I remember when I was a kid, my mom telling me the story of a friend of hers from childhood. Polio was a common disease at that time in the US. Her friend’s mother would not let her children play outside or with other children for fear of polio. However, when her children reached school age, they had to go to school. My mom’s friend, shortly after starting school, developed a terrible case of polio. The mother had been so protective for the first few years of her children’s life, but there was a point where she couldn’t protect them anymore, and her greatest fear happened. That was back in the 1940′s. Read the rest of this entry »
CURE was recently introduced to Rebekah Johnson, an artist who has begun to explore the medium of patience bottles. If that term is a new one to you, you’re not alone. Many have seen this type of art without knowing the name for it. If you’ve ever seen a ship in a bottle, you’ve seen a patience bottle. Rebekah is creating a CURE-inspired patience bottle and will be donating it to help fund the treatment of CUREkids. The CURE blog had the opportunity to interview Rebekah recently in connection with her current project.
CURE Blog: Thank you for taking time to talk to us, Rebekah, and thank you for your support of CURE.
Rebekah Johnson: And thank you for your interest in my little project. This is really a new undertaking for me, and this project for CURE is very special to me. Anything I am able to do to help these precious children is a blessing.
CB: It is always fascinating to hear how people have been introduced to the work we are doing. Where did you first hear about CURE?
RJ: Well, I am an avid Air1 listener and have them playing in my house throughout the day. Listening to the stories Brant Hansen shares about these children always touches my heart, and I have always hoped one day I could do something to help. Read the rest of this entry »
Good morning from the desert! The weather is slowly warming up here in the desert. The temperatures have approached 100F on occasion already. The hot summer days are just around the corner. People seek the shade of trees as they walk along the roads. Sand storms have approached from the deserts of Saudi Arabia, tinting the blue sky brown. One of my favorite walking places, along with my wadi wanderings, is to stroll through the date farms nearby. I knew dates have been a staple here in the Gulf region and other parts of the world. My knowledge and experience was limited to buying the sticky sweet fruit and enjoying my Mom’s special date meringue cookies at Christmas time. A man told me there are over 80 different types of dates growing here in the UAE. Really? I like to learn new things and ideas, so I decided to search for some information. I talked with some locals about dates and date farming. I then went off looking at sites on the internet. Wow!! So much information; the more I read, the less I knew. Isn’t that always the case? Some arrogant experts with little knowledge and experience often are the ones to loudly blow and puff about just how things need to be done. I remember entering missions as an orthopedic surgeon. I moved to Kenya, feeling I should be able to carry out the work without too much difficulty. I did have many years of experience, after all. Wrong! The challenges in the developing world are vastly different than community orthopedics in the USA. Anyway, I digress. Dates. Read the rest of this entry »
It really doesn’t take that much to bring me immense joy. Today at the hospital, the kids and I made a game out of killing flies with a flyswatter, and it was honestly a lot of fun. One kid in particular has what I guess I can only describe as a very droopy eye. It sounds wrong to type it out like that, but once you see his smile, the fact that his face is somewhat disfigured escapes you. He would point to his face when a fly would land on it, and whisper iso (it’s ok), as in, “It’s ok to hit me in the face with that flyswatter.” I didn’t, of course, but I did let him swat me a few times on the leg. It was worth the sting even though he missed the flies. They are the world’s most annoying flies, by the way. They do not get the hint that you hate them. Read the rest of this entry »
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Lemoyne, PA (March 11, 2012) — CURE Founder and CEO, Dr. Scott Harrison, announced that Professor Chris Lavy has been appointed as Chief Medical Director of CURE International. Professor Lavy is a distinguished British orthopedic surgeon who holds an honorary professorship from Oxford University and, among many other honors, has received the rank of Officer of the Order of the British Empire for his role in setting up orthopedic training in Malawi.
In his role as Chief Medical Director of CURE International, Professor Lavy will oversee the medical directors at CURE’s hospitals located in ten countries throughout the developing world. In addition, he will coordinate the ongoing medical research projects across the hospitals, as well as advising the hospitals on medical education and career development for the medical staff.
“Professor Lavy has a long association with CURE International and we are pleased that he will be expanding his role with us to serve as Chief Medical Director. His expertise in providing top-quality medical care in the developing world as well as his significant contribution to research on disabilities affecting children will truly be an asset for CURE,” said Dr. Harrison.
Professor Lavy attended University College London and St. Bartholomew’s Medical School where he studied anthropology and then medicine. He was appointed as a consultant orthopedic surgeon at University College Hospital and the Middlesex hospitals in 1992 and had a private practice in the West End of London.
Professor Lavy left his orthopedic practice in London in 1996 to work with CBM International to set up orthopedic services in Malawi. When he arrived, he was the only orthopedic surgeon in the country. It was during his time in Malawi that he began to work closely with CURE International to establish a pediatric orthopedic hospital there. The 66-bed hospital opened in 2002 and Lavy served as the first Chairman of the Board. Today, the hospital treats more than 4,000 patients annually and provides more than 2,000 surgeries to disabled children each year.
“CURE International brings a much needed expertise to the developing world. The children that we treat aren’t necessarily dying, but they aren’t living either. Their disabilities impact their ability to function normally in society. By providing the specialty care necessary to treat them, CURE is making it possible for thousands of children each year to live productive lives,” said Professor Lavy. “It is a privilege for me to serve at CURE as Chief Medical Director.”
Professor Lavy serves on the leadership council of the College of Surgeons of Eastern, Central, and Southern Africa (COSECSA) and on the Council of the Royal College of Surgeons of England. He also serves as an adviser to many organizations including the World Health Organization (WHO).
About CURE International
CURE International heals the sick and proclaims the Kingdom of God. Operating hospitals and programs in 25 nations, it is the largest provider of reconstructive surgery to disabled children in the developing world. Since opening the doors of its first surgical teaching hospital in Kijabe, Kenya in 1998, CURE’s focus on bringing healing to developing nations has resulted in more than 1.8 million patient visits and over 128,000 surgeries to correct physically disabling conditions. CURE has also trained more than 5200 medical professionals raising the standard of care in the countries where it operates. Please visit http://cure.org/ for more information.
When Gerardo first came into our clinic, he really caught my eye. Up until that point, I had only seen clubfoot patients who were babies. He was the first one I had seen who was walking, who had actually lived with the pain of his deformity. His father told us that he is a very intelligent boy and that he loves to play soccer. He said that with two good feet, Gerardo would be able to play on his school soccer team the next year.
During that first visit, Gerardo’s emotional separation and face devoid of expression showed clearly that his condition weighed heavily on him and who he was becoming as a person. Yet, just moments later, after his first cast was put on, a smile beamed across his face. This, perhaps, was what really drew me to admire this young boy; although he had a long and sometimes really painful road ahead of him, he knew what the outcome was going to be and could smile because of that. Hope was handed to him that day, and that’s all he needed to know that whatever he had to go through, in the end it would be worth it. Read the rest of this entry »
Recently we had a group of Swiss surgeons come to our hospital for a week-long camp, and we brought in a bunch of patients for operations. Most of the patients came for cleft lip or cleft palate repairs, and that is something that we regularly treat here. But a few of the patients came because they needed plastic surgery of a different kind – something much more extensive. They had faces that were disfigured by a disease called Noma.
I had never heard of Noma before coming to Niger, so don’t be feel bad if you haven’t either. Read the rest of this entry »