Saturday, March 7, 2015


IT'S THAT TIME OF YEAR AGAIN! COLLECTING TOYS, BOOKS, STUFFED ANIMALS, AND SPEECH THERAPY MATERIALS FOR OUR "5TH" SPEECH MISSION TO DIPOLOG CITY, MINDANOA, PHILIPPINES...IN COMBINATION WITH THE SURGICAL MISSION FOR CLEFT LIP AND PALATE WITH THE "INTERNATIONAL CHILDRENS SURGICAL FOUNDATION" (! We depart March 5th out of Denver, Colorado, USA (the speech team) and arrive (if all flights are on time!) on Saturday, March 7th! Patient screening for surgery and therapy begins Monday March 9th! I will be heading up a new speech team this year; joining the SPEECH team is Betsy Straka, M.S.,CCC-SLP, Speech-Language Pathologist, from Colorado Springs, Colorado and Kate Schwab, Graduate Student in Speech Pathology at UNC (University of Northern Colorado) from Arvada, Colorado. We are expecting a large group of children from Dipolog City, Ozamis (also on the island of Mindanao)and children from the island of Negros. Children from the last 5 years will be in attendance. The children from Ozamis joined us for the 1st time last year; they had all had their cleft palate repairs/surgery in December 2013 by Dr. Geoff Williams, ICSF founder and surgeon, and were able to come for 2 weeks of intensive speech therapy 12 weeks after surgery! Their progress was amazing, even for our older children (12-16 years) who had lived their lives with limited speech production! Their enthusiasm was contagious and we thank the Sisters of Hope from Ozamis for bringing them to Dipolog for 2 weeks of speech therapy; Special thanks to Sr. Cecilia who coordinated the trip for the children and their families! I want to thank my family, friends, patient families from my office, and teammates for their financial support to make this all happen! We have been blessed with donations to cover our travel costs (we are self-funded for our travel expenses)and donations for materials, books, luggage charges and toys! Without all the donations and support this would not be possible! Theresa, Betsy, and Kate THANK YOU ALL for you amazing support and contributions! Please keep us in your prayers as we travel in a few weeks! We are praying for good weather to depart and arrive on time, safe travel for us and the rest of the team, and especially safe travel and successful surgeries and therapy outcomes for the families and children we serve! Keep checking back for updates! Last year we had scattered internet service and were able to post very little! We will also post on Facebook if the blog is slow to process the photos (as it was last year!)! More soon, Theresa Snelling

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