Patient Story: Julio Pineda


We met 52-year old Julio Pineda during a mobile clinic in March 2013 when Julio did not have anyone to turn to.

Julio lived in Comas, one of the biggest districts in Lima, working as a bus driver. His meager income had to support both his family and his grown children. 

He knew he had diabetes, but never thought to pay attention to it. To him, his work took precedence over his doctor appointments.

When Julio had to have his leg amputated in Hospital Collique, he felt as if his world was ending. He was unable to find a way to earn a living after leaving his job as a bus driver, so he had no choice but to leave home and rely on his children. His children welcomed him with open arms with the little they had.  

Unfortunately, the new home was in one of the highest areas of Villa María del Triunfo, and it was exhausting to move from one side of the house to the other on crutches. On top of it all, Julio did not have the financial means to cover the cost of rehabilitation.

It was at this point that MEDLIFE met Julio, who did not hesitate to approach us.

As MEDLIFE got to know more about Julio’s case, we knew we could do much more to improve his quality of life. Finally, after much searching, Julio was very grateful when MEDLIFE found someone to donate a wheelchair.

But what else could we do for Julio?

Ruth Varona, a MEDLIFE field nurse, was assigned to Julio’s case and has since been conducting his rehabilitation treatment every week. Once his treatment began, we discovered what he really needed: a prosthetic leg.

A prosthetic leg is extremely costly and requires a series of medical exams that Julio could not cover on his own. No day goes by that Julio does not hope for a prosthetic so that he can go back to work and provide for his family.

Recently, Julio received an orthopedic pylon, which helps create the necessary balance for the actual prosthetic. At this moment, Julio is waiting for the necessary funds to by the prosthetic leg he needs, which costs $1700. This will help him restore his life. To donate to this campaign, click here

Like Julio, all of MEDLIFE’s follow-up patients are given the necessary medical attention and support to move forward and improve their quality of life.

To learn more about the follow-up program, click here.


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.