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During the last few months PediHabilidad has been lucky to have the help of so many volunteers. Over the summer months, Speech Therapist Andrea Ben-David volunteered with PediHabilidad for the second year in a row. Volunteers Lindsey Waddell and Lisa Walde each dedicated a few months to enrich our Physical Therapy program.
Sponsored by the Ecuadorian Ministry of Health, construction of a new rehabilitation clinic began earlier in the year to house the PediHabilidad Rehabilitation Program as well as the expansion of the department to include adult rehabilitation. We are currently working to fund a proposed 200 meter square playground accessible to children with disabilities to be located in the campus surrounding the new rehabilitation center. In October PediHabilidad had the honor of hosting a visit from the Ecuadorian Minister of Health, Dr. Caroline Chang. During her time at the clinic Dr. Chang interacted with many of our program children and their families, expressed her genuine appreciation our work and pledged her future support of PediHabilidad. Her visit was televised on two national news programs!
September marked the start of our clinical internship program as two students from the University of Riobamba, Ecuador began their 6 month affiliation with PediHabilidad. Our commitment to teaching and training Ecuadorian therapists in pediatric rehabilitation skills will continue each semester as new students begin their clinical internships.
Last March during the Neurological Medical Mission organized by PediHabilidad, doctors discovered and diagnosed a 2 year old boy with a brain tumor. As he urgently needed surgery, PediHabilidad and Hosptial JMVI assisted Mateo and his family so that they could travel to Quito and get the operation he badly needed. The surgery was a success and now Mateo is back at home and happily attending therapy once again. We are currently in the process of planning the II Neurological Medical Mission for April 2010.
The local Ecuadorian government provides PediHabilidad with the physical space and staff; however funds are limited for equipment and program development.
This quarter PediHabilidad received a visit and a pledge of financial support from CanThoPHYSIO2ooo, a Swiss-based international physiotherapy association, who support rehabilitation clinics in developing nations.
Also a special thanks to Mrs. Rosa Novas and the Lyndhurst High School World Honor Society for their ongoing fundraising efforts in support of PediHabilidad. Support from such groups and your donations provide wheelchairs, leg braces, and adapted chairs for the children of PediHabilidad, as well as funds volunteer housing costs. Without such support our work would not be possible. THANK YOU!