New sneakers will be on the Christmas list of many children in the United States this holiday. With so many types to choose from - running, soccer, basketball, volleyball, football - it seems every sport has their own unique shoe.
For children in many resource-poor communities, however, feet deformities prevent them from ever wearing sneakers, let alone what is trendy. Could you imagine if this was one of your children or grandchildren? Consider the story of this bright, energetic, six-year-old girl living in Pereira, Colombia.
Her name is America. Yes, that is the hope her parents have for her in giving her this name.
America was born with six toes on her left foot. Life was difficult for her from an early age. She suffered because she could not wear “normal” shoes.
Once in grade school, she had to endure the humiliation of being teased by her classmates. Some of the school bullies went as far as stomping on her extra toe.
When Dr. Todd Farnworth’s path crossed America’s last September, he never expected to be so touched by the children he encountered. The first day working at the clinic in Pereira, America summoned the courage to share her painful story with “Dr. Todd.”
She told Dr. Todd that her deepest wish was to be able to wear sneakers. Any sneakers.
Swooned by America’s smile and charm, Dr. Todd could not say no to her angelic face. This was Dr. Todd’s first medical mission trip. It was children like America that brought him to this impoverished village.
Within a few days, America realized her dream come true. She awoke from surgery. She looked at her foot wrapped in gauze. Dr. Todd fulfilled her wish with grace and love.
And then, on his last day of their medical mission, he presented America with a gift beyond her imagination, the one gift she truly wanted – a new pair of sneakers.
What is one gift you want this Christmas? What is one gift you can give? A gift of surgical supplies or medicines from the MAP 2017 Gift Catalog could change the life of someone like America.
Or, consider the MAP Medical Mission Pack, known around the world as “Blue Boxes.” Your generous gift will equip a medical mission team with a MAP “blue box” to use in a small rural clinic or health outpost to help meet the medical needs of people who do not have access to medicines and health supplies. Your donation of $400 helps treat up to 700 people, providing a lifeline to those in need.
Thank you for supporting MAP International and the doctors around the world who make stories like America's possible.
A MAP supporter has stepped up with an amazing offer to help. This supporter, who asks to remain anonymous, wants to match every gift given to this special campaign — up to $100,000 — until December 31. Help MAP replenish its supplies of medicines!