Meet the Patient: Cecilla Rubinos


Cecilla Rubinos went to the doctor because her throat was so sore she couldn’t talk. When the doctor tilted her head back to examine her throat, he noticed something else.

“Haven’t you noticed your forehead,” he asked her. There was a large abnormal bulge in it. She had noticed, but she didn’t know what it was, and neither did the doctor exactly.

 “I was worried because I didn’t have any money to go to the hospital and have tests done,” she said.

 She has a large tumor in her forehead. She needs an ultra sound to find out what she needs to do next. 

 So she met MEDLIFE nurse Jannette in front of an altar in La Ciudad de Dios (the city of god), a district in Lima, to go to an ultra sound that Medlife paid for- she doesn’t have to worry about paying for the tests on her own now. 

MEDLIFE nurses often accompany patients to clinics and hospitals for a variety of reasons, but primarily to assist them in understanding their illnesses, and in navigating the tedious and complex Peruvian medical system. It also helps ensure that they make the appointments, and follow through with important next steps afterwards.

Cecillia, for instance, previously believed that the bulge was caused by bone growth, and that the bulge would cause her to lose her vision. However, none of this has been confirmed by credible testing or medical personnel. 

Cecillia said she is happy that Janet accompanied her to her appointment because it helps her to understand her condition. She also has trouble navigating the city alone- she rarely leaves her small community or home.

 She said she is not worried about herself, but about what she will do with her young son, Leonardo, who she carries from the altar to the clinic. “If I get an operation, who will take care of him?” She said. 

Her husband works all day, and her son, 18 years old, works all day as well. He is trying to save money to go to college one day. Cecillia hopes he can leave home soon. “Life is not easy, life is hard,” she said. “ He is a man, he needs to learn that.” 

When the test results come back, Ceillia can trust MEDLIFE to help her choose the right steps to take towards recovery.


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.