Two years ago, through serendipity and people knowing people, I was able to establish a humanitarian surgical mission to Kigali, Rwanda. In fact, this initial mission to Rwanda, consisting of 10 surgeons and nurses, was the 23rd mission of our Face the Future™ Foundation. Our Foundation began in 1994 through the generous support of a grateful patient, and one or two times a year we travel to places such as Ekaterinburg, Saratov and Ulyanovsk in Russia, and Rwanda. We are looking forward to possibly expanding into Africa and Latin America.
Our focus has been primarily on the surgical correction of congenital, traumatic and post-cancer deformities in children. However, we have also taken neurosurgeons, oculoplastic surgeons, and paediatric general and urologic surgeons. Nurses, speech pathologists and social workers have rounded out our teams. We ask the local surgeons what help they need, they bring us their most complex cases, and we operate with them to provide a new life for these patients. And, more importantly, we restore hope. We have treated 92 orphans who have been adopted following correction of their deformities.
The Face the Future™ Foundation also focuses on teaching the local surgeons and nurses, both in the operating room, on rounds and with interactive seminars.
The ultimate goal is to build local capacity and elevate the overall standards of care in the hospital and community. We do this by partnering with not only the surgeons at hospitals, but also with the local and national health administrations. We commit to a long-term relationship, just as our surgeons commit to participate in several missions.
Our Face the Future™ work continues because of an initial donation and the generous contributions of many friends of the Foundation. We have an annual fundraising dinner and silent auction, this year to be held Tuesday, June 3, 2014 at the Park Hyatt Hotel in Toronto. You can find out more about our Foundation’s work by visiting our website at FaceTheFutureFoundation.ca.
My next blog will tell you more about our most recent mission to Rwanda.