We reached out to everyone we knew to find an affordable solution. One of our friends in the medical field, Jonas Haeger, helped FH4H find a radiation oncologist in Santo Domingo, Dr. Luis Moreno Sanchez, who volunteered to treat Presnel free of charge at the top-of-the-line Instituto Nacional del Cancer Rosa de Tavares (INCART).
At the time, Haiti was in the midst of the crisis triggered by the assassination of president Moise and an August earthquake. Street protests and national strikes, as well as kidnappings, made it very difficult to get a passport and visa for Presnel to travel, accompanied by his wife, Ivonne. We are extremely thankful to the courage and determination of FH4H Haitian volunteer, Widmy Mercious, who drove everywhere on his motorbike (which was stolen in the process) to deliver paperwork and eventually pick up the passport and visa.
FH4H friends and longtime supporters, Pilar and Mark Silverman, also extended their generous help, introducing us to the Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos (NPH) organization in the Dominican Republic which provides disadvantaged children with homes, health services, and educational programs in San Pedro de Macoris. They offered food and housing to Presnel and his wife during his lengthy cancer treatment program, ensuring he had a warm and loving environment for his recovery.
Last month, Ines Lozano and the Rotarian Graciela Nearing traveled to San Pedro de Macoris to visit Presnel and Ivonne, as well as thanking the staff at NPH who gave them such good care. They were able to visit the home and school, as well as some Haitian children suffering from cancer who are being cared for at NPH' s Casa Santa Maria. Even though Presnel is an adult, the NPH caregivers accepted him and his wife with open arms, making his stay as comfortable and happy as possible, while also ensuring his nursing care and travel to regular doctor’s visits.
We are especially grateful to Kieran Rigney, (National Director of NPH DR) , Dr. Reyes (NPH Doctor), Aurelia Monica (NPH nurse), Miguel Polo, (NPH volunteer coordinator), and James Casimir (Assistant to the NPH program for cancer patients).