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Meet some of the children from the 2016 mission

In 2013 Dorje, then nine years old, went through an eight hour surgery to straighten his spine, with amazing results.

 

Dorje is from a small yak herding community in northern Sichuan. Before the surgery, his life was pretty much resigned to being little more than the family servant. There’s not much use for education, since with a disability like this, his work opportunities are close to zero, his marriage possibilities are close to zero, and his life expectancy is heart-breakingly low.  

 

Now, four years on, Dorje is just like all the other kids, back at school, and healthy as an ox.  

Surgery in 2016 for hip dislocation

Surgery in 2016 for scoliosis

Surgery in 2016 for Polydactyly of left hand and bilateral feet 

Surgery in 2016 for hip dislocation

Meet some of the children from past missions:

In 2013 Dorje, then nine years old, went through an eight hour surgery to straighten his spine, with amazing results.

 

Dorje is from a small yak herding community in northern Sichuan. Before the surgery, his life was pretty much resigned to being little more than the family servant. There’s not much use for education, since with a disability like this, his work opportunities are close to zero, his marriage possibilities are close to zero, and his life expectancy is heart-breakingly low.  

Now, four years on, Dorje is just like all the other kids, back at school, and healthy as an ox.  

Jigtso was also part of the 2013 mission. Dr. Rinsky and Dr. Chang performed the surgery on his scoliosis when Jitso was 9 years old.  Today, at 13, she is doing great (and reportedly did so well at her local school that she's been able to move to a bigger school with greater opportunities!)

 

Similar to Dorje, she is from a small yak herding community in Western China, where work and career opportunities for a disabled girl are significantly limited. Since her operation, Jigtso has been enrolled in school and can live a normal, healthy life. Most importantly, she is now able to access the same resources and opportunities as her classmates.  

Ben Jia is also from Western China. He lives with his grandmother in a small rural community.  He received an operation during the Glow Fund’s 2016 mission for a very extreme case of scoliosis. He was operated on by Dr. Rinsky, Dr. Chang and Dr. Lopez.   

Getting to know Ben Jia during the mission was a highlight of our time in Yantai. He made friends with the other children in the hospital quickly. This was a first for him, as his grandmother said that many children at his school made fun of the hump on his back, and often beat him up or forced him to remove his jacket to see his disability.  In the days leading up to his operation, he and all of these children would run around the hospital ward, hand in hand, laughing and playing. Watching him was so heart-warming. We’re glad to hear reports that he is happy, healthy, and playing basketball with all the other kids at his school. 

Sonam was known as the little princess during the 2016 mission.  She had a sneaky yet adorable way of making sure everyone did little chores for her.  It was adorable to see.  

 

Sonam, also from Western Sichuan, received an operation to straighten the curvature of her spine by Dr. Rinsky, Dr. Chang and Dr. Lopez. Hers was one of the few surgeries that Aaron was allowed to witness. The experience of watching an 8-hour spinal surgery inspired him want to apply to medical school and become a surgeon.   

Weiwei was on the 2016 mission. He is an orphan, and lives at the Prince of Peace Children's Home in Tianjin, near Beijing.  He received a hip dysplasia surgery on one of his hips.

He was one of the bright stars of the 2016 mission. Though he spent most of the time in a 3/4 body cast, everyone was always hovering around his bed.  Despite his discomfort, he remained smiling and interested in everything and everyone. He loved learning English and singing songs. He was a real joy to be around.

Qiaoqiao was also on the 2016 mission. She is from the same orphanage as Weiwei, the Prince of Peace Children's Home in Tianjin.  

Qiaoqigon received surgery on her hip from Dr. Gamble, and had to stay in bed for a couple weeks. We would move back and forth between hers and Weiwei's bedside, reading books and telling stories. Her favourite thing was when we'd bring her chocolate...ah that made her happy!   

Xiao Wen came to the 2016 mission through the amazing group called One Less Orphan.  She was this vivacious 5-year-old who had surgery by Dr. Gamble for her macrodactyly index and long fingers.

 

I will always have this image of Xiao Wen and Ben Jia hand-in-hand running through the corridors of the hospital. From their stories, it came out that both had experienced a lifetime of being teased and bullied for their disabilities. But at the hospital, where all children were disabled, they weren't being judged. Instead, they were free to be themselves and play together.  The image and thought of them together is enough to evoke tears.

Xiao Peng comes from the Sunrise Orphanage in Hebei, and was on the 2016 mission. He received a surgery for Equimus Contracture from Dr. Gamble.

Like a number of the children who were on the mission that year, Xiao Peng has Cerebral Palsy.  Despite being in much pain after surgery, Xiao Peng had an irresistible and contagious grin. Seeing how much love and care these children were given by their caregivers, and all the hospital staff.