MMC UPDATE April 200 - M by leader6


									                                                        UPDATE                                                        April 31st, 2006
                                                           Every April and August      P.O. Box 22151, Banker’s Hall, Calgary, AB, T2P 4J5
                                                                                                                         (403) 251-1300

        PRESIDENT’S REPORT – April 2006                                    MMC continues emphasize a number of fundraising efforts
            “Thank you, all our generous MMC donors.”                  and has been approved for managing a “Casino Night” in the first
                                                                       quarter of 2007. An event of this nature usually brings in about
     Medical Mercy’s International team left in early January 2006
                                                                       $60,000 for the organization We look forward to planning this
to deliver much-needed medical supplies to needy persons in the
                                                                       event and need volunteers to help us staff it. (If any of our
India-Thailand-Burma region, and we are proud to report that this
                                                                       readers have experience with staffing a “Casino Night” please
was a success. Dr. Myron Semkuley and his wife Elaine and the
                                                                       share it with us right away.) In addition, we are already planning
other team members (Dr. Ray Comeau and his wife Deryl from
                                                                       the 2006 Gala Event and Silent Auction, to be held at the Hyatt
Red Deer, and Hans and Helene Coppens from Sylvan Lake)
                                                                       Hotel on the evening of November 8, 2006. There is a report on
distributed cash resources and supplies, and treated patients while
                                                                       last year’s most successful event elsewhere in this newsletter, and
also providing medical training and organizational support to
                                                                       we look forward to an even better evening this year. Please mark
established and developing clinics. They applied $57,000 in cash
                                                                       this date on your calendar and we look forward to seeing you
and left goods and supplies valued at $30,000 for various projects
in this area.
                                                                       Stanley Odut,
     The next campaign will be to Western Ukraine, for the
monthof June. Our Ukraine co-ordinator Ihor Mazuryk has
                                                                       Medical Mercy Canada
established a $150,000 budget for improvements and repairs to
39 facilities in 25 locations. In addition, MMC has pre-shipped
2263kg of clothing, 22 “physician travel packs” of medications,                     MMC – BOARD OF DIRECTORS 2006
and other medical supplies worth $100,000 (wholesale). No                Director & President                    Stanley Odut
wonder MMC receives many heart-felt thank you letters and                Director & Vice-President               Dr. Murray Young
testimonials.                                                            Director & Secretary                    Walter Chayka
     This year we require an additional $50,000 of new donations         Director & Treasurer                    Dr. Rowland Nichol
to meet our Ukraine budget, and appeal to you directly for               Director & Executive Director           Ihor Mazuryk
donations. Please note there will be no “Wine, Art, & Heart”             Director & Past President               Dr. Myron Semkuley
event (previously held at Webster’s Art Gallery, with many               Director                                Elaine Semkuley
thanks) this year. So if you have not made your donation this            Director & Volunteer Coordinator        Penny Young
spring, please consider a generous gift and make a big difference        Director                                Dan Motyka
to the lives of the seniors, the under-privileged and the children       Director & Communications Chair         Ivan Markiw
in this area.                                                            Director & Fundraising Chairman         Don Bobyn
     MMC’s annual general meeting was held in November with              Director & Membership Chairperson       Charlene Lutic
excellent attendance. The entire slate of directors was ratified,        Director                                Dr. Peter Neweduk
and our board is focused more than ever on growing our donor             Accountant                              Veronica Prokop
base, improving internal and external communications, and                Administrative Assistant                Mylaine Tsaprailis
effectively utilizing our volunteers. In this regard, Mr. Don
Bobyn has been named our “Fund Raising Chairman”, Mr. Ivan
Markiw our “Communications Chairman”, and Mrs. Penny
Young our “Volunteer Co-ordinator”. Congratulations, all!
     In late 2006, MMC moved its warehouse to a new location in
northeast Calgary. The move presented a wonderful opportunity
to take inventory and rebuild supplies for the 2006 campaigns,
and our packing and shipping teams have found the new premises
to be very efficient.
     MMC continually seeks to expand its operations to other
needy areas in the world, and at our recent meeting, the board
approved a request to include “Willing Hands Around the Globe”
under the auspices of MMC. This group is headed by Mrs. Elsie
James (High River, AB) and provides humanitarian aid and
project support in Nepal. Nepal is undergoing a lot of internal
strife and civil war that has devastated and impoverished a large
portion of the Nepali population. We look forward to working
with Mrs. James, and in the future, we will include reports about
the efforts that will be undertaken in Nepal.                                          Above: patients helped by MMC

                                                   The MMC UPDATE, August 2005                                                     page 1
                     New Home for MMC                                       Seniors Quilting for Seniors
    In November 2005 MMC relocated to an 1140 square foot                   On February 10, 2006 during our Ukraine packing and
storage area near the airport at 4510 – 14th Street N.E. (We are        shipping day Mrs. Louise Charko and her husband delivered and
very grateful to both IPSCO and the Tryzub Dance Ensemble for           packed 25 beautiful handmade quilts for seniors in chronic care
allowing us to share our previous facility for over five years at no    centres in Toeste and Deniciw. Mrs. Charko, team leader, and 17
cost; IPSCO is undergoing an expansion of their own and the             ladies from St. Vladimir’s Ukrainian Orthodox Church spent
space was required.) We utilized the facility for over five years       many hours making the quilts to donate to MMC for Ukraine.
which was very instrumental in maintaining the low overhead             This years contribution will make a combined total of 42 bed
and administrative costs MMC is so proud of.                            quilts as well as crib quilts, lap quilts and knit scarves that have
    The new facility is twice the size and includes 300 square feet     been donated in the past.
of heated office space. We brought in sufficient office                     These quilts will not only provide warmth, but will also
furnishings, and Don Bobyn and his son donated shelves, a large         brighten and cheer up the drab rooms and lives in the care
scale, a pallet jack and tables convenient for storage and packing      centres. The lives of seniors that have very few possessions, other
facilities.                                                             than perhaps a bible and the clothing that generous Canadians
    On March 9th and 10th, 2006, 46 volunteers led by Livia             like the St. Vladimir’s Quilting group has provided. MMC would
Jackson and Don Bush organized a packing and shipping event             like to thank Louise Charko, Mary Meronek, Mary Gref, Olga
which yeilded 2,263.75 kilos of goods for Ukraine. Twenty two           Kurczaba, Virtue Humeny, Ollie Samoil, Verna Paulencu, Jean
“Physician Travel Packs” plus donated medicines with an                 Holuk, Olga Skrepnick, Evangeline Moore, Stella Burak, Mary
estimated retail value of $141,180; diapers, medical supplies,          Solotwinski, Doris Maleschuk, Mary Nychka, Kathy Sidoruk,
clothing, walkers and 25 quilts worth approximately $14,450             Lorraine Woytowich, Helen Harasymchuk and Josie Goroniuk
were packed into 120 boxes for shipment. Many thanks to our             for their labour and generosity to cheer up some impoverished
generous benefactors who donated a grand total of $155,630              seniors in Ukraine. We will be sure to take photographs this May
worth of goods.                                                         when we distribute the quilts to show on our return.
    The board would like to send out a special thanks to all of the
                                                                        Thank you.
volunteers. In recognition of a job well done we hope to see them
                                                                        Ihor Mazurky
and all other volunteers at the Annual Volunteer Appreciation
Night on Saturday April 22, 2006, 6:00 pm at the Renoir                 Executive Director
Apartments, main floor 2303 – 4th Street S.W.
    A three year lease was signed for our new warehouse
facilities and will cost MMC $1,450 / month plus utilities.                        MMC 2005 Annual Dinner a success
Unfortunately this will run an annual tab of $17,400 which could
be better used to help the Ukrainian villagers and Burmese                  (This year's dinner and silent auction will be held
refugees. If anyone can locate a suitable rent-free space (i.e. a           at the Hyatt Hotel on November 8, 2006 at 6 p.m.)
benefactor that will donate space, for a tax receipt), our current
space can be sublet. This would lower our administrative and
overhead costs to the original 5% we have enjoyed in the past.              The annual dinner and silent auction was held at the
Please call me at 660-7952 if you come up with any reasonable           Hyatt Hotel in November. It proved to be another fun event
leads.                                                                  that raised about $68,000.00 for the worthwhile projects of
Ihor Mazuryk                                                            Medical Mercy. There are so many needy people on both
Executive Director                                                      sides of the Burma border and in Ukraine. There is no end
                                                                        of projects that could be done to help these people. A big
                                                                        thank you to all of you who helped us in many ways to
                                                                        make this a success. The Ukranian dancers were energetic
                                                                        and looked wonderful as usual in their decorative costumes.
                                                                        Myron gave us a pictorial update of the projects carried out
                                                                        in 2005. Miss Lucy, Calgary's clown lady with the red
                                                                        nose, carried out the MC duties.
                                                                            This year's dinner and silent auction will be held again
                                                                        at the Hyatt Hotel on November 8 2006 at 6 p.m.We are
                                                                        hoping to make this an even bigger event with more money
                                                                        raised to help those in need.
                                                                             Please keep us in mind over the summer. We are
                                                                        planning on getting an early start on collecting articles for
                                                                        the auction. This past year we had everything from a lovely
                                                                        mink coat to hand knit teddy bears. The variety and calibre
    Above: Ton Hoong, Thailand-scholarship students sponsored           of the articles was great. You will be hearing more from us
    by your donated dollars. (Medic Sai Sam on left)                    as time goes on.

                                                 The MMC UPDATE, August 2005, page 2 of 8
         2006 Burma Project Report by Myron Semkuley                          Dr. Ray Comeau managed and supervised the very busy and
                                                                               challenging in-patient department (at Mae Tao Clinic) which
    Each successful mission makes us feel, even before it is over,
                                                                               had nobody in charge at the time of our visit.
that we must start planning for the next. This past medical aid trip to
the Burmese refugees in India & Thailand was no exception. As we           Mae Sariang Town, Thailand:
were working with the people in need, we were constantly thinking           Met with the student groups (NDD and ABSDF). Discussed
                                                                               with ABSDF their projects regarding medical clinics, schools,
of how we could be even more effective next year.
                                                                               health promotion seminars for trainers and villagers, medical
    On 11 January 2006 the six people on Team Burma 2006 left                  education programs for medics, medical problems of villagers
Calgary for Southeast Asia. Dr. Ray and Deryl Comeau were on                   and medical needs. Provided 2 large boxes of medicines and
their second trip. Newcomers Hans and Helene Coppens joined us                 supplies from Canada valued at $3000.
this year to provide assistance to the medical aid teams and look into      Left $800 to fund “Women’s’ Action for Children Programs” in
developing solar lighting and improved potable water and sanitation            the refugee camp.
systems. Elaine and Myron completed the team.                              Ton Hoong Village, near Fang, Thailand:
Highlights of the mission included:                                         Reconnected with Sai Sam and his staff at Tin Tad Clinic.
Mizoram State, India:                                                       Investigated improving the water supply to the clinic.
 Renewed MMC’s commitment to help providing ongoing basic                  2 large boxes of medicines and supplies from valued at $3000.
     medical care for those in need in Aizawl, Champhai and                 $2,317 for medic wage supplements and purchase of water
     Zokhawthar, Mizoram State, India                                          pump.
 Held 5 daily clinics to treat patients in Zokhawthar and                  Interviewed 6 young students receiving scholarships from MMC
     Champhai                                                                  for the past 3 years. Left $90 for each of the students ($540
 Worked with the local residents to re-organize the management                total) to fund part of their school costs for the year.
     and operation of the clinics which MMC is helping them to             Ban Mae Shorn Naine Village, Near Thoed Thai, Thailand:
     establish.                                                             Spent 2 weeks there, 4 team members. Worked with Sai Sam
 Provided further medical supplies, funds and moral support,to                (a.k.a. Leung Sam) (Head of Shan Health Committee) in charge
     help them see how well they are doing between our annual                  of 3 medical clinics including this one.
     visits.                                                                Saw / treated patients and taught the medics in out-patient
 $6220 funds and supplies (value $3500) for the Champhai                      department and hospital, also holding formal teaching every day
     clinic.                                                                   in bamboo classroom using interpreters.
 Began plans for a permanent medical facility in the village of            Helped Sai Sam and the medics improve the organization of
     Zokhawthar right on the India-Burma border. This is an exciting           their medical center.
     project that we will slowly work on over the next several years.       Helped to organize and stock the pharmacy and teach about the
     More on this in the future. Left $200 to add to the building fund.        medicines.
 $7011 plus supplies valued at $3500 for ongoing operations of             Helped to improve the water supply to the hospital.
     Zokhawthar clinic.                                                     Left 6 large boxes of medicine, medical supplies, instruments
 $240 supplement (school fees) to enable 2 students to go to                  and clothes valued at $10,000.
     school.                                                                Left $9,673 to fund construction of a more solid wood and
 Project by Hans and Helene Coppens: Install solar lighting in                concrete (instead of bamboo) structure to house the outpatient
     the home of the students so they can study at home in the                 examining rooms, pharmacy, laboratory, labor and delivery
     evening.                                                                  rooms, storage room, library and night-duty medics room.
 Continued to encourage and support more mobile clinics to                 Met with the Commander in the village to further improve our
     villages surrounding the city of Aizawl. Left $8600 for this. Left        mutual understanding which will allow us to further support
     4 boxes of medicines, medical supplies and clothes valued at              each other in MMC’s work there.
     $6000.                                                                 Met with the village school headmistress, the school committee
 Helped the local people begin to develop a charitable                        and the mayor to discuss and view the operations and problems
     organization Mizoram Medical Mercy (MMM), registered in                   at the school.
     India, to oversee the projects that MMC supports.                      Visited the orphans (78 this month) in their dormitories. Met
 Established a general manager of all MMM, to audit the                       with the Orphan Committee on 3 occasions. Left $7000 for the
     financial books, oversee projects and report regularly and                construction of a new dormitory. The present dormitories (1 for
     directly to MMC.                                                          girls, 1 for boys) are already overcrowded, and about 50 more
SANGKHLABURI TOWN, THAILAND:                                                   orphans are expected to arrive over the next 12 months.
 One week visit to the Burmese ethnic MON area near                        Hans and Helene Coppens supplied and helped install the first
     Sangkhlaburi, Thailand to see if MMC could be of any help                 solar lighting system ever in the area, for the present labour and
     there. We visited 3 border hospital / clinic facilities;2 inside          delivery rooms (dirt floor, bamboo walls, thatched roof).
     Mon State, Burma and 1 inside Thailand. They all require much          Hans and Helene Coppens constructed a “clay oven”, then
     ongoing support with medicines and supplies, finances and                 provided supplies to train a few of the medical center staff how
     personal help by foreign visiting medical personnel. This was             to bake buns and pizza. They also gave classes in business
     the 1st visit of an MMC team here.                                        management because this project could lead to a small income
Mae Sot Town, Thailand:                                                        producing enterprise for the medical center.
 Visited Dr. Cynthia’s Mae Tao Clinic near Mae Sot to reconnect            Last but by no means least, provided friendship, morale and
     with some long time friends (Burmese refugee medics and                   “parental” support, guidance and encouragement to those young
     students), do some teaching, treat patients and provide $12,020           medics who have no family or who are far from their family and
     annual funding for the 2006 Blood Services Program. MMC is                have no way of ever seeing them again.
     the sole supporter for this very necessary program.
                                                                           Thank-you for your support.           -Dr. Myron Semkuley

                                                    The MMC UPDATE, August 2005, page 3 of 8
A few good volunteers are required:                                                      LED Lights and Solar Panels
                                                                             Taking solar panels to the Burma 2006 project was a story in
Several key volunteers are required to continue our fundraising          itself! The size of the two fragile panels in their protective boxes
and administrative operations. Compensation: MMC’s sincerest             of 42”x 14”x 4” was a bit awkward with the rest of the carry-on.
and everlasting gratitude and priority line-up at the bar and buffet     The 15-Watt solar panels, regulators, wire, and voltage meter
dinner at the annual volunteer appreciation party!                       were purchased at Canadian Tire. The 10 pucks of LED lights
                                                                         were manufactured by Alta Lux, a Calgary Company. I
1) Ukraisian Dinner co-chair:                                            purchased one 12 volt battery in Aizawl (India) and later one in
A volunteer to co-chair our annual Ukraisian Dinner with Penny           Fang (Thailand) To get on the first plane one had to appeal to the
Young, last year’s chair. To provide assistance in coordinating all      kindness of the airline staff and assure them that these were not
aspects of the dinner and get experience to chair the 2007 dinner.       harmful to the passengers they just needed to travel in the coat
Basically a two-year term requiring three months of part-time            closet. We had to explain that these were to bring light to a
effort and organization (12 hours/week).                                 hospital, possibly an outpatient clinic. Every time we changed
                                                                         planes, strategies had to be used to let these questionable boxes
2) Ukraisian Dinner Silent Auction co-chair:                             on board. What a triumph to get the first one all the way to
A volunteer to co-chair the Silent Auction portion of the dinner         Zokawthar. The whole setup was meant for the clinic but when
with Hanna Clark, last year’s chair. To gain experience to chair         we got there they had installed electricity in that building during
the Silent Auction for 2007. A two-year term requiring three             the year so after discussion I installed the panel and four of the
months of part-time effort and organization (12 hours/week).             LED pucks in a home to permit the children to study after dark
3) Ukraisian Dinner bookeeper:                                           (5:30pm) This family was a very poor family who couldn’t afford
A volunteer to handle and organize all the bookeeping duties for         to hook up to electricity. They are Burmese refugees living in
the dinner (16 hours over 4 to 6 days).                                  Zokhawthar. The father makes charcoal, which has to be
                                                                         transported to the village for sale. The family also breaks rocks
4) FireBall Dinner bookeeper:                                            into assorted sizes of gravel by hand. This work is done before
A volunteer to handle and organize the FireBall bookeeping               and after school by the two school age girls, two-year old and the
duties (12 hours over 3 or 4 days).                                      mom; hence the importance of the lights to light up the home in
5) Administration bookeeper:                                             the evening. (This breaking of rocks by hand is done in most
                                                                         places and along most roads on the India side. This gravel is used
A volunteer to issue and mail receipts for donations, membership,
                                                                         for road repair and construction. Along the highway you have
and payments on a monthly basis (4 to 6 hours per month).
                                                                         lean-tos where women with their children work from morning till
6) Raffle Chair:                                                         night hunched over in the blistering heat on the edge of the cliff.)
A volunteer to organize our annual raffle prior to our Annual                The other solar panel was installed in Ban Mae Bein Fa. I
General Meeting. Procure permits and prizes, print and distribute        explained to the young medics helping me what had to be done
tickets for sale, accounting, reporting, and making the draw (3          and we installed four pucks of lights in the labor and delivery
months, 4 hours per week).                                               room and two in the outpatient department. The young medics
                                                                         were quick studies and had it all installed in no time. We
(Please note, additional volunteers will assist with all the above.)     monitored the charging of the battery for a few days to see how
                                                                         much power having the lights on for four hours, six and twelve
For further information or to commit to one of these prestigious         hours, was using. The panel and whole set was working very
positions please contact:                                                well. Since they usually have their generator on for only two or
Penny Young       phone 246-1910                                         three hours a night it will really help for the night deliveries or
                  fax 246-5710                                           emergencies.
                  e-mail                                  It was wonderful to be part of this Burma project 2006. It
Hanna Clark       phone 574-8115, ext 236                                was great helping these people I am so happy I was able to help.
                  fax 514-8120                                           They have so little and share what little they have with such great
                  e-mail                         smiles and enthusiasm. The whole experience will stay with me
Ihor Mazuryk      phone 660-7952
                  fax 547-3129                                                                                             -by Hans Coppens

                                                                                                                            lights permit
                                                                                                                            studying in the

                                                                                                                            Far left:
                                                                                                                            Medic at work.
                                                                                                                            Looking for

                                                  The MMC UPDATE, August 2005, page 4 of 8
                          A $100 Bill
    As he limped through the door of our make-shift examination         the clever athletic boy he had been some 5 years prior and
room his young face looked vaguely familiar. It was Lan Aug             perhaps someday become a doctor who would care for his own
Sau the 11 year boy whom I’d seen in this very clinic one year          people.
prior. His face looked tired and he had lost some weight but it             A brief conference amongst the MMC staff ensued and we
was the same boy. Lan was a clever but somewhat shy boy who             agreed unanimously that our donors back in Alberta would want
had a beautiful generous smile. Prior to his life altering accident     us to use some of their money to produce a miracle for this boy
he had been at the top of his class in both sports and academics.       and his family. Lan's face lit up like a Christmas tree when we
    His story was a sad one. In 2000 this bright athletic young         told him our plan and his mother's face was shiny wet with tears
man had fractured his femur while playing soccer. A number of           of joy as we explained the details. We would travel to Aizawl and
bad events had ensued resulting in a series of painful and costly       personally meet with the orthopedic surgeon making plans and
operations that had left him with a chronic, fungating bone             dispersing funds for his operation.
infection.                                                                  That night my wife Deryl and I lay in bed discussing the
    As I removed the dirty dressing from his leg, putrid pus            day. The amazing and heartbreaking things that had happened
poured from two drainage sites on his upper thigh. His distraught       that day made me I realized that I had never felt more alive in my
mother had done her best to keep the wound clean but the source         entire life. The myriad of emotions that we had experienced that
of the infection was buried deep in his bone, a place where no          day had left us feeling happy, sad, angry and giddy all at the
medicine could reach.                                                   same time. I had a feeling of inner peace and contentment but at
    His condition, known as osteomyelitis, had occurred after his       the same time I couldn't keep the tears from streaming down my
first surgery when a Burmese surgeon in Rangoon had attempted           face. I lay in the darkened room trying to hide my emotional
to stabilize the fracture with a piece of wire. Infection had set in    lability from my wife. After all I hadn't felt tears on my face
and three surgeries later the bone was still infected and the family    since our last trip with MMC to Asia. Before I fell asleep I
was penniless. The Burmese doctor had insisted that Lan come            realized how lucky we were to be there. To see with our eyes and
back for a fifth operation but the family had no money.                 feel with our own hearts the trials, suffering, laughter and love of
                                                                        these brave people. My last thought before I fell asleep was
    His injury and bone infection had left him weak and sick.           about the people who support us. People who give us the chance
Missed time from school had taken its toll on his school work           to deliver the hope and goodwill that flows so generously from
and and his marks were dropping. The family was desperate to            Albertans. Chances are you will never have a chance to
restore his health but there was no money left. Their hope              experience or fully comprehend the gifts that you give and
was that we could provide Lan with a strong Canadian medicine           yet give still give. To give to those who can never repay you is a
that would kill the infection once and for all.                         special thing and you are special people. We thank you.
    We could feel their hearts sinking as I explained that there                                                          -Ray Comeau, MD
was no medicine that would cure Lan’s leg. He needed the
services of a competent well trained orthopedic surgeon who
could clean out the rotten infected bone and allow fresh clean
bone to replace it. That would cost money and money was
something they did not have. His mother’s eyes dropped to the
floor as I explained the treatment plan and my heart fell from my
chest as I realized that the family could not possibly
afford another operation.
    A feeling of helplessness crept insidiously into my body. We
had seen so many situations like this amongst the Burmese
refugees we had attended. Young widows with small children
whose husbands had been murdered by the brutal Burmese
military death squads. Malnourished mothers and babies who
lived hand to mouth on whatever scraps they could beg from their
impoverished neighbors. Ramshackle villages with open sewers                        Above: Turial Clinic near Aizawl, India
and polluted drinking water.
    I looked again into the eyes of the young boy standing in
front of me and searched for a solution. He and his mother would
need money for the eight-hour bus trip to Aizawl, India (the
capital city) where he could have his surgery. They would
need money for food and accommodation while the surgery was
being arranged. They would also need funds for the medications
and dressings that would be require after the operation. Then
there would be the trip home.
    I turned to the interpreter to find out roughly how much all
this would cost. She laughed at the look of disbelief of my face
when she told me the price. For roughly $100 (Canadian) all
these things including the surgery could be accomplished. This is
a small fortune to a Burmese refugee, but for a mere $100                 Above: Ban Mae Shorn Naine, Thailand - staff & MMC team
(Canadian) this young boy could have his life back. He could be
                                                 The MMC UPDATE, August 2005, page 5 of 8
                 Specific Donations Needed                                         Helping Others To Help Themselves
                                                                           He is only 19 years old. He left his homeland of Burma when
    In February we shipped 120 cartons weighing 2264 kg of
                                                                       he was 15years old.
clothing, medical equipment and pharmaceuticals including 22
                                                                           He is the youngest of 5 children. He had 1 sister & 3 brothers.
physician travel packs of medications that will be awaiting our
                                                                       His sister & 1 brother died of malnutrition. His other 2 brothers
arrival for distribution. This year's team will deliver medicines,
                                                                       died of disease. He was only able to attend school for three years
supplies, and clothing. We will also be assessing construction
                                                                       until the Burmese Army closed it, when they came to our village.
projects from last year's trip and planning new renovation
                                                                       When the army came, he & his family ran into the jungle and
projects. MMC has 39 on-going projects in small villages of
                                                                       stayed there until the army left. They eventually returned home.
Ukraine. Medical clinics and small hospitals have few
                                                                       He worked in the garden and fields with his parents and
medications, supplies or equipment. The Ukrainian people work
                                                                       grandmother (who was living with them).
very hard to earn and maintain a very basic living and many lack
                                                                           When he was 8 or 10 years old the soldiers came again and
the money required for health care and education. MMC makes a
                                                                       told his mother and father and other adults in the village that they
big difference to their health by making free medicines and
                                                                       had to work for the Burmese army as porters. (The porters carry
treatments available. MMC also renovates schools, child day
                                                                       heavy supplies from camp to camp for long distances). His
cares, rural hospitals, senior care homes, orphanages and village
                                                                       mother’s eye was injured when a sharp object got in her eye.
medical clinics. We install indoor toilets, repair unsafe floors,
                                                                       There were no medics or doctors anywhere so when infection set
roofs, windows and doors, replace inadequate heating, and up-
                                                                       in, she lost sight in her eye. For 10 years they worked as porters.
grade kitchen and laundry facilities. All of these much needed
                                                                       Many evenings, as he was falling asleep, he heard the cries of the
additions greatly improve their impoverished quality of life.
                                                                       local women as they were raped by the soldiers. Existence under
Donations will be used to purchase the following:                      the domination & cruelty of the Burmese Army became
$100: Medical exam kit (otoscope, blood pressure cuff,                 unbearable for his family so they decided to make an attempt to
stethoscope)                                                           escape from the village & flee to nearby Thailand. They
$250: Blood glucose monitor and 6 months of test strips                borrowed a bit of money from some cousins and went by bus to
                                                                       Thailand. They found refuge in a small village of people with
$500: Physician's Travel Packs containing medications valued at
                                                                       similar experiences as theirs near Fang, Chiang Mae Province,
$1000: Electrocardiograph machine for a village medical clinic             Our hero, Bay Dah, was an energetic, bright young boy who
or rural hospital                                                      not only helped his parents in the fields all day but sought to
$2500: Renovation of a wheelchair accessible washroom;                 educate himself on his own in any way that he could in his free
including toilet, sink & shower                                        time. He left Burma in 1997 to seek out his former teacher, Sai
$5000: Funding for installation of 2 boilers & a heating system in     Sam in Thailand. He found him in a village near Fang (Mung Na)
a 40 bed rural hospital                                                & asked for refuge with him & a chance to learn to be a
                                                                       medic.Sai Sam is the 50ish well trained medic whom Medical
    Most of you are quite familiar with the work of MMC and            Mercy Canada has known for 10 years & presently supports 2 of
have seen the slide presentation given by Dr. Myron and Elaine         his clinics on the border.
Semkuley at our annual fall dinner and auction. Please contact us          Sai Sam recognized the aptitude for learning & unwavering
or check our web site at if you             spirit of Bay Day right away. He wanted this young man to join
have not seen past presentations. Keep in mind that all volunteers     in his work. He spent time teaching Bay Day things a medic
travel entirely on their own time and expense. Donated funds and       needs to know & asked the other medics working for him to start
equipment are delivered directly to the recipients. Use and            teaching him English. Bay Dah was never seen without a book
distribution of medications is monitored and receipts account for      under his arm or a pocket radio in his hand. He listened to the
all disbursed funds.                                                   program-“English as a second language” on Voice of America
                                                                       every day. It wasn’t long before Sai Sam knew that Bay Dah
    We know we can count on your generous support. It will
                                                                       needed & was ready for some formal education so funding was
enable MMC to more adequately provide assistance to the
                                                                       found for Bay Dah to attend a course in Laboratory Technology
villagers that will not come from any other source. The attached
                                                                       to be taught at Mae Hong Son. Bay Dah passed the 3 month
donor form can be faxed or mailed with your generous
                                                                       course with flying colors so Sai Sam sent him to his most
                                                                       northern clinic called Ban Mae Shorn Naine to work.
Thank-you.                                                                 Bay Dah soon became the favourite medic on the
--Ihor Mazuryk                                                         clinic/hospital compound. Patients & staff alike were enamoured
                                                                       with his happy smile & enthusiasm for learning & life in general.
(In the past MMC has hosted their Wine, Art and Heart benefit          2006 is the 3rd year we have known our hero. He inspires us to
at Webster's Gallery to raise much needed funds for our annual         help him so he can help others. When we were in Ban Mae Shorn
humanitarian mission to Ukraine. In order to save donors the           Naine this year & met him again, our hope & faith & desire to
hassles, the planning, and take away valuable time from a              continue giving of ourselves so that young people like him can
weekend, this year we have decided instead, to conduct a mail          continue to be educated & learn English in order that they will be
out campaign. The annual MMC mission to Burma was recently             prepared, when the time comes for them, to return to their
completed. We are currently preparing to leave for the 15th            homeland & be the new leaders in health education & service to
annual MMC trip to Ukraine with four other volunteers in May.          their people.
Your donations will enable our assistance to be much more                                                      --by Elaine R.M. Semkuley
effective. )

                                                The MMC UPDATE, August 2005, page 6 of 8
Letters from Ukraine:                                                    support helped to improve the living conditions of the single
                                                                         seniors and disabled citizens of our Region. Sincere “Thank you”
                                                                         we also send to the Orthodox and Catholic churches and to the
            Caring for the Later Years (Ukraine)
                                                                         students of the Tovsteh School (director-D.P. Onyschuk, substitute
         Warmth of the soul in the building of “Mercy”                   of the director-S.Z. Vladuchak) who bring good spirit into the
    Recently, in the Oblast Government Administration office of          building of “Mercy”.
the state (OGA), a conference took place where the head of the
                                                                         Oksana Stets’
OGA I.M. Stoiko, met with the directors of the pediatric and
                                                                         Director, territorial center of social care for the single seniors,
geriatric Internat –buildings, the directors of the regional centers
                                                                         pensioners and disabled. 4 Feb, 2006
that serve the seniors and single unemployed citizens of the
Ternopil Region. The leader of the Labor Administration, S.V.
Pohorila made an appearance. She discussed the process financing
the Internat and the territorial centers in 2005. She pointed out that
social politics is dominant nowadays in the country. Everything is
done to ensure that all the Internat and Stationar centers are
supplied with enough food, clothes, foot wear, medicines, and
other necessities. The Internat centers are financed from the
oblast’s budget, where regional centers are financed from the local
budget. Most of the money the regional centers spends on food,
medicines, electricity, hygienic supplies, and the employees’
salaries. There is not enough finance for renovations. But                                                                           19 Dec/05
extremely timely and necessary help was provided to the Stationar                          Skalat Regional Hospital
department in the village of Tovsteh by the beneficent
organization called “Medical Mercy Canada” in the name of I.             Good Day Dear Friends, Mrs. Elaine and Mr. Myron Semkuley,
Mazuryk and M. Semkuley.                                                 Mr. Ihor Mazyruk and Medical Mercy Canada members.
    Within 3 years, thanks to the expense of our sponsors, all the           Sincere warm hearted greetings at time of birth of Christ and
rooms in the Stationar center of Tovsteh have unrecognizably             the New Year, 2006.
changed. Good and wonderful living conditions have been created              We wish for you and your families, much health, success,
for our single seniors and disabled citizens of the region. MMC          goodness, wealth and happy and festive Christmas holidays.
also helped us with medicines. As many as 68 health treatment                First I wish to inform you that the planned projects, which are
vouchers from the Stationar have been given to the seniors within        renewing the metal roof (over 1400 sq meters of roof) and inside
3 years.                                                                 renovations of the main hospital building, have been all done.
     At first the patients were very suspicious when they were           Only the downspouts are yet to be installed. This we plan to have
asked to come to the Stationar. But now every one in the Region          completed by year end. This building, which has over 100 years,
knows about the building of “Mercy” where every one is                   may now operate for another 100 years. This is thanks only to
welcomed and fed, if necessary he will be treated, where the soul        your charitable generosity. With your help our hospital is being
fills up with warmth and the best conditions are established for         reborn and we notice that more people are turning to use for
living and good relations.                                               medical help. We tell everyone who come to us, of the generous
                                                                         help that we receive from you.
    Thanks to the generous funding a big job was done: the                   In May 2006 we impatiently await your next visit. We wish
shower, bath, change rooms, bedrooms, and hallways were all              that with your help, our hospital will become a beautiful Town
newly renovated. Also, new carpets, blankets, cupboards, coffee          Hospital. In 2006 we plan to renovate the laundry and buy two
tables and soft furniture were supplied. The old windows and             laundry machines. Also to renovate the front of the Polyclinic and
doors were replaced. The patients now have use of the electric           the main building, the roof of the Infectious Disease Building and
water boilers, fridge, and different kitchen supplies. New street tile   a new fence around the hospital grounds. If it is possible for you,
was laid in front of the building.                                       we sincerely ask you to help us to obtain an ultrasound machine,
    It is comforting that our generous sponsors come to visit the        gastroscope, laryngoscope. This is because many poor and ill
Stationar every year. When they are visiting, they always talk to        people do not have money to go to Ternopil or Pidvolochesk for
the personnel and residents of the center, and always ask us what        medical investigation and treatment. Otherwise we will not be able
else is needed to be done to improve the conditions in the               to obtain such instruments for over 5-6 years.
Stationar. They also always share with us with their own work                From all the medical staff, our “mutual patients’, all the
experience.                                                              citizens of our Ukraine, we sincerely greet you over this Christmas
                                                                         and New Years time.
    It is very pleasant to communicate with the sponsors, because
all of what we have now, all of these deeds that happened in the         Happy holidays. Christ is Born. Glory to Him.
small Stationar in the village of Tovsteh, bring us happiness, faith,    B. I. Maksymovich
and hope that we can welcome, feed and make feel warm every
one who is in need.
  We send a sincere “Thank you” to our generous helpers Mr.
Mazyruk, Mr. Semkuley and to all the donors whose financial
                                                  The MMC UPDATE, August 2005, page 7 of 8
     Really Fresh Baking at Ban Mae Bein Fa Clinic                      MMC Membership:
     What a great idea to build an oven in section # 1 as it was        We strongly encourage membership in MMC, since dues pay for
called. What pleasure it was to try to explain how easy it was with     administrative expenses such as the reproduction and mailing of
the raw material to build a functioning clay oven. Harrowsmith          the "Update" newsletter, while 100% of donations go to needy.
said the final dimensions were 4 feet by 4 feet. Height? Well, that     Renewing members receive a Membership Card and a receipt for
varied as did the rest as we worked with what was available. It         tax purposes. Membership dues are $20/person or $30/family.
was a challenge and total amazement to see the project progress as      (Please note, we can't yet accept memberships through our website
quickly as it did with such innovative, talented people. I    , but we're working on it!) The
thoroughly enjoyed being part of the project. It was one my great       program also helps to identify those who are interested in
accomplishment while working in the Third World. These fellows          volunteering as well as to confirm current mailing addresses for
were such quick studies in sign language & rough drawings. How          our mail-outs. For further information about MMC membership,
does one explain you need a small chimney with damper made out          contact Bill Campbell at 239-9126.
of that square tin. You try to draw and using a few words explain
what the purpose this item would serve. Well this young man said
oh yes sir I know and proceeded to fashion it as he got his buddy                Please, make a tax-deductible donation,
to help him and they discussed as they proceeded. A small                      become an MMC member, and/or volunteer:
chimney with a lid was fashioned on a hinge and held in place by        There are two easy ways to donate:
another strip of tin snap it shut. It works great, we had a great hot   1) through our secure website feature, see
fire going in no time. I explained what kind of door was          ,
recommended. Another yes I understand and in no time they had a             (and receive an instant receipt!)
wood frame wrapped in to sheets of corrugated metal, fashioned in                       OR
such a way that there no were sharp edges and it made a tight seal      2) complete and return this form by mail:
on the oven. What a pleasure the whole project was.                     Method of payment:      enclosed cheque
     The first few days after we arrived in Section #1 the                                      Visa    MasterCard (circle one)
Commandant of the area came for tea with his Aide-de-Champs as
translator. We showed and explained the few projects that we had        Card Number
brought with us and explained about the oven in progress. He
promptly asked if there was anything we needed. I said yes we           Expiry Date               /
needed lumber for the deck of the oven.10 - 4X4 48 inches long.
He said it would be his pleasure to get his men to bring us some.
They also donated 15 square tins (about 5 gallons) that were
                                                                        Name on card
fashioned into cookie sheets and flat metal to protected the wood.
We also used some for the construction of the roof. Of course we        Signature
promised him some hot cinnamon buns, raisins buns and pizza. He
could hardly wait. Of course I had the wisdom of asking what they       We will send a tax receipt for the donation and any
liked on pizza. I found out it wasn't your Pizza Hut "Meat              membership dues to the address below:
Lovers"'. How about tomatoes, cilantro, onions, chili peppers and       Name
     This project brought many interested passersby to inquire the      Address
purpose of this small house. We would jokingly say this was going
to be Sai Sam's little house. It was fun trying to get different        City                              Province/State
people who were going into town to look for cinnamon, raisins,
cloves, sugar, yeast and of course flour. With persistence and great
help from Dr. Htun and Sai Sam's English- Burmese Dictionary            Postal/Zip Code
 we managed to get the proper ingredients. What fun it was to get
a whole package of cinnamon sticks. Thank goodness these people                                                Donation:
had a mortar and pestle made out bamboo that they lent us to grind      Please indicate if you would like to join MMC:
it into a powder. The cinnamon buns were scrumptious.
                                                                                             $20 (individual membership)
     I had my first baking class and it was a success. One always
gets a little nervous with new equipment ha! ha! plastic bag on                              $30 (family membership)
which to roll the dough flat with help of a bamboo stick. The
finished product was quickly devoured was appreciated by all. We                                              Total:
then baked every day and I became the student and they taught           Or please volunteer… we will contact you:
me. It was fun. It gave me an altogether different perspective on
these people and I want try my best to see if I can help them in        Phone number:
other ways.
                                                  --by Hans Coppens

                                                 The MMC UPDATE, August 2005, page 8 of 8

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