Thursday, February 10, 2011

My Daughter, My Philanthropist

I am my children's biggest fan and I know I don't express it to them enough. As a single mom you don't accept defeat even when your kids' behavior tells you that you're the biggest and baddest BAD guy that existed. Defeat was not an option because I believed in the potential of my children despite the hatred that shot out of their teenage eyes. There were millions of moments that my heart would collapse into abstract fragments of pain and I allowed myself to wallow in them. But I never accepted defeat. I didn't want my kids to be "somebody" for the world, I wanted them to be somebody they respected and loved. So...defeat was not a choice. I persevered. 

My season of reaping the rewards of a single mom's sacrifices has finally arrived. My three children have grown up and reached their potential above and beyond what I ever dreamed or hoped for. I am able to look upon them, separate from me, with pride and a deep abiding love. My guidance, albeit faulty, has helped them pave their own path in life. My oldest daughter, Maricelle, is blazing her fiery trail in the world of medicine. Last month, she traveled to Honduras on a medical mission trip and had a life-altering shift in perspective. Below is her story, her words, and her journey. I salute her. 

Most Memorable College Experience While Attending San Diego State University

If living a "perfect day" meant performing acts of kindness without expecting reciprocation, then I certainly had seven "perfect days" when I traveled to Honduras as a medical volunteer. Last month, I had a wonderful opportunity to journey to Honduras with S.D.S.U. Global Medical Brigades, a non-profit organization comprised of forty five nursing students and five medical professionals. I had the privilege of spending a week traveling to the rural areas around the capital city of Tegucigalpa, where we set up medical clinics for the local villagers to come and receive medical treatment free of charge. Over our weeklong stay in Honduras, we served over 1,000 patients, in which they received care for medical, dental, and gynecologic issues. 

My experience in Honduras has left a lasting impression because I was able to represent S.D.
S.U. in a third world country by applying my nursing skills to those who have no access to health care. The brigade significantly increased the quality of my education by utilizing learned medical practice from S.D.S.U. and carrying it out to an impoverished country. It was a reality check to be exposed to a poor country that was in desperate need for quality health care. I realized how thankful they were for simple medical needs. For example, there was a long line of children waiting in anticipation to get their teeth cleaned by me. 

This adventure to Honduras has changed my life because I gained experience in humanitarian nursing where my philanthropic passion was ignited by helping others. My participation with S.D.S.U. Global Medical Brigades has enabled me to accomplish my career goal as a traveling nurse in third world countries, ultimately working for Doctors Without Borders. I am humbly grateful for my experience in Honduras as an S.D.S.U. nursing student and aim to continue the reputation of the university's academic excellence. I am a proud Aztec.