A Big Uplift Internationale Thank You and Farewell

The 2nd week of Mission 2009 wrapped up on Friday February 27, 2009 around noon. Over 50 surgeries were successfully performed on cleft lips, cleft palates and other minor deformities such as tied tongues. I have been a part of 3 Uplift missions and I will have to say that this week exceeded my expectations. There was such camaraderie and team work amongst the group.
All of the families that were a part of our week touched us in so many ways. Pictured above – the little boy with the bib can now throw it away! His mother said he wore that because food was always falling out of his mouth. Or the little girl who was painfully shy and her mother worried that she would never have a chance at a normal life. Now that little girl has a smile she can be proud of. She can start to enjoy a life which only a couple of days ago brought her pain. All of these children whose abnormalities affected them in so many ways now can go forward and enjoy their lives – smiling, playing, laughing, living and resting. The anguish of looking different has been left behind in the operating room!
Thank you to each and every person that made this week so successful and memorable. THANK YOU to the:
– Kalbo Rotarians for all their organizational efforts and hospitality;
– hospital staff at Dr. Rafael Tumbokon Memorial Hospital who opened up their facility to us and made us feel so welcome;
– Uplift Internationale volunteers and Dr. Jamie Yrastoza who had the vision and determination to create and lead the organization; and
– families and children who opened their hearts to us and made the week one none of us will ever forget.