It’s that time again. Ultradent is sending me out with a group of wonderful volunteer dentists, physians, hygienists, CNA and DAs to help the littlest and least fortunate in China. I am traveling with a group called Hope for the Children and with the International Children’s Surgical Foundation ( http://www.icsfoundation.org/ ). This year we’re traveling to Xian China. This place was chosen because of an very special orphanage for special needs children – clefts, spinal bifida, birthmarks, etc. These babies are left in other orphanages in what are called (translated) the “dying rooms.” They are put there because of (what is perceived as) their disabilities that make them unadoptable. Though cared for, these little ones are not given any hope of ever being adopted. There is no medical or dental care for these children. Fortunately, a wonderful woman from South Africa named Amada de Lange opened Starfish Foster Home (http://www.thestarfishfosterhome.org/index.aspx ). She is able to bring these babies to her orphanages and get help for these children and arrange adoptions. Her story and her success is extraordinary. Her staff is a group of very caring minimum wage people (can you imagine how much that must be!). Basically, we’ll be practicing dentistry while the medical team is repairing palates. What is unique about our group? We also go to teach. Dr. Geoff Williams, a plastic surgeon, travels the world doing unbelievable surgeries but teaching a local surgeon the techniques so they can do the surgery once he is gone. The dental team takes their evenings to teach the dentists about treatments, procedures and current science in dentistry.
The dental team going appreciates the donation of product that Ultradent makes to help us do this work. I appreciate Ultradent giving me the opportunity It’s a week of long, hard days but the most rewarding of any that I’ve ever done. It’s a very ”centering” and humbling experience as well. I will try to blog and post pictures from there, if not, a full blog when I return. Take a moment and check out the websites above. It’s well worth it.