It all started with “Chino,” an 11-year old boy with a serious eye condition whose mother needed financial help. The Palapa Society contacted an organization in Cabo San Lucas established to help assist children with various medical problems for advice. From that first effort, a program blossomed.
The Chino program continues to help the children in the community who are in need of medical assistance. The goal is to fill the gap between what resources the child’s family has and what they need. Sometimes it’s as simple as providing transportation to medical appointments in La Paz or purchasing required medicines. Other circumstances require financial support for a parent needing to accompany their child to mainland Mexico in order to access the required medical technology not available here.
CHINO IN ACTION…
In the fall of 2007 we used our reach in the community to help raise money for Junior, a 17-year old boy who suffered from life-threatening 3rd degree burns requiring months of hospitalization and frequent trips to the childrens’ burn center in Obregon, Mexico. We are pleased to report Junior recovered from his injuries and graduated from CECYT (high school) in June, 2008.
Jesus was 11 years old when he came to our attention in 2005, suffering from a severe cleft palette. He continues to make every scheduled dentist and speech therapy appointment in La Paz preparing him for the ultimate corrective surgery.
Gloria a 16 year old girl who suffers from Type 2 Neurofibromatosis, a very serious genetic disease causing continuous spinal tumors, and resulting in a life expectancy of 25-30 years. We continue to support and provide resources for Gloria and her parents while her determined father works to seek the medical attention she requires and navigate the bureaucracyof the health care system. Her doctors’ consensus last year that Gloria would never walk again was refuted by her most recent operation at the Childrens’ Hospital in Obregon. Gloria demonstrated to us at a recent Palapa Board meeting she attended with her father that with patience, determination, and the help of a walker, the unimaginable is possible.
Update on Gloria, June, 2014:
Vaya con Dios, Gloria
The Palapa Society Board of Directors is saddened to report that our beloved Gloria succumbed to her illness on May 24th, 2014. She was twenty-one years old. Her long and valiant struggle against her horrible disease inspired her family and her many friends in the community. We won’t forget her.
In her honor, the board has established the Gloria Courage Award, an annual prize given to the Beca student who has overcome major obstacles in order to graduate from high school. The selection will be made by the student’s peers.