Angel Emma : Emma’s Miles for Smiles

Emma is only six years old, yet she has a servant heart that is quite extraordinary. Emma was born with a bilateral cleft lip and palate. To raise awareness during July, Cleft Awareness Month, this sweet angel wants to bring two communities together for Emma’s Miles For Smiles, a family seven-mile run/walk from Andale to Colwich, Kansas on Saturday, July 19th.

Emma’s goals are to raise awareness and make a difference in helping others have a beautiful smile. All proceeds will be donated to the LEAP Foundation.

We are truly amazed by Emma’s generous spirit!

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Madden: LEAP FORE KIDS Jr. Golf Tournament

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10-year-old Madden and his fantastic family have all been working hard to prepare for the very first LEAP FORE KIDS Jr. Charity Golf Tournament at Brookhaven Country Club on Sunday, July 27th! There will be awesome raffles, player goody bags, a pool party, trophies, contests, T-shirts, meet and greet with pro golfers and food! Plus the boy AND girl golfer with the highest donation wins a PRIVATE ROUND with a PGA/LPGA professional!!!

In addition to the golf tournament and being an all around great youth, Madden is a dedicated student and his favorite subject is Math. He loves baseball and is a huge Yankees fan. He likes to hang out with his friends, play video games, basketball, swim, and just be a most awesome young man. Madden just finished fourth place in the US Kids Dallas Tour spring season. Madden’s goal is to play in the US Kids World Championship in Pinehurst, NC. Go Madden!

If you would like to be a sponsor or volunteer at this event, please contact Adella Winder at (972) 566-6550 or at adellawinder@leap-foundation.org. Be sure to register your junior golfers at www.leapforekids.com

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Sewing with Soul

Victory Life Church in Atoka, Oklahoma, is home church to LEAP volunteer, Janet Ortega. Janet and her daughter, Jessica, traveled with our medical team to Haiti last fall for the first time. This experience forever changed Janet and, since then, she has become an extraordinary ambassador for LEAP, getting involved in a multitude of ways within our organization. One such way, Janet has wanted to help the Haitian children in the local orphanages, so aside from collecting food, diapers, formula and other such items, Janet shared her story with her church family to see if they could help.

Answering Janet’s prayer, a lovely woman named Patricia, who has a huge heart for both mission work and helping children, said, “Let’s get together a sewing team to make clothing items for the orphans!” this was how it all started in Atoka! Now, there are six loving sewing souls who meet at Harmony Baptist Church under the direction of Patricia, who regularly get together and sew until their hearts are full. These ladies feel renewed and blessed; some of them had even lost their sense of purpose until they dusted off their sewing machines. Patricia and her sewing squad have already sewn enough clothes for Haitian babies to fill two trunks. Now, they are sewing patient medicine bags and other items for LEAP to take on mission trips. God’s grace is amazing!

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Landmark Program Update: Danny

Xiao Dong (Danny) is an absolute ray of hope. This beautiful boy has been perfectly and uniquely made.

Danny is an orphan at Bethel China in Beijing. At first glance, many are a little taken aback upon meeting him. You would think he would be shy or reserved, but not Danny! He has never met a stranger and greets everyone with a huge smile. Danny is extraordinary. He is full of love and joy. He plays with everyone, frequently reaching out for a cuddle or a hug that would melt your heart.

Danny is in the first grade at the Beijing School for the Blind. He lives in an apartment next to the school with five other Bethel boys. He does well in school. While he has vision in his left eye, Danny is learning braille as well as the alphabet. He gets along well with everyone in his house, but he plays with Heng Huan (Harry) the most. He likes learning new things and loves anything with a screen, especially an iPad.

Danny enjoys playing games. He is also very ticklish and everyone at the orphanage loves to tickle him, just so they can hear his precious laughter. When Danny is truly happy, he dissolves into fits of giggling that are very hard to control. Then everyone else around him just starts laughing! Joy abounds.

LEAP is currently working on bringing Danny to Dallas for surgery in late August. He is expected to stay in Dallas up to 12 weeks. We already have a wonderful host family, who are making plans for Danny’s arrival!

Please keep Danny in your prayers as we work through the logistics of acquiring approval for him to travel to the states. More updates to follow!

Excerpts from Chloe Banks, Bethel China

 

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Ethan in Haiti

 

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Parent missionaries to Ethan, who were serving in South America, found their way to LEAP through Dr. Liz Drum, anesthesiologist medical volunteer, who happened to be traveling to Haiti in May with LEAP. Ethan was in need of a pediatric specialty surgeon who was also traveling with the team – would it be possible for the family to bring Ethan from South America to be evaluated by Dr. Clanton Harrison? Arrangements were made, dad and Ethan flew to Port-au-Prince, and they were seen by Dr. Harrison and surgery was scheduled. Over the next few days, Ethan and his father captured the hearts of the entire team. Ethan wrote us a beautiful card of thanks and he brought us an abundance of joy. We were blessed, our hearts were full, and we shall not forget this wonderful family. From Dallas to Port-au-Prince, from South America to Port-au-Prince, God connected us.

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Reflections on Haiti by Marie Dimaano

IMG_2198The LEAP team landed in Port-au-Prince, and we were picked up at the airport and promptly brought to Hôpital Espoir. We walked in and work began immediately. The team split up to their respective areas for evaluations: plastics, ENT and urology. My only job was to see the patient and family before Dr. Hobar, take their name, address, phone number, contact for follow up, age, sex, and finally take their weight. Simple enough – but the language barrier posed a problem for me initially, even with the assistance of a translator. Soon a flow was established and many patients were seen for evaluation.

On the 2nd and 3rd day, I spent most of my time in the pre- and post-operative room. We prepared the patients for surgery by taking vitals, entertained them while they waited, and we kept them comfortable. After surgery, the kids were brought back to us from the post-anesthesia care unit. We measured, mixed and labeled antibiotics and pain medications specific for each child.

Despite the language barrier, one thing that was always understood by the LEAP volunteers and the patients’ families was that we were there for their children. I understood and saw each parent’s gratefulness. I clearly saw their love for their child. Moms of patients hugged me. I was given strokes on the back and arms when their child came out of surgery. Some knew how to say thank you in English. Most communicated their love and appreciation by their body language. I could see their shoulders relax when the stress of understanding our instructions passed. They sat back and looked at their sleeping child and I knew a great weight had been lifted.

Love. Love is powerful. It breaks down barriers and fuses relationships. I could not speak their language, but I’m certain they knew that we loved their children.

Love brought us thousands of miles from Dallas to a small hospital in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Each time I passed a mom in the waiting room we locked eyes, smiled, and for a moment, shared the greatest language of all: LOVE.

by Marie Dimaano, Volunteer

Linda and Paige Hardison, 2014 Gala Co-chairs

Meet this year’s 2014 co-chairs for our annual LEAP gala, Linda and Paige Hardison, an energetic, mother-daughter duo who love LEAP! Linda stays fit and maintains her energy by running laps with her hunting dogs, so she can eat as many nachos as she possibly can! She is currently studying Romans in her Community Bible Study; her favorite verse is Romans 8:31, “What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?” Linda’s daughter, Paige, became a patient of Dr. Hobar’s approximately ten years ago. Since then, God has worked LEAP into their lives.Paige enjoys golfing with her family and volunteering for Young Texans Against Cancer with her older sister, Holly. Paige’s favorite Bible verse is Isaiah 40:31, “But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” On gorgeous sunny days, Paige loves spending time with her two dogs and being with friends. She has been in the event planning industry for almost three years, and Paige has begun her own boutique event firm this year!Linda and Paige have been putting in the miles this year, traveling to Cabo, Aspen and soon to Zimbabwe with the LEAP team! More updates on the latter in June.

Preparing for the LEAP gala has been enormously enjoyable with these two fun-loving co-chairs. Many planning meetings have already been held and committees are underway to ensure a wonderful annual event, Leap Around The World, on the evening of Thursday, October 2, 2014, held at 3015 at Trinity Groves. There will be a VIP pre-event gathering, wonderful food prepared by celebrity chef, Sharon van Meter, and an auction. It will be a lively, dynamic event as this venue is already home to many memorable events located at the base of Dallas’ newest landmark, the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, that offers a stunning view of the skyline. So mark your calendars!

If you would like to donate, sponsor, or otherwise be involved with this awesome event, please contact Adella Winder at adellawinder@leap-foundation.org or call (972) 566-6550. We look forward to seeing you there!

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Richard Bailey, Volunteer

10304497_10152371971042254_8425840314889678705_nRichard Bailey is one of LEAP’s most dedicated volunteers, a paramedic fireman with a busy schedule, who also has his own moving company, Bluebonnet Moving Services. Richard graciously volunteers to transport our trunks and other medical supplies to/from the warehouse and airport on each of our mission trips. He does this out of the goodness of his heart and is such an important part of the success of our mission trips. Thank you, Richard!

 

 

Mad about Madden

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Meet Madden Sinnes, one of our youth LEAP family members! Madden is an extraordinary young man. He is compassionate, ambitious, tender-hearted and is exceptionally dedicated, along with having many gifts and talents.

To illustrate one of his great talents, Madden, who turns 10 years old tomorrow, is an unbelievable junior golfer! Since March 2013, Madden has played in the US Kids and NTPGA Jr. Tours. He finished second place in the NTPGA Jr. All-American Tournament and, since the summer of 2013, Madden has won seven gold medals, six silver medals, and fifteen bronze medals!! His handicap is five with an average score in the low 40′s. Wow!

Madden also has an enormous heart with a great compassion for the LEAP Foundation and its mission. Combining this with his gifts and talents, this young man and his wonderful mom, Kristen, have been preparing for LEAP’s first junior golf tournament to be held at Brookhaven Country Club on July 27, 2014! Mark your calendars because this is going to be a spectacular event with many exciting opportunities for participants.

Please visit the LEAP Fore Kids website atwww.LEAPForeKids.com and go to Madden’s Facebook page, LEAP Fore Kids Jr. Charity Golf Tournament athttps://www.facebook.com/pages/LEAP-FORE-KIDS-Jr-Charity-Golf-Tournament/270948593082236 If you would like to volunteer at the tournament, sponsor a junior golfer or make a donation, please contact Adella at adellawinder@leap-foundation.org.

We could not be more proud! Go Madden!

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Reflections on Haiti by Janet Ortega

2013-10-31 06.20.28Just last November, I couldn’t believe that I was on a plane heading to Haiti. From a brochure in my doctor’s office, I learned about the LEAP Foundation and, three years later, I had the privilege of being part of the Haiti team. It was my first time to do anything like this and here I was, traveling with 29 people, who were all set on one goal, to enhance the lives of others.

When we arrived at the hospital in Port-au-Prince, I was ready to hit the ground running for our five-day trip with about thirty-plus surgical procedures expected over the next three days. We immediately began seeing patients in evaluation, talking with their families and getting them ready for their surgeries. I had the opportunity to be the photographer on the trip. So I was able to follow the patients from pre-op through surgery, post-op, then back again into the arms of their loving parents.

One little boy, when he first opened his big eyes in the post-op area and first realized that he had use of his hand again was one of my most favorite moments on this trip. His expression, getting to see his hand open for the first time, was so moving that I will never forget that precious moment. My daughter, Jessica, was also able to travel with the team as well, so I was able to share this experience with her. Because Jessica is currently pursuing her Doctorate in Pharmacy, this trip gave her a deeper love for people. Getting to see that spark in her while she cared for these children changed her life. I also gained a huge respect for the doctors and nurses all working together during the surgeries as one singular unit. I have never witnessed anything like this experience before. The team members were literally from different walks of life back in the States, but in those two operating rooms in Haiti, it was as if they had been colleagues for years.

As with any third world country, Hatians are a resilient people, and having the opportunity to positively affect their lives in such a profound way is extraordinary. A lot of hard work and dedicated staff make LEAP mission trips happen; and, being a volunteer has opened my eyes to all that, I, one person, can do when working with such a team. How did I get picked to be a part of something so wonderful? Here I was, holding these babies, meeting their grateful parents, hearing all of their stories and taking their amazing photos. It was an unspeakable dream, a great deal of hard work, but it was the most fulfilling thing that I have ever had the opportunity to be a part of in my life. While I had known that I was supposed to be a part of something like this for eleven years and, getting to see my prayers answered not only increased my faith in God, but it absolutely showed me that God, in His timing, gives me the desires of my heart.

So when the plane departs DFW on May 1 to travel to Haiti, I will be on this flight to be a part of another LEAP surgical team. More beautiful children served, many more lives healed, and more experiences that will enrich my life all of my days. I shall most definitely not return the same.

by Janet Ortega, Volunteer