Come And Fill Our Hearts

Pam & LoganSo many of you have followed little Logan since he was an infant, originally brought to Dallas from China as a Landmark Program recipient requiring multiple complex surgeries. Our remarkable LEAP family has helped and participated in Logan’s journey along the way. We were also delighted to share with you over the holidays that after a lengthy process, Logan was officially adopted by his host mom, Pam Newell, which has been an incredible blessing in so many ways.

Logan has recently undergone another surgical procedure for  placement of a tissue expander by Dr. Hobar. He is recovering very well and has been bouncing around and enjoying all of his favorites, including playing with his new puppy, Poppy, watching his favorite Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse videos, reading books, learning his colors, talking and squealing, and playing with his blocks and Legos. Logan continues to happily grow in grace.

Another great joy, Logan is being baptized on February 15 at First United Methodist Church in Richardson. This will be incredibly special. How beautiful it is that we have been given the opportunity to witness the glory of God in sweet Logan and Pam’s lives. We are truly blessed, and our hearts are filled with love for this beautiful family.

Please keep Logan and Pam in your prayers as Logan continues to recover from his most recent surgery. In April, he will have another surgery to prepare him for a prosthetic eye placement. Logan and Pam, we love you!
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Oh Danny Boy

Danny and Dr Trawnik 1-13-14We have enjoyed Danny so much while he has been here! He is so special and loving, and with a joyful heart he takes in everything, despite having many new things to challenge him. Danny recently saw Randy Trawnik at Dallas Eye Prosthetics for evaluation of a new prosthetic eye, which will be done in the next few weeks at Danny’s last surgery. Danny also received new glasses that have greatly improved his vision and also offer him protection. He continues to do well with speech therapy since his palate closure and is rapidly learning to speak English.

Martin and Brittan Rojas have graciously hosted Danny since he arrived in early November. They have done this with the utmost grace while caring for their own children and during the busy holidays. They have loved Danny like their own, cared for him in the hospital and at home during recovery of his surgeries, taken him to his appointments, enrolled him in school so that he can continue his education and learn English as a second language, and many more countless daily acts of grace. Danny has done incredibly well because he has been well loved. The Rojas family has been absolutely incredible!Martin, Brittan, and Danny 1-13-14

Our LEAP family has also been amazing, and we are immensely grateful to all of you who have helped Danny have a warm and welcoming stay over the last three months. We would ask for you to pray for Danny and his finding the perfect forever home with a loving family.

If you would like to be a part of Danny’s story or if you have questions about adoption, please contact us in the office at (972) 566-6550.

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Welcome Maddie!

Maddie PierceWe have been blessed to have sweet Maddie Rembecki Pierce volunteer in the LEAP office over the past year. She and her wonderful mother, Melissa Howell, have helped to keep our in-kind donations logged in and up-to-date over the past many months and have also volunteered at our warehouse work day in the summer. In April last year, Maddie traveled with LEAP to Haiti and was an incredible mission team member.

Maddie is currently in her junior year of college working on her BSN. Eventually, Maddie plans to work in Pediatric Trauma. While she is completing her undergraduate and graduate studies, Maddie will be joining us two days a week, on Tuesday and Thursday, as our Medical Supplies Coordinator. She has amazing organizational skills that will be incredibly helpful in the office and the warehouse. Maddie will help prepare for mission trips and packing. She is incredibly dedicated and has the most amazing heart for service, children and sharing joyful love with every person who is fortunate to cross her path. Maddie recently married Corbin Pierce, who is the light of her life.

Please feel free to welcome Maddie. She can be reached at maddiepierce@leap-foundation.org.

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Welcome New Medical Volunteer

Jami EidemNew to the LEAP Foundation is Dr. Jami Eidem, Pediatric Anesthesiologist, who plans to travel with our team to India in February. Jami practices at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas, who beautifully shared the following about herself:

“My love for travel began my sophomore year in college when I had the opportunity to spend a month studying in Tanzania. It was a life changing trip that opened my eyes to a whole new world beyond the small town I grew up in just outside of Fargo, ND. I was blessed with the opportunity to return to Tanzania as a teaching assistant my senior year of college. This solidified my love for travel and my desire to explore the world along the road less traveled.

In medical school, I applied and was accepted into an international rotation at Medical College of Vellore in Tamil Nadu, India. This was my first experience with medicine outside of the US. My favorite experience during that rotation was riding along on ‘home visits’ with nurses to visit the surrounding villages. This was a rare and priceless glimpse of the everyday lives of the people there, how they made the best with what they had and what they did not have, and it touched me immensely.

I have visited India once since my away rotation, for a friend’s wedding, and I remain amazed by the immense underlying drive to overcome and to improve the circumstances for the next generation. It really is inspiring. I have always had a strong desire to participate in a medical mission trip, and I am happy to say that I am at a good place in my career to really begin giving back. I look forward to this wonderful opportunity.”

Thank you, Jami! Welcome to the LEAP family, we are excited to share the medical mission field with you and our incredible team.

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Welcome Ashley!

Ashley WinderWe are so pleased to introduce you to our new Communications Coordinator, Ashley Winder, who will be with us full-time in the LEAP office. Ashley is older sister to Adella, a huge compliment to LEAP that Adella has shared her talented sister and best friend with us. Over the last three weeks, Ashley has been training part-time in the office with Adella.

Ashley is a 2008 SMU graduate with several years of experience in office administration, project development, data management, grant research, website and social media, along with extensive education and expertise in creative writing. Ashley is also a wonderful educator and coach of children and youth in various forums. In her spare time, she enjoys reading books in her favorite coffee shop, movies, creative writing, and listening to local musicians. Her favorite color is green. She could not be more perfect for LEAP!!

Please help welcome Ashley to LEAP! We are blessed to have her on staff, bringing many gifts and talents to help us grow organizationally. She can be reached at ashleywinder@leap-foundation.org.

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Update on Danny

Wow, Danny has had so many wonderful things happening in the last three weeks. He has continued to heal and recover well from his surgeries, including beginning speech  therapy with the fabulous Erin Bernett to help him learn to speak for the very first time. Danny has also started school in Grapevine and is doing well in his new school environment,  working closely with a teacher who speaks Mandarin Chinese! Danny also has his own iPad to work with in class. He is learning to speak English as a second language.

Danny has also become delightfully infused into the Rojas family, moving into two-year-old Luke’s room, who absolutely adores Danny. Often Luke is imitating Danny, trying to learn all kinds of things, such as how to make a peace sign that frequently is accompanied by Danny’s giant smile. Danny has also been catching up on eating many new and wonderful foods, gaining weight and happily growing in grace after his surgeries.

More appointments are scheduled in January and February with specialists to help Danny continue to have as many medical and surgical benefits as possible. We are so blessed to have Danny be a part of our LEAP family. Thank you to all who have already helped make his stay comfortable and welcoming by providing gift cards, meals, clothing, etc. If you would like to be a part of Danny’s story, please contact Ashley at (972) 566-6550 or ashleywinder@leap-foundation.org

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Merciful and Mighty

In 2010, only a few short days after the New Year greeted the beautiful people of Haiti and celebrations had subsided, a catastrophic earthquake ravaged Port-au-Prince and surrounding areas. Hundreds of thousands of people lost their lives with mass destruction to an extensive geographic area.

Dr. P. Craig Hobar, Director of International Craniofacial Development of Medical City Children’s Hospital and the Founder and Medical Director of the LEAP Foundation (LEAP), a non-profit that has provided free, specialized craniofacial surgery to children in impoverished regions around the world for 23 years, saw the devastation being reported in Haiti and quickly made his way to help provide surgical care to those in need, literally days after the earthquake occurred.

 Dr. Ale Garcia-Mitchell, Dr. Hobar and LEAP organized a disaster relief program where 21 surgical teams from around the U.S. and Canada provided complex surgical reconstructive procedures to earthquake victims over the next six months.

During these months of early recovery, Dr. Anna Tran and Dr. Joy Touchstone, Dallas-based Pediatricians, answered a call to serve in Haiti, traveling with another medical organization that was sending teams to help in the region. While in Haiti, Drs. Tran and Touchstone evaluated a male infant, Orleanswho was only six weeks old, diagnosing him with Pierre Robin sequence, a condition caused by a smaller than normal lower jaw that often results in the tongue falling in the back of the throat, potentially impairing breathing. According to mom, Fabienne, Orleans had already experienced bouts in which he had stopped breathing and she was having great difficulty in feeding him.

While trying to locate a hospital to accept Orleans in the United States, no easy task since many were already inundated with emergency patients transferred from Haiti, Fabienne began to tell Drs. Tran and Touchstone a most remarkable story that Orleans had stopped breathing one day and, a frightened Fabienne quickly made her way to seek help from a local physician.

After she arrived, she was told that Orleans had died; he was carefully wrapped in a blanket, taken to the morgue and left amongst others with a similar fate. Only because of an astute passer by, who heard tiny muffled sounds emerging from the wrapped body of Orleans, did they realize that he had actually survived, fighting again for every breath to live. He was urgently taken to the floor and carefully watched over by Fabienne and other most grateful medical providers.

While Drs. Tran and Touchstone did their initial exam of Orleans, they noticed there were several times in which he would cry and his heart stopped; furthermore, he was unable to eat, and he was frequently choking. Not having the benefit of diagnostically visualizing his anatomy, placement of a feeding tube was not possible. But Orleans was a fighter, and Drs. Tran and Touchstone were very determined guardians.

Requiring round-the-clock care and aggressive resuscitation, Dr. Tran literally sent out a 911 plea to a list of approximately 50 professional colleagues to see if they could help connect a surgeon to transfer and care for Orleans. Not only was Dr. Hobar the only person who responded, but he actually called Dr. Tran in Haiti within an hour to see how he could help. Remarkable.

Not long afterward, Dr. Hobar connected with Medical City Children’s Hospital, who was extremely committed to helping beyond most in the southern region, agreeing to generously provide an airplane and a nurse to transfer Orleans and Fabienne to Dallas. An emergency visa for both were obtained, a small miracle in and of itself; and, in the middle of the night, Dr. Hobar and his wife, Robin, met the team in Dallas at the airport, along with Mariline, a young woman and Haitian earthquake survivor, who had been recovering in the Hobar home for a couple of months after a lengthy stay at a local hospital. Mariline, who spoke to Fabienne in Creole, her native language, comforted a frightened Fabienne, assuring her that her prayers had been answered and that she was now in safe, capable hands.

 Orleans was admitted to Medical City Children’s Hospital Intensive Care Unit where he was extremely well cared for by the medical staff. The first few days were difficult on Fabienne in this very new environment filled with multiple monitors and procedures being performed on her small son, but the nursing staff fully embraced them both. Finding a Creole speaking nurse, the hospital staff was not only able to calm and reassure Fabienne, but they also began to work with her to help with Orleans’ care,something that did not come easy to Fabienne.

 Now, Orleans is four years old, and he is a most remarkable, healthy boy who loves life and is filled with joy. Each time that LEAP travels to Haiti, Fabienne and Orleans come to visit Dr. Hobar and the team. Fabienne
tells the story of how she was inspired
by the nursing staff at Medical City
Children’s Pediatric Intensive Care Unit
and is now in her fourth year of nursing school, hoping to one day soon be able to care for other children, as her own son had been cared for at Medical City Children’s Hospital. And Drs. Tran and Touchstone, they now also travel regularly with LEAP on mission trips each year, helping many children in the mission fields across the globe.

It is quite phenomenal, how so many have come together to help a single tiny infant with a strong will to live, who is now flourishing in every possible way. Other lives were also shaped and changed by this blessed child, Orleans. When we share our love and talents with others, a seed blossoms, grows and expands in ways we could not have ever imagined.

In years to come, we will see the depths of this love within Orleans and how he will do the same for others in his lifetime ahead. Today, LEAP continues to serve Haitian children, traveling to Port-au-Prince bi-annually since the acute earthquake recovery ended. In 2014, LEAP built and funded a state-of-the-art 2,000 square foot Pediatric Ward at our host hospital, Hopital Espoir, allowing for more healing and love to flourish in literally hundreds of Haitian children, over the next many future generations to come. In addition, Medical City Children’s Hospital continues to partner with LEAP in order to bring the most challenging and severe craniofacial cases to Dallas, offering these children a long and healthy life they would not otherwise have.

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A New Path

If you have called the office or been involved with LEAP over the last 18 months, then you know Adella Winder, Communications Coordinator. She is the multi-talented angel in our office who spreads sunshine every day to every person that crosses her path.

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For those of us who have worked with Adella every day in the office, we have been the fortunate benefactors of her many talents, her faithful dedication and her loving heart. While she will be greatly missed by everyone at LEAP, Adella’s new church family, the youth that she will lead, and her new friends in Houston will be infinitely blessed.person that crosses her path. In January, Adella is moving to The Woodlands, just outside of Houston. The Woodlands will be closer to family and friends and she will also begin a new chapter, a call to work with her church family as a leader of their Youth Ministry Program. Adella has been very involved with youth ministry for some time now – she has a perfect and beautiful heart for children.

Thank you, Adella, for all of the extraordinary work that you have done for LEAP, including bringing her awesome sister, Ashley, on board in the office (more on this later!).

We love you!

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Oh Danny Boy

10523847_10152841235002254_2133432211828913225_nTwo minutes in a room with Danny, and you have fallen in love with him. He has an incredible joy and spirit that simply melts your heart. Much has been happening with our sweet boy, Danny, while he has been here, now almost one month.

Danny has had several hours of surgery performed by Dr. Craig Hobar and Dr. Grant Gilliland over two separate hospitalizations at Medical City Children’s Hospital. Danny has done wonderfully and is making great progress, all because of the love shared by his physicians, his blessed host family, Martin and Brittan Rojas, the many healthcare providers at Medical City, and those of you who have made Danny’s stay more comfortable. A great big thank you to Chloe and Catherine, liaisons for the orphanage in China and Canada, who have helped Danny during both of his surgeries.

On Monday, Danny will start school with a primary teacher who speaks Mandarin Chinese. Danny is so smart and inquisitive, school will be exciting and stimulating for him. He is also working with a speech therapist to help him learn how to speak after his cleft palate repair. So many daily, wonderful blessings happening for this young man and those of you are part of Danny’s journey. Go team Danny!

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#GivingTuesday

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Our wonderful host family, Martin and Brittan Rojas with their three beautiful children, who have opened their loving home to sweet Danny. Danny has undergone extensive surgeries already, who is recovering well, with another surgery scheduled the week after Thanksgiving. Thanks for giving so greatly!

For the entire week of Thanksgiving leading up to “Giving Tuesday” on December 2, LEAP will be featuring daily photos of our LEAP family to recognize your many ways of giving through the year and to encourage joyful giving on this wonderful day.

Please share our Selfless Selfies or “Unselfies” with others and make your own! Tag LEAP and tell us why you give your love and faithful support!

Learn more about Giving Tuesday here: http://youtu.be/9QKdgMdpcGY

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