PORTRAITS OF HEALTH
Portraits of Health is a campaign inspired by the visions of hope we see at our mobile health clinics. Each Portrait of Health highlights someone who has benefited from our free dental, vision, and general medical care that they could not otherwise access.
How far do you drive to the doctor? 15 minutes? 30 minutes? How would you feel if your nearest doctor was one hour or more away? Unfortunately, for Sherry Dale who attended our Grundy, Virginia medical clinic in September, this is a sad reality. Every year, for the past 8 years, Sherry has traveled an hour from Lebanon, Virginia to get the care she and her family need.
Sherry confided, “I don’t know what we would do without Remote Area Medical because we rely on their work. It is part of our medical care. If we did not have it, we would not get care.”
Sherry has medical insurance but has trouble paying the $250 premiums and $10,000 deductible set by her insurance company. Due to this extremely high deductible, Sherry has accumulated unpaid medical bills, which has made it impossible for her to be seen by a doctor.
“At RAM, they treat you like a person instead of a number,” states Sherry, who also has attended our Wise, Virginia clinic. She took her children to have their teeth cleaned, and her son was able to utilize the vision area to obtain a vital pair of glasses.
When asked about the volunteers who sacrifice their time to help at each clinic, Sherry exclaimed, “God bless you and thank you so much. I mean that from the bottom of my heart!”
At our November, 2016 clinic in Bradenton, Florida we met a young man named Lencz Sully Ralph Laurent. Lencz moved to the United States in 2012 after an earthquake ravaged his home country of Haiti. The quake destroyed a building he was in. He had been trapped under rubble for two days when a United States Marine found him.
The marine who saved his life left an undeniable impression on Lencz. He aspires to one day become a marine. Lencz also has aspirations to give back to his community by becoming a fireman. “The marine who pulled me out and saved my life from the rubble was a firefighter.”
Lencz attends school at the host site of the Bradenton clinic, Manatee Technical College, and plans on graduating in March of 2017 with a degree in Collision Repair and Refinishing.
Many people have no idea how their actions can affect another person’s life. The marine who saved Lencz may not have a clue that he gave hope to this young man, not to mention a goal in life. Just as many RAM volunteers and generous donors may not realize how life-altering their generosity is for so many people.
Regarding volunteers, Lencz said, “Thank you for your service! You could be doing so many other things right now, but chose to be here.”