Guest blog submitted by Maria Burns, interpreter, working with Dr. Chris Canzoniero, pediatrician.

When I volunteered for this trip, I was not prepared for the emotional rewards that would be provided on a daily basis.

On Friday, the day started with our morning reflection service, which included prayers and thoughts shared by team members, and plenty of tears in my eyes.

By eight we were in the pediatrics clinic. The children we saw were beautiful, and the parents were thankful. Some of them waited in line since before dawn to get a number for the morning or afternoon shift. The “AHA” moment for me came when Dr. Chris examined a 13-year-old girl who, for her entire13 years, had suffered from leg pain and a skin discoloration, without a diagnosis. Chris turned to me and said, “I know what she has.” It was my privilege to be there to translate the news to the patient and her sister, knowing they will now have an explanation and be able to move toward managing her illness. We are now challenged but hopeful to find her orthopedic care for Klippel Trenaunay Weber syndrome, which explains her port wine stains and irregular limb growth.

My day started and ended in a rush of emotion. I am so glad to have been there for this experience.

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