Celebrating our 100th Surgical Mission!

We’re joyfully celebrating our 100th surgical mission to Guatemala this week! This is a huge milestone in the life of our organization and we couldn’t have done it without you, our friends and partners.

What does 100 surgical missions look like? It looks like:
6,000+ surgical procedures performed
1,700+ Medical Volunteers
800+ Guatemalan Volunteers
4.7 million miles traveled
25 Permanent Moore Center Staff
1 therapy dog
Millions of in-kind hours donated by volunteers
Immeasurable lives changed. Countless prayers offered.

We kicked off the 100th mission with Dr. Brian Shaw and his orthopedic team. Celebrations will take place at The Moore Center in Guatemala City on Tuesday, March 5th. Follow along on our facebook page for pictures and updates throughout the day!

The Shalom Foundation relies on the continued generosity of others to ensure the children in Guatemala receive the surgical care they need. If you would like to donate to #100Moore missions, please click here.

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Katy's Story

When Katy was a baby, she cried a lot. Her family didn't know why or what to do about the crying. After noticing a deformity in her leg, they took her to a pediatrician and the x-rays showed fractures in the tibia, fibula, humerus and ribs. The pediatrician confirmed the suspicion of Osteogenesis Imperfecta and gave the same diagnosis to Katy's dad.

Katy’s dad did not realize that he had the disease. His mother was epileptic and dropped him several times as a child while she was seizing.  He didn’t know why his bones fractured so easily, but he didn’t have the money or resources to be treated.  He has had so many bone fractures that his legs are too weak and small to walk. He uses a skateboard to get around.  He works as a taxi driver and uses a modified car. He also sells hand-made Guatemalan trinkets at the airport.  Katy’s mother suffers from bilateral hip dislocation and walks with assistance. She does the designs for the trinkets and stays at home to care for Katy.

The family discovered The Moore Center because Katy’s dad met one of the medical mission teams at the airport and they shared the work of the Center. Katy has been a patient since she was four. The mission teams work to strengthen her bones and correct the deformities. They hope to send her to the United States where she can receive multidisciplinary care for the disease.

The family is incredibly grateful for the treatment that they have received. Katy’s dad greets all of the mission teams at the airport to welcome them to Guatemala. Because of the continued care that Katy receives, they spend a lot of time at the Moore Center. Katy has a room that has been designated at Katy’s Room. After all that Katy has been through, she remains a happy, cheerful little girl. Everyone who meets her, falls in love with her attitude, maturity and beaming smile. 

What makes The Moore Center unique is the potential for different US mission teams to offer ongoing care to patients.  Katy has received six different surgeries from three different mission teams.  These teams can communicate with each other and The Moore Center to coordinate her treatment and stay updated on her progress.  Through your support, Katy can continue to receive the care she needs to live a long, healthy life.    

A Surgeon's Story

Dr. Brian Shaw is an orthopedic surgeon at Children’s Hospital Colorado. His practice emphasizes the surgical treatment of bone and joint disorders in children and adolescents.  While at The Moore Center, this team focuses on surgeries for club feet, congenital hip dislocations, and much more. 

His wife Lisa is a nurse, as well as the logistics coordinator for the mission trips. They have faithfully traveled to The Moore Center each year since 2013.

Out of all of our mission teams, their team is the smallest in terms of mission team members, but that doesn't slow them down in the operating rooms!  We are so proud of the work they do each year.  

 Watch the videos to get to know them and their team better. 

Ana's Story

Ana's Story

It all began with a little girl named Ana.

Little Ana Rios was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. When she was four years old, she went to the corner store and was caught in the cross fire of a robbery. A man grabbed her and used her as a human shield. She was shot, but she survived. Ana was treated in a Guatemalan hospital, but the bullet was still lodged in her sternum and moved to her hip. The bullet had the potential to stunt her growth and eventually kill her. For three years, she was in excruciating pain and had massive scars from the attempt to remove the bullet. They could do nothing more for her in Guatemala.

A group of church missionaries from Tennessee were building houses and a school in Ana’s neighborhood. Ana’s family was desperate for help. They had no money and no resources. Her Aunt saw the workers for many days and finally pleaded with them to help her niece. She could no longer watch her suffer.  The missionaries were touched, but none of them were doctors. They didn’t know how to help, but they could not ignore the desperate plea of this woman.  

It would take several months, but the missionaries used their connections and finally arranged to send Ana to the United States to receive treatment. She arrived in Tennessee on October 16, 2003. She had several abscessed teeth that she had to have treated before they could address the bullet. She received her surgery on October 22 at Southern Hills Hospital. Dr. Malcolm Baxter removed the bullet and Dr. Pat Maxwell performed plastic surgery to repair the scars across her body. She remained in Tennessee for several weeks to recuperate.

Over the years, Ana and her family stayed in touch with several of the missionaries that were involved in getting her treated. They helped buy her clothes, pay for her education, and provide housing for her and her family. They treat Ana as if she was a member of their family. That act of kindness from a group of strangers not only changed her life, but thousands of children just like her.

The missionaries knew that there were other children like Ana. And they knew that they could not send all of them to the US for treatment. They began organizing medical mission teams from Vanderbilt to go to Guatemala to treat these children. They tried renting space in local hospitals, but they had limited options with space and equipment. Finally, in 2005, they realized that they needed their own space. They could not ignore God’s calling and the opportunity to help these desperate children. They bought an old maternity ward and renovated it. Although it was a very complex and lengthy process, The Moore Pediatric Surgery Center finally opened in 2011. Since its inception, over 5,000 children have received medical procedures.

This story of Ana was actually the beginning of The Shalom Foundation's mission to provide life-changing medical and surgical care to impoverished children in Guatemala. Today, Ana is a beautiful, healthy, happy young woman. She just celebrated her 21st birthday. She is attending college and studying law.  She works as a receptionist at The Moore Center helping other children just like her.



Board Member Dr. Kelly McQueen Receives Nicholas M. Greene, M.D. Out-standing Humanitarian Contribution Award

Congratulations to our board member, Dr. Kelly McQueen, M.D., M.P.H.  She has been awarded the  2017 Nicholas M. Greene, M.D. Outstanding Humanitarian Contribution Award!  She is  truly committed to serving the poorest countries around the world.  We are grateful for genuine heart and her support of The Shalom Foundation's mission. #PROUD

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