Where am I going?
At the end of this month I’ll be traveling to Rwanda for a medical mission trip with IOWD (International Organization of Women & Development). For 12 days, I’ll be joining the group of surgeons, anesthesia providers and the staff to treat and care for women who’ll receive a various urogynecological surgeries. The surgeries will treat conditions such as obstetric fistulas and pelvic organ prolapse. For these women, it is a drastically life improving surgery, which relieves their symptoms such as urinary/fecal incontinence and pain that they’ve lived with.
It relieves them of the physical discomfort they’ve long endured and free them of the limitation that was set due to the nature of the symptoms. It improves their health and gives back the quality of life they desperately need to take care of their family. And it heals their spirit, relieves their emotional burdens and restore their dignity.
What am I doing there?
My role as a CRNA is to provide anesthesia for these various surgical cases in collaboration with the local staff, as well as providing education to the patients and the local medical providers. I’m nervously happy and excited about the experiences that awaits me. It will be challenging, enlightening, tiring and fulfilling. I can’t wait to experience it all and to connect with part of the world I’ve never been to. I’m grateful that I have this opportunity to contribute. And I’m also grateful that I’ll be doing this with my friend Jen who has been to this mission a few years ago. My first medical mission experience will be so much more enriched because of it.
How you can help?
The volunteers in this type of medical mission contribute in so many ways. It is with time off from work, long hours of care provided in an often challenging environment, gathering and transportation of the supplies needed and also with financial contribution, since the volunteer’s trip is entirely self funded. This includes the cost of air fare, lodging, meals and any non medical supplies that’s needed for the trip. So many volunteers make the choice to do this every year with their own funding because they believe in the truly valuable service that is provided to so many deserving patients and the fulfilling experiences received back in multitudes. And the help from family, friends and the community makes the process much more meaningful and manageable.
It’s been a busy few weeks since I’ve said yes to this long awaited opportunity. The prep list is long, and I feel like the time is flying by but yet I still have a lot of things to check off on that list. And through this page, I ask for your contribution in this process. Your donation is greatly helpful and appreciated and the money raised will go towards the cost of lodging and meals for myself and Jen.
As donors, you will get my sincerest thank you, a big cyber hug, and an imaginary badge of honor as the donors of my first medical trip (yay!). I’ll be posting photos and updates to share this meaningful journey with you.
Thank you in advance. Your support and interest mean so much to me.
- Beth Coolidge
- Yun & Mike Park
- Elizabeth Chegezy
- Julie Copelovitch
- Eunice Kwon
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