Sweet, Sweet, Gentle Spirit

11032712_10153047790167254_8956019173058806042_oRaj is a 7-month-old sweet baby with a bilateral cleft lip who came to be evaluated by the LEAP team with his mother, father and sisters. Raj also has Down’s Syndrome, and while our surgeons were eager to put him on the surgery schedule, they also wanted to confirm that this special child was healthy enough to undergo surgery. Since heart issues are often associated with Down’s Syndrome, they needed to rule out a possible congenital heart condition. Fortunately, the Mission Hospital was able to perform the needed echocardiogram, and no abnormalities were found with little Raj’s heart.

Dr. Craig Hobar placed Raj on his surgery schedule, asking our most skilled and talented pediatric anesthesiologist, Dr. Latha Kampalath, to provide his anesthesia. Raj underwent surgery without any problems; and after recovering for several hours under the watchful care of our recovery room nurses, Raj was admitted to the hospital’s ward.

11025889_10153047790737254_5495167003404431070_oLater in the day, Abhineeta Matney, daughter to Dr. Lall, our incredible host, was able to spend time with Raj’s parents. They shared how grateful they were for Raj’s surgery, then began inquiring about LEAP and our mission. Because of their open hearts and interest in our work, Abhineeta then shared with them about God’s love for them and their child and how this was the motivation for the LEAP team to travel to India to provide free surgical care to as many children as possible. Afterward, phone numbers were exchanged and a prayer shared with this beautiful family, asking for blessings upon them and their sweet child, Raj.

Our hearts are full from this shared moment of grace. We were so blessed by the spirit of this child and his family that we wanted to share it with you on this spectacular day, Sunday, the day the Lord hath made. Let us rejoice in it!


Arms to Embrace

India 2015 Dr Ian Mitchell and Rajvendara EditedDr. Ian Mitchell, a spectacular humanitarian and talented pediatric general surgeon, joyfully re-evaluated a young patient this week. Rajvendara, who is 13-years-old, was first united with our medical team last year when his father brought him in for an initial evaluation with Dr. Mitchell, who diagnosed him with Hirschsprung’s Disease, a congenital disease that affects the large intestine and causes problems with stool passage. After evaluation, Rajvendara was placed on the surgery schedule, and Dr. Mitchell performed a colonectomy. Over the past year, Dr. Mitchell has continued to stay in touch with and help direct Rajvendara’s medical care with the local physicians and nurses.

This year, Dr. Mitchell happily re-evaluated Rajvendara and was so pleased to see that Rajvendara’s quality of life had been greatly improved, allowing him to be much more social and far happier overall. While Rajvendara’s gastrointestinal health had also improved, another surgery was needed to provide further benefit to this wonderful young man.

This week, Dr. Mitchell performed a successful cecostomy, a procedure that will allow Rajvendara to live even more normally like any other young man his age. At night, he will have a GI routine that requires specialized medical supplies, which LEAP will help coordinate until we can see Rajvendara again next year.

Thank you, Dr. Mitchell, for all that you do to dramatically improve the lives of children living in our global communities.


Come Be Here

Belize_05.2012_324Many of you are well familiar with the spiritual song “Kumbaya”, which has been sung in many forums, including churches, scouting events and around a great many campfires since the 1920′s.The song is a simple appeal to God to come and help those in need. “Kumbaya” translates to Come Be Here or Come By Here. The song shows that in all things of daily life, whether praying, laughing, crying, or singing, we share in our humanity together.

Through our three programs at LEAP, Mission, Landmark and International Disaster Relief, we serve hundreds of patients every year, each with a tremendous surgical need that is given freely. It takes a lot for an organization to support such endeavors on a global scale, so we would like to offer you opportunities to come be here, to work alongside us to help those with a great need.

We have three great events this year, and planning has already begun for each. We would love your help on a working committee, so if you have an interest in volunteering, please contact us. Working committees provide a wonderful opportunity in which to get to know one another better. Come be with us, helping those in need.

Please call Ashley at (972) 566-6550 or e-mail her at ashleywinder@leap-foundation.org.


Beloved Child

The Santiago Family

The Santiago Family

As you know, LEAP is blessed to have the great honor of helping children with complex craniofacial problems through our Landmark Program. We have helped approximately 50 children from around the world through this program, bringing them to Dallas for free surgical care that often requires the generous hearts of our LEAP family and community partners to help these patients and their families while living here.


After many months of planning, our newest recipient has recently arrived in Dallas with her sweet family, originally from Cuba. Elizabeth or ‘Elie’ is four years old, quite precocious and very smart. Elie will have complex surgery on Tuesday, March 17th at Medical City Children’s Hospital​. She will have a team of extraordinary surgeons taking care of her, including Dr. Craig Hobar, Dr. Fred Sklar​, Dr. Douglas P. Sinn,​ and Dr. Grant Gilliland​ In addition, there will be a host of nurses and other healthcare providers who will provide the most wonderful and compassionate care for Elie and her family.

Elie with mom Ailyn and Charles Debtor

Elie with mom Ailyn and Charles Debtor

Elie, her parents Gilberto and Ailyn, and her eight-year-old sister Esther have been a joyful blessing to us. Gilberto is a Baptist minister who has led a large church in Cuba for over eight years. After much prayer, this family made the difficult decision to leave their home and church family to travel to the US over 18 months ago, seeking surgical care for Elie. After many roadblocks and set backs, LEAP was later connected with the Santiago family through a family friend, Charles Debter​. Not only has Charles been an incredibly humble friend who brought the Santiagos to us, but his church family at Park Cities Presbyterian Church​, many of whom are part of our LEAP family, has been amazingly supportive of the Santiagos in a most loving and kind way.

As so many of you often do, we would appreciate your help in supporting this family by bringing food, calling and/or checking on them during their stay, or providing gift cards to help with food, gas cards, etc. If you would like to be a part of Elie’s journey, please contact Ashley Winder at ashleywinder@leap-foundation.org or call the office at (972) 566-6550. Please keep this wonderful family in your prayers, particularly as we draw near her surgery date.


LEAP Fore Kids is Coming!

Madden sponsor pic 2

Madden Sinnes and his awesome family are already planning the 2nd Annual LEAP FORE KIDS Junior Golf Tournament, which will be held at Brookhaven Country Club on Sunday, June 7, 2015. Last year was a huge success with almost 40 kids participating in our first tournament. It was a wonderful way for kids to help other kids in need. This year, the goal is to have 80 participants (no experience needed), so mark your calendars and start talking with your friends! Registration will begin on April 1st for ages 7-18.

For more information, please go to www.leapforekids.com or e-mail Leapforekids@aol.com. You can also call the LEAP office at (972) 566-6550 or e-mail Ashley at ashleywinder@leap-foundation.org.



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!

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.


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.


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.


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.