Leaving Norfolk Jan. 2, 2020 after a week-long battle with flu, cough and cold was not easy, but overridden by the usual medical mission’s thoughts of fulfillment: Thus this story to tell: It entailed six international and five in-country flights for a total of 22 take-offs and landings. It also included three and six hours road trips. Thank God, this 77 year-old body survived to come home the eve of my 50th wedding anniversary !
Montero Medical Missions accomplished two very successful and satisfying Eyesight 20/20 and Prosthetics project missions in Initao, Misamis Oriental and Bayabas, Surigao del Sur respectively, both in the big island of Mindanao. The humanitarian mayors Enerito’Gogoy’ Acain and Clarita’Babie’ Garcia-Limbaro were actively involved. At Initao with 30,000 population, the local government unit[LGU] expanded our anchored Eyesight 20/20 mission led by Dr. Chris Buniel. Overall we helped 1500 people in a two-day period, Jan.10-11 through a combined optometric consultation and new eyeglasses distribution, medical consultation with free medicine Rx, diabetes screening, type and cross match ‘blood letting’ examinations, and the launching of MMM’s newest Feed the Children project by the owner of Geli Foods from Cagayan de Oro, Mr. Erwin Geli, MMM’s chairman of the project. His most delicious and nutritious yogurt drink capped the first day with both children and adult savoring the unique treat. Ms. Angelica George, Mrs. Lydda Roa and Ms. Maria Socorro ‘Deanne’ Hernandez were instrumental in Initao mission’s success. In Bayabas, my hometown with 8,000 population, the MMM Prosthesis mission Jan.17-18, was headed by worldwide chairman Mike Smith, CPO joined by his wife and assistant Cyndi Smith. He fitted six amputees whom we saw in Nov. 2018 mission, with upper and lower extremities prostheses he fashioned at his Chesapeake, Virginia American Orthotic and Prosthetic Center office. Since the good mayor has designated an old but newly rennovated building in the municipal campus for MMM Prosthetic project, the second day was spent arranging the clinic tools. Mike examined three more amputees for near future prosthetic fitting. The year-long kept in storage, state of the art prosthetic oven built in Manila was finally uncrated and found to be ready for business. Tha Bayabas MMM Prosthetic Center which is just the third in entire Mindanao with 30 million population, will now go through the accreditation process to be able to operate and hire a CPO School of Prosthesis graduate in Manila. For the MMM Educate the Children sustainable project, mayor Garcia-Limbaro opened the designated library in a new building. The future of this excellent project for sustainability is bright due to the humanitarianism of its donors in U.S. They are the Mom’s Choice Awards and Book Exchange. Let’s stay tuned for the upcoming official formation of Montero Medical Missions Philippines and its planned projects. The novel healthcare delivery system Floating Medical Clinic project has gotten wider attention after multiple meetings and communications with potential stakeholders. Just before I left Manila, our new, extraordinaire MMM Philippines Executive Director Maria Socorro ‘Deanne of Wellness’ Hernandez emailed me a Manila newspapar headline mentioning the new UNICEF Philippine Director being from Mongolia. With MMM Mongolian connection in place, the future cannot be brighter !