Nothing fuels the soul like giving. I was recently introduced to Surgeon, Urogynecologist and Humanitarian, Dr. Tom Margolis, Medical Director at MedLend, a 501c3 non-profit. Dr. Margolis shared with me his role at the non-profit and their mission; to provide surgical care to women and children . Located in the San Francisco Bay Area, MedLend is comprised of an all-volunteer team of surgeons, healthcare workers and support personnel, who conduct surgical missions in the world's poorest corners of the world. While many humanitarian groups travel abroad and provide valuable healthcare to the poor, MedLend is one of a handful of organizations traveling to remote locations, equipment and supplies in-tow and performing critical surgical procedures.
Dr. Margolis leads the semi-annual, obstetric fistula medical mission to Uganda, providing fistula treatment to nominally 50-60 women each visit. In addition, Dr. Margolis trains the Mbarara Gynecological surgeons on the most effective fistula repair methods. The team of volunteers travel from Kampala, Uganda to Mbarara Hospital by caravan to find a line of women camped out on the hospital's front lawn, anxiously awaiting their arrival. Over the course of 2 weeks, the MedLend team in collaboration with the Mbarara team perform the complicated, fistula surgical repair on the women who have been robbed of all dignity.
Coupled with my awareness of this insidious, debilitating, and humiliating infliction, and with the knowledge that fistulas are preventable and most-oft treatable I knew I wanted to help. I think about it like this, helping one woman is so significant that it has the ability to change the paradigm of her entire village. It is evident once a mother is healthy and empowered she is able to care for and educate her children, her family and inspire better outcomes within her own community. With this repair, these women's lives are restored.
Although there are no travel expenses given volunteers are responsible for paying their own airfare, each mission is costly and involves shipping equipment and supplies to the site. MedLend does an extraordinary job conducting high quality surgery in a 'portable' operating room while adhering to a very aggressive budget.
MedLend would love your involvement. This work cannot be done without donations. Please consider volunteering either here in the Bay Area or abroad. And of course, your monetary contributions, no matter the size are greatly appreciated.