Archive for November, 2010

Insights on Physical Disability in Ethiopia

Traditionally, Ethiopian society’s perceptions of disability have stemmed from the religious and social backgrounds of the community. In most regions of the country, families with disabled children are considered to be punished as a consequence of the anger of the village witch doctor or an ancestral spirit. The community, without considering the impact on its members, displays humiliating and disabling attitudes toward people who have a disability.

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Give the Gift of Healing!

This year, you can spread the peace, joy and love of the Christmas season, not only to your loved ones but also to children in need around the world. 

Give a life-changing gift from our Gift of Healing catalog in honor of a loved one and in return we will send a beautiful Christmas card to he or she on your behalf.  It is the perfect way to impact the life of a child while making your holiday gift-giving easy and fulfilling!

Visit the Gift of Healing catalog today!

Ireen’s Story

You can change a life today.  Right now.  How about Ireen’s?

Ireen SawaliIreen is a 10-month-old baby girl who was brought to CURE after her parents had exhausted every other idea, hospital, doctor and any money the family had (which for this family is about $20 a month). Ireen’s fingers, wrist and the inside part of her elbow were melded together after the wax of a burning candle fell on her when she was just one week old.  She cannot use her hand, bend her arm, or extend her elbow because of her condition — which is difficult for a baby learning to explore the world on her hands and knees.

Ireen is so young that she doesn’t yet understand the cruel and unforgiving parts of life. But her parents are fully aware of the discrimination and prejudice she will face if she does not get surgery to correct her arm.

One surgery will restore hope, bond a loving husband and wife and change the future of a bright child. You can help provide this surgery today.  

Through our newest program, CUREkids,  you can specifically help Ireen get the surgery she so desperately needs and deserves.  We will send you updates, photos, and prayer requests about her surgery and progress. Read more about Ireen’s story and CUREkids.

Raising Awareness about Physical Disabilities

We dedicate a lot of time on this blog to sharing the stories of kids whose lives have been transformed through CURE.

But this week we’d also like to share a different type of story.

You see, it’s not enough that we heal children of their physical deformities. CURE also seeks to enable these children — and all people with disabilities — to overcome the stigma they have commonly endured.  We look forward to a day when all people are treated as equals.

On December 3, the United Nations celebrates International Day of Persons with Disabilities, which “aims to promote a better understanding of disability issues with a focus on the rights of persons with disabilities.”

All this week, in the lead up to this day on Friday, we will feature the thoughts of various members of the CURE family from around the world; they will share their insights on the crucial role CURE plays in championing the rights and dignity of people with physical disabilities.

Please check back often!

Meet Mussa Umali

Mussa Umali

I want to introduce you to a little boy named Mussa Umali. Mussa has a condition known as osteomyelitis. It’s a bone deficiency that makes him unable to walk normally. But his condition is correctible through surgery at CURE’s hospital in Malawi. On December 3rd, with your help, we’re hoping to treat Mussa!

To Read his story, Follow his progress, or Give a gift towards his surgery, go here.

Thinking of Thankfulness

Days ago I found myself thinking about last year at this time, when I had just returned from a trip to Kabul and how thankful I was for my time with the mothers there, and about Thanksgiving and what it means to be truly thankful. I also started reflecting on the Psalms and God as the object of our praise.

In the midst of this, I was drawn back to our monthly prayer guide archives….pages and pages of prayer and praises over the years of CURE’s existence.

And what did this piece of CURE history show? It showed that God’s love endures forever. It showed that the praises lifted up over the years by CURE staff and friends were too numerous to count. It showed that history repeats itself.

Although I could list pages, I’ll share just a few with you…

2003. Praise God. CURE Malawi has celebrated its Grand Opening.
2010. Praise God. CURE Niger has celebrated its Grand Opening.

2003. Praise God. Our ENT team has just finished their two week stint in Kenya.
2010. Praise God. Our new ENT department has opened in Zambia.

2004. Praise God. CURE DR has reached out successfully with pediatric care for the disabled children of Haiti.
2010. Praise God. We are continuing to affect the lives of disabled Haitians through our counseling efforts and proper medical care.

2005. Praise God. Our first OR is operational in Afghanistan.
2010. Praise God. Our construction and renovation of the private ward in Kenya is complete.

2004. Praise God. Our first CURE sponsored mission trip to Honduras is complete and all team members have arrived home safely.
2010. Praise God. Our volunteers continue to share their talents, time and fellowship in spite of the challenges of Afghanistan.

Since 1998, in every year, over and over again, the same praise is heard:

Praise God. My child has been healed.

Praise God with me and the families around the world whose lives have been touched by God through your faithfulness.

An Oriole Sighting at the CURE D.R. Hospital

As a kid, I was a huge Philadelphia Phillies fan. But the Baltimore Orioles were always my second team. And when they beat the Phillies in the ’83 World Series, I could at least console myself with the fact that my second favorite team had won.

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Members of the Baltimore Orioles Dominican Republic staff and CURE employees with a hospital patient and mom

So, I was pretty excited to hear about the relationship our hospital in the Dominican Republic is building with the Orioles’ organization.

As you may be aware, baseball reigns as the premier sport in the Dominican Republic, which is a major source of players for Major League Baseball. As a result, many major league clubs, including the Orioles, have established training centers in the Dominican Republic.

Over the last year or so, the CURE hospital has begun to talk with several teams to explore partnership opportunities. Baseball is such an important part of the fabric of Dominican culture. Most kids with physical disabilities in the D.R. want to be able to play baseball. Our hospital makes that possible. So, it would seem like a natural fit.

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CURE D.R. doctors (from far left), Dr. Dan Ruggles and Dr. Ted Beemer, at the Orioles' complex

Robbie Jackson, the hospital’s interim executive director (and currently Texas Rangers fan in mourning), shared with me that the relationship with the Orioles has progressed nicely.

Orthopedic surgeons from the hospital, Dr. Ted Beemer and Dr. Dan Ruggles, have visited the Orioles’ complex to give physicals to the team’s Dominican prospects and to meet the staff.

The Orioles returned the favor as several members of their medical and training staff toured our hospital in Santo Domingo.

Robbie said the Orioles have invited Dr. Ruggles to attend their spring training opener in Florida next year. The hospital is talking with the team about some other potential activities.

It’s exciting to consider the possibilities of these types of partnerships with the Orioles and other teams.

We’ll be sharing more with you over the next few months.

Thank You, Friends of CURE and Brant Hansen

This month, the Mornings with Brant radio show’s very own Brant Hansen took his second trip to our hospital in Kabul, Afghanistan.  He asked you to join him in bringing loving encouragement and support to the mothers and babies that receive much-needed care at the hospital.

CURE and Brant Hansen sent out the call, and you responded.  With boxes full of tiny hats, mittens and other lovingly-knitted items.  With your generous contributions. With your heartfelt prayers.

Because of you, more than 2,200 moms and their babies will find a safe haven at our Kabul hospital.  Hundreds of tiny newborns will be warm during the cold, harsh Afghan winter.

This video says more than we could ever write here.  Thank you so much everyone.  We’ll always remember your generosity.

Give the Gift of Healing this Christmas…because most of us don’t need another sweater

What is the Gift of Healing?

Today we’re annoucing CURE’s Christmas campaign Gift of Healing. It’s designed to be a great way to make your holiday gift-giving meaningful and special while supporting the work of CURE International.

The campaign is simple.

  1. Choose an option from our online gift catalog
  2. Make a donation to CURE in honor of a friend or family member
  3. Select and personalize a Christmas card that CURE will send to your loved one

Christmas is a time of giving and thanks for what we’ve been given, and the Gift of Healing is a great way to participate with CURE International in caring for children and families around the world who need a gift this holiday season.

…and sweaters?

In this part of the world, each of us has been blessed (thankfully) with enough…and often far more than we need, and Christmas sweaters are proof of that.
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A Brand New Elias

As a small side note to our recent clinic in the Copperbelt, I thought it would be a good idea to share the story of Elias with you all. While we were roasting in the excruciating heat of northern Zambia last week, a young man came bouncing into the seat reserved for patients being assessed by Dr. Giorgio Lastroni.

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