Day One Blog Post, Inca 2019

Inca Trail Trek Spring 2019

Great accomplishments generally have their roots in humble beginnings. Today nineteen adventurous individuals from Minnesota, Georgia and Washington State embarked on a trip of a lifetime.  They are in route to the Andes mountains to either hike the famed Inca Trail or to scale a mountain cliff in the Sacred Valley of Peru. Each of these adventurous souls has their own reasons for initiating this journey, but what they all have in common is a propensity to make a difference in the lives of the less fortunate. They are taking on this adventure to create awareness of the hardships experienced by children around the world born with a facial deformity of a cleft lip or cleft palate.   

In the United States, a child born with this birth defect generally receives a surgery to repair the defect within months of being born.  This is not the case in other parts of the world. In the developing world, these children are hidden away from the mainstream of everyday life.  Often times, the parents of these children struggle to get enough nourishment into their child’s tiny body.  Food and liquids are hard to get down, sometimes there is a failure to thrive and sadly sometimes these children die.  They die for lack of access to a simple and relatively inexpensive procedure because they are so poor that health care is not accessible to them. 

In as little time as 45 minutes and for just $500 Smile Network is able to provide a life-changing surgery to a child by sending highly skilled and specialized surgical teams to surgical sites around the world.  This effort is made possible by the likes of the adventurous individuals who have set out on this journey today.  Months ago these individuals signed up to participate in this trip and have trained vigorously and planned extensively.  You should know two additional things:  They are paying all of their own expenses to participate and each has raised money by seeking sponsorship from friends, families, and colleagues to underwrite the cost of surgeries.  As of today, they have collectively raised over $52,000, enough to fund surgeries for over a hundred children.  Each has very specific personal reasons for being taking on this feat.  Follow their journey through Peru this week as they lace up their hiking boots and do the tough work. More to come…

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