My name is Dawn Jackson, and I am excited to be volunteering for Interplast on a surgical voluntter trip to Loja, Ecuador, where we will perform free reconstructive plastic surgery for poor children. With the trip to Loja, Ecuador only days away, team members from around the globe are busy preparing for the upcoming weeks. Many of us are leaving children, spouses, jobs and other responsibilities at home to spend two weeks trying to make a difference doing something we believe in. Being that this is my third trip with Interplast, images begin forming in my head about the children and the families we will meet. I envision clinic day full of parents desperately seeking help for their children from us who are complete strangers.
I know that although we will help many there will also be those that we have to turn away because of underlying health problems or other reasons. Because of this and other heartbreaking moments, I know I have to muster up much strength before the trip. But I also know that in just a few days I will see the warmth in the childrens' and parents' eyes as our team arrives to help change their lives. A simple smile is all that is needed to know we have made a difference, to know that the trip has been worthwhile. But I am also a true believer that with every trip the volunteers' lives are changed just as much as the patients.