from the December 2018 RNFA Surgical eNews
After many years of knowing Dr. Glenn Geelhoed and supporting Mission to Heal, in January 2018 NIFA’s CEO embarked on his firstM2H mission, to the Philippines. He managed the team’s vehicle maintenance.
In the process, our CEO got acquainted with one of the local volunteers, a man named Gerry Lopena, who had some OR background and was between jobs. Dr. Glenn taught Gerry Lopena to assist in surgery, starting with cutting a cyst off his wife’s back.
At the end of that mission, M2H wanted to be able to call on Gerry again, but Gerry couldn’t afford to be without a job. NIFA’s CEO stepped in and had NIFA pay Gerry a monthly retainer so that he could make ends meet while remaining available to work with M2H.
After a year, M2H was finished with needing Gerry’s services on a regular basis, so NIFA gave him a lump sum severance that was equivalent to a year of income in his small town in Marinduque province. With this money Gerry and his family went into the city, picked up supplies, outfitted a portion of their home as a storefront, and they have opened a small store.
Gerry and his family are delighted, and there is often a line of people at the store to buy hardware, snacks, and various other goods.