Friday, May 17, 2013

Team to End AIDS

Hi friends,

I am training for the Chicago Half Marathon in September with the Team to End AIDS foundation. I'm so excited to help this amazing organization. Lots of organizations have a half-marathon or marathon training team, but I choose the Team to End AIDS (T2) for many important reasons. 

Every 9 and 1/2 minutes someone in the United States is infected with HIV! And, nearly 1.2 million Americans are now living with HIV. But, this is only one side of the coin. We must fight the stigma that keeps so many suffering in silence. We all are in this together, and together we must take on HIV/AIDS on all fronts: prevention, education, and inspiration! That is why over the next several months I will train with T2 to push myself further and further to support the AIDS Foundation of Chicago (AFC). AFC is leading the fight against HIV/AIDS in the Chicago area by funding prevention programs and services such as medical care, food and housing, to stop the spread of HIV and help people live full and productive lives until the day there’s a cure.

Thank you in advanced for your support and donations. My goal is to raise $750 - every single donation helps me reach this goal.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Three Reasons Why Living in the USA is Great

1. Water safety: Many of my friends and family have traveled abroad but one of the worst things about developing countries is the lack of safe water. Microbes vary by area and people can get sick from water in the USA if they are from another country. However, our water is purified, filtered, tested and standardized by law. In most developing countries, water safety is a real issue. It doesn't just affect what you drink, but what you eat. As a vegetarian, it is hard to find safe fruits and vegetables. Many people from our group, including myself, got sick this year in Guatemala.

2. Plumbing: In Guatemala, as in many countries, plumbing is made up of clay pipes. This is the original plumbing that the Romans invented and Spanish brought this plumbing over to Guatemala in the 1500s. Due to earthquake and shifting of pipes throughout the years, the system can only handle water and bodily fluids- no toilet paper. This gets old quickly. Thank goodness for good infrastructure in the USA and other developed countries.

3. Safety: Although Antigua is one of the safest cities is Guatemala, there are still major security issues. In Chicago, I feel safe letting Gracie out at night or walking back from the bus after dark. In Guatemala, it's unsafe to walk around at night, even in a group that includes men. Cabs don't drive outside the downtown area after dark and hospital workers have to stay at the hospital overnight if a surgery ends late. The only thing I worry about at night is drunks on the L, which is a whole lot better than what Guatemalans worry about. To allay most of your fears, Antigua is safe during the daytime- there are lots of police who watch out for tourists, there are safe restaurants and hotels, and the people are nice. Although you have to be smart and prepare yourself, Antigua is a beautiful and relatively safe city that I recommend visiting. 

All in all, it was a great trip and I'm glad I went. I love helping others and the group I go with is amazing. Thank you for reading this blog and supporting me. Thanks as well to those who donated money to Faith in Practice or La Casa de Angeles.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Last Day

Today is our last day of surgery. Not much time to post but I thought I'd add some pictures of a Mother's Day alfombra, or carpet. They make them out of flowers at the town square. Mother's Day is pretty big here- they have fireworks and parties. So a Happy Mother's Day too all the wonderful mothers out there. The last picture is of a surgery- Don't worry you can't see the patient.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Surgery In Guatemala

It's always fun trying to explain in Spanish that the reason you can't feel your legs or move them is that you had spinal anesthesia. Most patients are just confused as to why the cant feel them even after lots of explanation- but to be fair no one really remembers much after surgery.

The first two days of surgery went well- some surgeries ended late but dinner was saved for us PACU nurses. Lots of fun is had by all helping patients, translating... And trying to preform surgery without power!! Yes the power went out two or three times yesterday and today.

Pictures in no order: Margaret walking to the hospital, a little girl after surgery with Aunt Toni, patients waiting to pay for surgery, me in front of the arch in Antigua.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Day 2

Yesterday we went to the orphanage, supported by La Casa de Angeles. So much fun! The kids were so cute and enjoyed getting picked up a lot.

Here is the link to the pfficial blog by Faith in Practice

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Guatemala Mission Trip Begins

I leave for Antigua, Guatemala tomorrow. I can't wait! It's been two years since I've gone. The group I volunteer with is Faith In Practice, a Texas based non-for-profit organization. My professor, Dr. Lola Coke, also volunteers with this group. It provides surgeries, dental care, and preventative care for the beautiful people of Guatemala.

Last year I raised money for La Casa de Los Angeles, an orphanage outside of Antigua, Guatemala that my family, Dr. and Mrs. Golbus, are very involved with. They created a non-for-profit to help the orphanage by building dormers, creating a day-care and school, and providing books, sports equipment, and more. The best part is that it's run by two nuns (who are also sisters) and the kids are not adopted out so they grow up as a family. This year I am fundraising for Faith in Practice and I appreciate any help, $5 is not too little an amount. I will try and keep this blog updated while I am abroad.

Please help me raise money for Faith in Practice, the organization that gives me the chance to do good work. Donate at