, an Afghan OBGYN who is the director of CURE International Family Health Center in Kabul, Afghanistan.  She’ll be on Wednesday, October 21, at 8 a.m. EST on the Doctor Radio Channel.  That’s Channel 114 if you have Sirius and Channel 119 if you have XM.  Her story is very fascinating and inspiring, so don’t miss it!

A couple other notes of interest…

Check out this beautiful before and after photo montage of children who have been cured of cleft lip at the CURE Ethiopia Children’s Hospital. The staff at our newest hospital (it opened last year in Addis Ababa) is doing great work.

Did you know that CURE International has teamed up with nationally-syndicated radio host Dennis Prager? Find out more here.

More news on this way this week. As always, feel free to drop me a line at nlloyd@cureinternational.org.

Great Before and After Pics from the DR

Good morning from a suddenly rainy and chilly Lemoyne…

We’ve just received a beautiful story from our Dominican Republic hospital about a 2-year-old boy named Brandy.  Before he came to CURE, his knees bent backwards; but thanks to the surgical experts at our hospital, his knees now look like normal.

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Brandy before his surgery at CURE

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Brandy after his surgery at CURE

Brandy’s family and neighbors are already viewing him as a miracle!  We always love getting these stories and look forward to sharing many more with you.  These kids are the reason why CURE exists.

A couple more items….

The Pendulum, Elon University’s student newspaper, published an excellent story about Drea Dorrow, an Elon student who has spent a lot of time at our hospital in Malawi.  You can check it out here.

And in a follow up from last week, CURE’s own Abbie Taggart successfully completed the Baltimore Marathon in a time of 4:28:14.  Abbie’s supporters really came through as well.  She raised almost $6,500 for CURE.  Congrats to Abbie and many thanks to those who donated to her cause!

A Trip to Haiti

Gerry Luongo, CURE’s director of government relations, recently returned from a trip from Haiti. She toured the country with Cross, a nonprofit organization that shares CURE ‘s dedication for reaching the developing world’s children.

CURE has a hospital in the neighboring country of the Dominican Republic. About four times a year, the hospital sends a team led by the hospital’s medical director, Dr. Scott Nelson, to the city of Cap Haitien (on Haiti’s northern coast) to perform much-needed orthopedic surgeries and other procedures on the country’s physically disabled children. A team from CURE was in Cap Haitien at the time of Gerry’s visit.

Gerry shares some of her experiences:

Our schedule was busy. We drove from Port-au-Prince up to Cap Haitien, visiting several Cross programs along the way and ultimately connecting up with CURE and our outreach clinic in Cap. As we traveled, I experienced the people of this lovely country, their often difficult lives and their beautiful smiles.

The outreach clinic started bright and early in the morning as the CURE team started treating patients. People had begun lining up at dawn for a chance to meet with the team.

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Dr. Scott Nelson holds a patient who was cured of clubfoot at the Cap Haitien clinic.

Some were there for a follow up appointment for a surgery they had received during Dr. Nelson’s last visit, and some were there in hope of surgery and healing. The patients had clubfoot, tuberculosis in the spine, osteomyelitis and other conditions I am not familiar with. For two days, Dr. Nelson and his team met with and treated as many patients as time would allow.

While watching the docs work, I saw a girl named Alison among the 50 or so patients sitting outside the small clinic area. Alison is a little girl with severe burn contractures.

She was hunched over, and her right arm was fused to her side due to an accident with an oil lamp. Dr. Nelson had seen her during his last visit and had arranged to have a plastic surgeon come to Cap Haitien to begin a series of surgeries needed to free Alison from her own body.

She was just one of the many patients I encountered on my trip. Sometimes, it was a little overwhelming. This is until I looked at the faces of these children with their crooked feet, broken limbs and painful spines and was hit with the realization that God loves each of them. And that CURE is there…bringing them hope. It was both humbling and amazing. I will keep these faces in my thoughts and prayers.

To learn more about Dr. Nelson’s work in Haiti and in the DR, check out his blog.

Lots of Exciting News…

Good morning from Lemoyne…Lots of exciting things going on for CURE International…

First off, we just received new photos of the progress of our new hospital we are building in the west African country of Niger.   Here’s a photo that shows the entire complex.  The hospital is scheduled to open next year.

photo from the guest house roof

4star120x60CURE also received some great news from Charity Navigator.  We’ve been selected as a four star charity for a seventh consecutive year.  Charity Navigator is an independent organization that evaluates more than 5,400 nonprofits every year on how efficiently  they are using their financial resources.   We are among just 2 percent of all charities to be a four star charity seven years in a row.  You read all about it here.

And finally, it’s impressive enough that CURE employee Abbie Taggart is running in the Baltimore Marathon this Saturday, October 10. But she’s taking it one step further by raising money for CURE.  Her goal is to raise $2,600 (Even better…every dollar up to this amount is being matched by another generous donor!).  You can donate to her cause here.  Good luck and God speed, Abbie!