Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Please pray for Gilbert and Martine!

Gilbert has care lined up in TX with the fantastic Dr. A. and her team. Over the past few days Gilbert has taken a turn for the worse and is not doing well at all. Please remember to pray for Gilbert over the next few days. His paperwork is almost complete but he needs to be stable enough to travel before he can go in for his visa and travel date. Please also pray for his caregivers as they work round the clock caring for him and determining to the best way to treat his illness. We have everything lined up for his care, host family, travel escort etc. And we just need little Gilbert to hang on a little bit longer. Thanks for praying!!

We are also looking for care for sweet Martine. Please keep her in your prayers. We have had a lot of closed doors over the past week but the "team" is staying steadfast and filled with hope that we are going to find her right doctor and hospital for charity care soon.

Thanks for praying!
The M.A.T. Team

Saturday, February 23, 2008

A surgeon for Alex!

Hi friends,

I wanted to share the exciting news - we have a hospital and surgeon for sweet Alex! He will be going to California for his surgery. We are very excited for him and for his family. He will be travelling to the U.S. in the next month or so. Woo hoo!

We do need to raise about $200 for his CT scan - if you feel led to give, please do. You can use the donate button on our main page, or go to Lori's (Real Hope for Haiti) blog and donate there.

We are still looking for care for several children:

We have a couple of leads on a place for baby Martine, a little girl at Children of the Promise that needs her VSD repaired. We're still waiting to hear from several hospitals that are considering her case.

Samuel, from Ghana, is still waiting. We just found out that there are a few neurosurgeons in Ghana, so we're in the process of finding out if it would be possible for him to have surgery there - instead of having to come here on a medical visa. His condition seems pretty complex though, so we'll see what happens.

We have a couple of other children we plan to try to help - and I will post about them soon.

Thank you for your continued support and concern for these beautiful children!!!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Get Your Church/Group Involved.

Hi everyone!

I know I said I would try to get to this the other day - I'm sorry it's taken so long!

We are looking for some churches/groups to step up and fundraise for the kids we're bringing here for surgery.

Here is the idea:

A church/group steps forward to sponsor one of the children. They commit to raising enough money for that child's paperwork and transportation ($1,500 - $2,500 probably depending on the country). We in turn send them pictures and updates on the child as they come for care, recover and return home to their families.

We already have one church in interested in sponsoring a child, but we have several children that need to come for care soon, so we need to raise some money.

If you would like to present this idea to your church/group leadership, please let us know and we can try to answer any questions they might have. We can also get you an information they might want on our group, the kids we help, our hopes and goals for this program, etc.

THANKS everyone! More soon. :)

Friday, February 15, 2008

A hospital for Gilbert and more...

Hi everyone,

Last week we got word that there was a baby boy in Haiti named Gilbert that was born with spina bifida. The orphanage told us his myelomeningocele (the "sac" on this back) had a small hole in it, but not much fluid was leaking out. He did have a fever, so of course everyone was concerned about meningitis. His fever is currently down, but he was (and still is) in very fragile health. We got started looking for a doctor and hospital for him right away. That very next day we got a reply from Dr. A in Texas that she would do Gilbert's surgery! For those of you who didn't follow Helande and Christella's journey - this is the same doctor and hospital that provided surgery for two baby girls we brought here for surgery in May 2007. We are so very grateful to Dr. A and to the administration at the hospital for giving this sweet boy a chance at life.

We are now waiting on little Gilbert's passport and a bit more information on him, so that we can get rolling on the paperwork. We hope he can get to Texas, and get surgery, very quickly.

I realized that I forgot to tell you all about the child we're hoping to help in Nigeria. I've been in contact with an organization called Africa Christian Medical Missions (click on the name to visit their website). ACMMI told us about a little girl in Nigeria in need of some reconstructive surgery on her feet. She was burned, but the details of her accident we don't yet know. Someone from ACCMI is in Nigeria this week and should be getting us more information on this little girl. We hope we can find someone to correct her feet, so she can walk properly and live a normal life.

On a different note - we have found a wonderful friend who will be helping us design and sell t-shirts as a fundraiser! Please watch the blog for more information on that in the coming weeks.

I will be posting soon about a new opportunity for your church or other group to get involved in helping these precious children. I will try and get a post up regarding that, this evening.

Take care, and thanks for checking in with us! :-)

Monday, February 11, 2008

Update, New Children, We Need Help!

Hi friends,

Welcome to the new Medical Advocacy Team blog! We're really excited about the way things are moving for our small group. We're starting to get really busy! A few months ago we decided to expand our efforts to other parts of the world (we were currently only helping children in Haiti). We've spent a bit of time networking and spreading the word, and now we're starting to see some children trickle in. We're currently working on visas for children in Haiti, Ghana, Nigeria and the Dominican Republic. If you know of any children that need medical care not available to them in their home country - or you know of an orphanage, medical clinic, hospital that might be in contact with children like this, please let them know about us! We're looking forward to helping many more children in the future.

This sweet boy is Samuel (from Ghana). Not only does he have hydrocephalus, he has a severe spinal deformity that (we believe) was caused by Tuberculosis. I did some research on spinal tuburculosis last night. Hard stuff to read.

We will soon be looking for an orthopedic surgeon for this sweet little guy. Please keep him in your prayers.

This is Alex (from Haiti). He was born with an encephalocele (yup, like baby Helande) right between his eyes. Lori (our incredible nurse friend in Haiti who with her sister Licia run Real Hope for Haiti) is hoping to get all his information together in the coming weeks so we can start looking for a doctor for him. Isn't he a cutie?

And now a plea for help: PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE (would another please help?, ok PLEASE!) consider helping us. We need more people. We have a GREAT gal that is going to be working with us on fundraising (yippee!) but we still need more. We need someone to work on a t-shirt project. We need some churches or groups to do some fundraising projects. We need people to host children. We need doctors, hospitals, and people to call them. It's a lot of work, but so incredibly worth it!

It costs A LOT to bring these kids here. We are not yet a 501(c)3 but we are definitely still a non-profit program - we're all volunteers and every penny we raise goes right to getting the kids here for care.

Thanks for reading and contact us if you would like to help: Salem at sis2kensia@yahoo.com or Sarah at sisters3designs@aol.com


Saturday, February 9, 2008

What We Do

The Medical Advocacy Team (MAT) is a program of Remember International, Inc. The Remember International MAT is currently working in several countries in Africa and the Caribbean, with plans to expand to other countries.
The MAT supports participating in-country medical clinics that provide impoverished children with low-cost or free medical intervention. There are times, however, in which children’s medical needs are greater than can be provided by clinics or hospitals in their home countries, and they are referred to us. When we receive the referral of a child in need of help, the MAT will first determine if the child can be treated in their home country. If in-country treatment is available, we assist with fundraising for their care and treatment.

If medical care is not possible in their home country, the wheels are set in motion to arrange for treatment in the United States. First we locate doctors and a hospital willing to contribute care on a pro-bono basis, as well as a host family to foster the child. Next, we coordinate with volunteers in-country to arrange for the child’s medical visa to the U.S.

As required by U.S. law, all children that come to the United States on medical visas are returned to their home countries when their medical care is complete.

Our primary goal in providing this program is to find care and ease suffering for medically fragile children. Our secondary goal is family preservation. In most impoverished countries, sick and disabled children are much more likely to be abandoned or relinquished for adoption by their families. We hope to provide opportunities for as many children as possible to receive medical care and support that enables them to stay with their birth families.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Interested in Hosting a Child?

We are working on putting together an information packet that includes an application. If you want to be on the list to receive more information, please email our host family coordinator:

Kim: smithjklc@hotmail.com

Thanks so much!

The Children We Help

These are some of the children we're helping right now and the children we've helped so far. We hope to have many more children to add to this section soon!

Children in the States for Care:

Roubens (from Haiti) is 10 months old. He is in Ohio for cleft lip and palate surgery.

Schnider (from Haiti) is 7 months old. He is in Ohio for cleft lip and palate surgery.

Children Coming for Care:

Ana (Haiti) is 2 years old. She has a Ventricular Septal Defect and will be getting surgery January 2009 in Ohio.

Sonel (from Haiti) is 4 years old. Sonel is going to Indiana soon for club foot surgery. His incredible host mom Brenda arranged all of his medical care.

Jose (from the Dominican Republic) is 5 years old. He has a heart condition. We are waiting on his medicals and more information.

Samuel is from Ghana. We're waiting on his medicals and more information.

Children We've Helped:

Christella (from Haiti) came to the U.S. in May 2007 at 7 months old. She was born with Spina Bifida that was not able to be repaired in Haiti. She had surgery in Texas and returned home to her family in September 2007.

Helande (from Haiti) came to the U.S. in May 2007 at 3 months old. She was born with an Occipital Encephalocele. She was able to have surgery in Texas and returned home to her family in September 2007.

What It Costs

Cost of the Child's Paperwork in Haiti: $300 - $500 dollars
birth certificate, passport, medical tests, doctor visits, in-country transportation, etc.
Travel Costs:
Child's Escort $500 - $600.
Child's Ticket $30 - $600 (depending on age)
Visa Fee: $130
Hotels, Drivers, Meals: $300 - $400
Estimated total to help a child from Haiti: $1260 - $2230
We have currently only processed medical visas for children from Haiti. While we are working on visas from children in other countries, we don't not yet know the complete cost to bring a child for medical care from any country but Haiti. We will update this information with the proper costs as we complete visas for children from other countries.