Relationships

Building Brighter Futures Together

There are so many people we meet here who touch our lives and offer their trust and friendship so that their child has an opportunity to receive medical help.  One very special kid is Fernand0–he certainly has a special place in our hearts. Fernando’s father, Ricardo, is a nurse at a private hospital in Guatemala…

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Reconstructing Lives

The Iowa MOST team is 2 days into surgeries, and there have been a wide variety of needs: tooth extractions, obturators (when the palate cannot be closed), cleft lip, cleft palate, tubes in ears, and a tonsillectomy.  Many kids with cleft lip/palate have ENT (Ears, Nose, Throat) needs. The team works together closely, assessing our…

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Iowa MOST 2017 mission will begin this week!

This week marks the departure of the Iowa MOST team for the 2017 mission to Huehuetenango, Guatemala. It will be the 12th year of this successful Rotary project, thanks in large part to the amazing partnership between the Iowa medical team, District 6000 Rotary Clubs, the Rotary Club of Huehuetenango, and Dr. Oscar Marroquin, and…

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Adios, Gary!

Gary Pacha has served as the Iowa MOST Team Leader for the past ten years exemplifying the “Rotary Serving Humanity” theme of the upcoming year. This year Gary will step back from the annual cleft missions to Huehuetenango. Though he won’t be on the flight out of Cedar Rapids with the rest of the team…

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Pablo’s Return

This week, a woman carried her 1-year-old son into the hospital. In her hand was this well-worn card. The card was a promise for the future – a promise she had held on to for the past year. Dr. John gave it to Tomasa almost exactly one year ago. When she came to last year’s…

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Dulce Maria’s Words

I got a chance today to chat with Dr. Bill and find out the story behind this picture taken during assessments. Her name is Dulce Maria. She came to the clinic last year at the age of 9. She didn’t have a cleft, but her soft palate was very weak, which made speaking difficult. Her palate…

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Inside the Operating Room

Warning: surgery pictures may be graphic. Today I got to do one of the coolest things I’ve ever experienced – watch a surgery inside an operating room. I got to see doctors put the pieces of an incomplete lip back together, insert a tube into an ear, and close an opening that had formed in…

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Katerin’s Smile

Since the moment Katerin came into the hospital, she won everyone over with her smile. She seemed so joyful, giggling every time someone stopped to remark on how cute she was. Katerin had her lip repaired in surgery today, closing the gap where the left and right sides of her face failed to join together…

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Assessment Day

The rest of the team arrived in Guatemala City late Friday night but they didn’t rest long. Everybody was up and loaded on the bus to Huehue by 5 a.m. I cannot relay how the 5-hour trek was because this blogger took a Dramamine and doesn’t remember much after that. By noon, we were at…

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Diego

Families go to great lengths to access care through the Iowa MOST mission in the western highlands of Guatemala. Diego, the 13 year old uncle, carefully carried his one year old nephew in for his procedure. The baby’s mother who speaks a Mayan dialect came too with her younger child. Because Diego understands Spanish he was…

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