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Becca spent two weeks in Honduras with a Community Health Partnership - Honduras medical brigade when she was 14. 

She began her volunteer efforts in earnest long before the trip was scheduled in the fall of 2015 by placing boxes for donations of hats and glasses in synagogues, churches, schools and town office buildings. She collected hundreds of ballcaps, sunglasses, and reading glasses. These items are hugely appreciated by the indigenous population CHPH serves, since workers are outside all day farming and they meed protection from the sun. 

Becca packed up her donations and when she arrived in Honduras she set up an eyeglass clinic where they could test people for the proper glasses. Throughout the week, Becca was a big part of the CHPH team and she befriended many of the children there as well. 

The following year, Becca developed a nutrition education program to share with the children attending school in the villages. Nutrition is one of the most compelling issues the population faces and Becca understood the connection between education and young people. CHPH continues to use the program materials that Becca developed and they are a valuable part of their ongoing program.

As CHPH and the children of Opatoro were so special to Becca, the first of "Becca's Gifts" was used to support CHPH's work in two ways:  A Surgical fund and a Medical Mission fund 

Kenia Yaritza Galves Lindner

When CHPH learned about Kenia, she had been sick for more than 3 months with the following symptoms:  acid reflux, constant stomach pain, burning sensation, nausea, vomiting and dizziness. She was also anemic and her weight had gone down to 80 pounds.  Doctors believed Kenia was suffering from Helicobacter Pylori, an illness that can lead to stomach ulcers and possibly stomach cancer, but even with a potential diagnosis she had no access to treatment where she lived.

With the help of Ailin Pineda of the Celestial Fundacion in San Pedro Sula, CHPH arranged for Kenia to be seen by one of the best private hospitals in Honduras. The funds from “Becca’s Gift” made it possible for Kenia to have an ultrasound and endoscopy. This testing confirmed that Kenia did indeed have H Pylori- which was eating away at her stomach lining.  Tests also showed that Kenia was suffering from three different varieties of parasites. 

CHPH is extremely grateful for the funds that provided Kenia with the medical treatment she so desperately needed.  Now she is recovering and has the promise of a future. Her parents are also deeply grateful for all that was made possible for their daughter through this funding. The opportunities provided for Kenia have lifted them up immeasurably after years of trauma, poverty, and worry for their daughter’s health. 

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Ailin and Bertha

Bertha Suazo

Bertha was a 38-year old mother of 3 daughters, when Jen Smith, the founder of Community Health Partnership – Honduras, first met with her. Bertha had suffered third degree burns on her arms and legs after a cooking gas explosion in her kitchen in November of 2020. 

In that same year Bertha lost her mother, her brother, and her sister who died of COVID 19. Bertha was first treated for her initial burn injuries at the public hospital in Tegucigalpa, the “Hospital Escuela”. There, she contracted COVID 19 and it may have been through her own exposure that her sister also contracted the virus and subsequently died. The fact that she may have contributed to her sister’s death through her own exposure has caused her to suffer terrible remorse and grief. 

Bertha’s burns were very severe, but there are almost no resources for adults suffering from burn injuries in Honduras.  Even so, CHPH's volunteer colleague, Ailin Pineda, managed to obtain appointments for Bertha with experts in San Pedro Sula (SPS).  They were then directed to CRISAQ - a burn treatment center in Tegucigalpa. 

For more than six months, Bertha was treated for her burns at CRISAQ.  She also has to wear a silicon suit for a full year. She has received physical therapy and psychological support, and has been prescribed medicine for her pain and for sleep. Thanks to “Becca’s Gift”, CHPH was able to pay for Bertha’s treatments as well as her transportation and lodging.

Bertha has endured unspeakable losses over this past year and the pain and suffering she endured for months after her burns is unimaginable.  Bertha is deeply grateful for the support she has received from CHPH and hopes to be able to return to work eventually to support her family. 

Surgical Fund
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CHPH - Medical Mission Fund

When Becca Schmill passed away in September of 2020, Stu Schmill’s friends and colleagues at the College Board wanted to do something in memory of her accomplishments, something that would continue to make a difference in the lives of other young people who want to do charitable work. 

 

With this in mind, CHPH has created a fund with the College Board donation that will cover the fees for young volunteers who could otherwise not afford to join a brigade. This fund will allow other caring young adults to follow in Becca’s footsteps, carrying on the beautiful work that she contributed through her time in Honduras. It will provide an opportunity for them to share their skills and an experience that will undoubtedly inspire their future endeavors.

 

Although CHPH has not been able to send brigades during the Covid 19 pandemic, they anticipate sending their first team back to Honduras in late May 2022. Inquiries regarding CHPH brigades and the application process should be sent to Jennifer Smith, Executive Director, at chph.tjif@gmail.com


Learn more about Community Health Partnership - Honduras at https://www.chp-honduras.org

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