We expected 8o people – maybe 100 – but when the line was finally down to zero, well after dark despite a 7am start, the Rotaplast team had seen 158 patients.  It’s not simply that word got out.  It was much more deliberate than that.

Mayors across Cebu Province were notified of the upcoming medical mission.  Some sent local health workers door to door to notify families.  One community, Tuburan, had 15 families make the trip to Cebu City.  Not only did the Mayor arrange and pay for transportation, he also put up all 15 families in a house he has just outside Cebu City.

The team saw an eight year old boy who quit school years ago because he was bullied.  When the doctor asked that he promise to return to school after his surgery, he said, “I promise. and I’m going to be smart!”

Twin girls, abandoned at birth, had phase one surgery through Rotaplast the prior year and returned for phase two of their complicated treatment.  A 30 year old woman, also abandoned at a young age, saw a doctor for the first time today, despite that her mouth was nearly fused shut.

A young mother asked, “How much do I need to pay?” When a doctor told her, “Nothing. It’s free,” the woman began to cry.

They were patient.  They were strong.  They are hopeful.

And their pictures (their smiles) tell a story.

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They were patient. They were strong. They are hopeful.

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And their pictures (their smiles) tell a story.

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