The Teleton Is The Only Hope For Thousands Of Disabled People In Mexico

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There are a lot of ways to help those who need it the most, but surely one of the best ways to do it is through telethon. I would like to share with you my experience of when I visited Children’s Rehabilitation Center Teleton in Irapuato, Guanajuato, Mexico.

This experience was unforgettable. I could go through all the center’s facilities and I could even talk to director of Center, engineer Ricardo Guzman. Guzman explained to me how the Center works and that this Center helps to disabled children of 46 different cities of Guanajuato.

“We have abilities to help to 825 children but we have almost a thousand and in addition we have closed waiting list of 300. The list is closed because if it would be open we would have 2000 children waiting to get admitted to our Center. It is impressive how big is the need for children’s therapy in this state,” engineer Guzman said.

During my visit to the Teleton’s Children’s Rehabilitation Center I could see the excellence of attention that patients receive and in addition Center equipped with modern equipment for different rehabilitation therapies, but the thing that impressed me the most is how little parents pay for therapies in this Center. Families of the children who are attended in this Center are very poor and they can afford to pay only between 3 and 11 pesos for therapy and that is how much they have.

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teleton_2.jpg In reality this is incredible that the service of such high quality can cost so little. Guzman explains, “With the money that patients’ families give we can only cover 3% of maintenance of Center and of course it does not cover the services of specialists in rehabilitation, neurology, orthopedics, genetics and other services that we offer.”

Guzman said that their budget covered by contributions from businesspeople, cities and of course by state of Guanajuato. For whatever was not covered Telethon is used for collecting the necessary funds.

“Although we should try not to depend of Teleton,” Guzman said. He explained that Telethon takes place in December and collected money are used to open new Centers all over Mexico and to obtain equipment of latest technology.

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There was other aspect that called my attention when I visited Center. I noticed how involved the families of little patients were.

“Parents, siblings and other family members are part of the therapy,” Guzman explained, “for example a child who cannot walk spends a long time waiting to get into Center, finally gets to have his first appointment. At his fist appointment family participates very actively because the family will have to learn to help him to rehabilitate. We teach them to stop reproaching and blaming themselves and we teach them that all the achievements that their child makes does not solemnly depends on our specialists but also on the love and dedications of his family. Simply because some treatments can last up to six months while others for a few years.”

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Guzman said that when they work with the families they try to make sure that when the child leaves the Center he can continue working with his treatment at home and that he would not have to come back to Center with problems worse then the ones he came the first time with. Guzman assured that they had cases like that and this is why they try to work on training the family members.

teleton_3.jpg Guzman becomes very emotional when he talks about one machine called Locomat. This machine costs more then a million dollars and it is of latest technology. It helps therapies to be more effective and in less time.

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While I visited the Center I saw hundreds of people working in Center, so I asked if it was hard to become part of the team. Guzman answered with a lot of enthusiasm saying that they always receive calls and visits of people who wished become part of the team, but unfortunately they cannot accept everyone who enters the door. The reason is that there are a lot of specialists working in Center and those specialists cannot be found in Mexico. That is why Teleton opened the Center for Higher Education where students specialize in rehabilitation. Soon they will have their first graduates, professionals whose area of expertise will be physical and occupational therapy.

After finishing their five years of schooling these specialists will be working in different Centers like this one. Nowadays, 94% of these specialists in Mexico are mostly concentrated in the Children’s Rehabilitation Centers Teleton.

The motto of these professionals who work in different Centers of Mexico is love and dedication in attention to all the children with disabilities.

  I have to confess to you that after my visit to this Center I changed my mind about the way I think about this kind of institutions and telethons. Now I am sure that there are institutions that put those in need above any other interest.

“All the readers of Hola America are invited to visit our Center in Guanajuato or in any other state in Mexico,” Guzman said, “I want to let you know that every cent, dollar or however much you would give is greatly appreciated and is big help to Center. Generally, most of us do not really believe in institutions like this one, but This Center proudly represents credibility that we gained from years of dedication and work.”

Guzman urged all the Mexicans living in United States not to be indifferent to the Telethon of 5 and 6 of December of 2008. He added that the donations are needed for thousands of disabled children in Mexico, whose only hope is Telethon.

This year Teleton made a goal of collecting 439, 968,535.00 (pesos). This number can be reached with our help. It does not matter how much can you give the important thing is that whatever we will give will help this organization to help a lot of children with disabilities in Mexico.

All of us living here in Quad Cities can help. We have agency Orden Express in our community. This agency is part of those volunteer Mexicans who contribute to this noble cause every year.  You can go to this agency in Moline and send for free your donation to Teleton. Also, you can leave your donations in jars located in some churches and businesses owned by hispnics.

If you need more information about Teleton you can visit web page: www.teleton.org.mx

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