From MEDLIFE patient to volunteer

Remember the story of Gisela Neyra, the young woman from Pamplona who came to us for help with her hearing loss? MEDLIFE helped Gisela with various tests and doctors’ appointments, but her hearing impairment was getting progressively worse, to the point that she lost her job and was struggling to keep up in pharmacy school. The only solution was to get hearing aids that cost thousands of dollars, which she could not afford. But a surprise gift from a MEDLIFE intern, Noemie Baudry, turned out to be just what she needed.

gisela2With her new hearing aids, Gisela was able to finish school, and this week she’s joining MEDLIFE staff members to help out in the pharmacy station at our first Mobile Clinic of the season! “I’m very happy to be here, because for as long as I’ve known MEDLIFE, it’s been an organization that helps people in need,” she told us. “And just as MEDLIFE helped me, now I can lend a hand myself.”

Practical experience in the pharmacy field is one of the requirements to finish her degree, and Gisela says she always had the idea of volunteering with MEDLIFE in mind. “I was just waiting to finish my studies so that I could help out,” she says.

Gisela tears up as she thinks back on the events of six months ago, when she first came into contact with MEDLIFE. “I knew my hearing was getting worse fast. I was studying but I couldn’t hear anymore; I listened, but I couldn’t understand.” She tried going to several different doctors, but they couldn’t help her, and the expense of the doctors’ appointments became too much for her to bear. Back then, her dream of finishing school and having a career seemed far off. With scant economic resources, she’s had to struggle to achieve her goals, little by little. Along the way, MEDLIFE became like a second family for her, and she says she’s proud to be a part of an organization that is doing so much good in her community.

This week, she’s working together with MEDLIFE staff and student volunteers from California to dispense medications prescribed by doctors at the Mobile Clinic. “I feel like my dreams are coming true,” she says.



Hear it From MEDLIFErs

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Reya Seby
Western University

This trip motivated me more to pursue a career in the healthcare field so that I can use my resources to help those who need it the most, similar to MEDLIFE’s mission.

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Victoria DiCanio
University of Connecticut

It was most enjoyable to finish the hard work and see how big a difference a group of individuals can make. It was such an amazing experience.

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Anita Woo
University of Toronto

I enjoyed the mobile clinics the most, especially the dental and triage portions. I would definitely recommend a MEDLIFE trip, it was a great experience.

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David Saff
Maclay High School

The most enjoyable part of my trip was hanging out with the amazing group of kids I was with. I would highly recommend a MEDLIFE volunteer trip to others.

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Sydney Sansone
Nova Southeastern University

This trip made everything that I was learning in my public health courses come to life and immersed me in a new culture while also learning about medicine.

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Abygail Youmans
College of Charleston

Being involved with MEDLIFE is not like joining another club - its bigger than that. It is about joining a movement that seeks to help change people’s quality of life for forever.

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Emi Hofmann
University of Central Florida

Not only was I able to participate in a week long Mobile Clinic, shadowing doctors of all types of specialties including pharmacy, dentistry, gynecology, and more, but I was also able to learn about the culture and visit incredible places.

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Julian Takagi-Stewart
University of Toronto

One thing that I really loved about this trip was that MEDLIFE made sure that the volunteers got an understanding of the complexity of issues that lead to underprivileged people in communities outside of the main city

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Hannah Van Hofwegen
University of Ottawa

Whether it was basketball with the local kids, assisting the doctors, talking with families, building washrooms, holding babies, or spending time with the people who were on the SLT with me, this was an amazing opportunity that I would do over and over again.

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Isabelle Holt
Cornell University

I loved learning about the patients MEDLIFE has followed and how they offer real help to people with chronic/urgent conditions. It is amazing how the organization formed real connections with the communities.

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Valerie Lindeborg

Our family had the privilege of participating in multiple trips with Nick [founder] and his amazing staff. Their expertise made the trips unforgettable while instilling in my boys the fundamentals of good character: selflessness, compassion, and empathy.

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Harry Vildibill
University of Georgia

As an aspiring physician, MEDLIFE motivated me to further continue my goal of becoming a doctor. In fact, I enjoyed the Tanzania Service Learning Trip so much that I decided to go on another trip to Cusco, Peru.