We are back from our five-week trek to Serabu. It was our longest trip on record to Southern Eye Clinic. Four other fabulous surgeons joined the mission team. Except for a couple of weeks with Dr. John Anhalt, women ruled this surgical expedition. Additional “Thanks” to Dr. Sarah Amanullah, Dr. Anna Fakadej, and Dr. Suzette Luke. In total, 341 surgeries were performed, and thousands of clinic patients were examined. Cathy also performed a few surgeries. It was great to see her reconnect with her surgical skills and participate in clinical comradery. Other trip highlights include special prayer services in the Church and the Mosque for the new SEC Medical Staff; the tireless efforts of volunteer Tim Ravy in the computer center; 25,000+ meals served and/or distributed; the wedding of our sports director; a cultural dance competition; and our 18th Annual Sport’s Day, when Serabu divides into four teams for a day of track and field competition and a night of celebration. The Red Team won this year. Also, our spiritual journey was wonderfully enhanced with the addition of an adoration chapel. The combination of a Lourdes Grotto, Adoration Chapel and our newly painted Sacred Heart Catholic Church creates a warm and nurturing prayer campus.
One year ago, Cathy’s cancer symptoms began to show and by mid-March she had surgery to remove a brain tumor with a glioblastoma diagnosis. She returns to Duke Brain Cancer Center this week for another MRI and check-up. Her battle continues with the side effects of chemotherapy, but her overall strength is improving. This past year has been filled with so many blessings, including an abundance of prayers and support from our family and friends around the world. Thank you, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. We love you.