Yesterday was an emotional day. We started meeting with people that Fundacion Bendaked works with, and heard their stories. All three people with disabilities that we met with are young children, and we heard how having a child with disabilities has transformed the lives of the entire families. Two of the children have been diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy and one has a skeletal deformity disorder.
The last family that we visited had a heart-breaking story. Their ten-year-old girl has Cerebral Palsy and the family lives in a tiny cinderblock home that they rent in a Kuna village. The little girl has not been to a hospital in 6 years because they cannot afford the $20 bus ticket to journey to the city and back. The family does not have a lot of food, and when there is food available, it goes to the little girl because she has the greatest need.
But, even with these heart-breaking tales that were shared with us today, we heard stories of hope and thanksgiving for Fundacion Bendaked. The organization is beginning to do great things with these people. We made lots of friends with the children in the Kuna neighborhood we visited– they started following us immediately after we stepped off the bus, and the group grew throughout the afternoon. It is a true blessing to be even a small part of the work of this organization.
Stay tuned for more stories about the people we are meeting here in Panama.