Collective Sundays 10/21/13 – 10/27/13
My wife, Sally, and I started CURE when we saw first-hand the overwhelming devastation experienced by disabled children and their families in Malawi. These kids suffered physically and emotionally from disfiguring birth defects. Their communities saw them as cursed, and people to be shunned.
What made the situation even more excruciating to me as an orthopedic surgeon was that I saw that these conditions could be treated and cured.
Stepping out in faith that God would do something amazing, we decided
We’ve all been part of (or know of at least) “dysfunction” in our family lives. And it’s not isolated to a people group or country. We can all relate to family dysfunction.
Esther was born into a Ugandan family full of dysfunction more than two years ago. Her parents live in the Soroti District, working as subsistence farmers.
Her mom, Florence, was one of two wives and, shortly before Esther was born, a rift had developed between Florence and her husband. He had sold the crops Florence had labored to plant to fund his marriage to his second wife. Justifiably, Florence did not take kindly to her husband’s actions.
With the world events in Japan and Libya, the recent political upheaval in Egypt has taken a backseat. However, all of Egypt continues to recover from the disruption of the protests in January and February, including CURE’s medical outreach to the disabled children of that country.
I am happy to report that we restarted our medical activities at the end of February, and children are again being seen in clinic.
Last December, CURE began a program at two hospitals in Cairo that provides charity medical care to disabled children whose families have limited means to pay for treatment. The program is focused in Cairo, but has already reached towns several hours by road from the city.
She was only 11. Two men brutally raped her. They tore open her ligaments and tendons at her hips badly, so badly that as she healed physically from this horrible act, scars encased her hip joints so that she could no longer straighten her legs – could no longer walk normally. She was only 11.
She came to us at CURE Ethiopia a year later, when she was 12. We could offer her free, loving, respectful care. Care to release those scars around her hips. To make her free again to walk as a girl should. To run and jump and play again.
Established in 2003, the CURE Dominican Republic Hospital was CURE’s first presence in Latin America. Located in the capital city of Santo Domingo, the hospital is a pediatric orthopedic hospital that provides inpatient surgical and rehabilitative care to disabled children. It serves more than 700 outpatients each month and maintains a very active spiritual ministry. The hospital sends surgical teams into Haiti as well.
It is estimated that about 7% of the general population of the Dominican Republic is disabled, meaning that there are more than 400,000 Dominicans with disabilities, many of them children and most of them coming from the lower socio-economic classes.
Kalkidan is a patient at CURE. She is a two-year-old little girl who was born with her hips dislocated — out of socket. She has been our patient at CURE for almost a year and a half. We started her treatment at six months of age, trying to get the “balls” on the end of her femurs (the big bone in your leg) back into the “sockets.”
Sometimes this can just be done manually, and then a large cast encompassing both legs and hips and wrapping around her entire pelvis and waist (a spica cast) is placed, usually for six months, with frequent changes. But for her, that wasn’t enough; she required several surgeries in order to get the hips where they belong.