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Refuge International


Meet Abner Cordova of Santa Cruz El Chol, Guatemala –
A bright, 7-year-old boy with an infectious smile!

Refuge International met Abner and his family during our most recent mission trip in San Raymundo, Guatemala. The Cordovas live in the municipality of Baja Verapaz, a rural area approximately 2 hours from San Raymundo, where most families (including the Cordovas) farm vegetables and grains.

test%2F1520363821163-08A32DD9-B47B-4DE8-A583-33239180999F.jpegThe Cordovas told us that in January 2017, Abner began experiencing significant leg pain when walking, running and playing. Doctors at the national hospital discovered that Abner had osteosarcoma, a rare type of bone cancer, which resulted in the amputation of his left leg near the hip. Today, Abner continues oral chemotherapy treatments and his current scans are clear of the cancer.

Prior to his diagnosis and amputation, Abner loved working with his father in the fields and the admiration he has for his parents shines in his eyes. His mother, Rosa, smiled shyly as she shared just how active her son is – showing us videos of Abner playing soccer (on crutches) with his best friend and riding his plastic tri-bike. When we asked Abner what his favorite subject is in school, a proud smile quickly spread across his face and he replied “physical activity”.

test%2F1520366286017-IMG-20180222-WA0019.jpgWhile Abner’s operations were performed free of charge at the national children’s hospital, as part of the country’s healthcare system, his oral chemotherapy and other medications cost the family hundreds of dollars each month, a stark reality for a family that resides in a region where most live on less than $5 per day. Providing their son with a prosthetic leg is financially impossible for the Cordovas. 

Refuge International has reached out to Transitions Foundation, a non-profit organization in Guatemala whose mission is to mobilize people with disabilities, and the cost to provide Abner with a prosthetic leg is $4,447 USD (Transitions is contributing additional funds to build the prosthetic). In contrast, the type of prosthetic limb that Abner needs would actually cost several thousand dollars more in the States.

With your help, we can raise the funds necessary to give this clever, energetic little boy a new lease on life!

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