We all know the story how Dave and Donna Mahoney started GAWDA GIVES BACK six years ago in Hawaii and what a success it has been since that time. We hope to continue this success and would like to share with you the charity we have chosen – Community Vision located in Kissimmee, Florida servicing both Osceola and Orange Counties.
Community Vision started in the living room of a contractor who was upset by graffiti written on walls of a subdivision he had built. He joined forces with neighbors and community groups to find solutions for community needs. One of these needs was to provide health care for the poor and uninsured. On September 1, 2004 the Community Vision Access Project was awarded a Federal Grant for a mobile medical express unit and in April 2005 the Mobile Medical Express Bus set out to provide free primary and chronic healthcare services to people in need.
During the past year, the Mobile Medical Express unit has seen over 2000 patients, many of whom have not been able to afford to see a doctor in years. Although the original goal of the unit was to provide primary care for colds and other minor ailments, the majority of patients came with chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and cancer. One of these patients was a man named Steven. Having saved up money for three months from his job that did not include health insurance, he was able to go to the emergency room for his chronic sinus pain. Not having money for diagnostic tests, he was sent home with antibiotics for a sinus infection. When he was finally seen by the Mobile Medical Express unit, he had a malignant tumor breaking through the roof of his mouth. If he had been diagnosed in the emergency room, he could have been helped. By the time he got to Medical Express, it was too late to do anything other than get him hospice care. With the Mobile Medical Unit now in service, hopefully they will be able to prevent this happening to others who have no health insurance. Due to hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the Federal Grant for this program was completely cut. We, as GAWDA members, have the opportunity to give people in Osceola and Orange Counties a chance to live a healthy life. Thanks to 48 volunteer physicians and your donations, many of these patients will be able to receive care for ailments that have previously gone untreated.
The director of Community Vision, Donna Sines, shared with us that her husband said the Community Vision slogan should be – jump and the net will appear because she is always jumping without a net and somehow everything works out. By choosing Community Vision as our recipient this year, GAWDA becomes that net and gives the Mobile Medical Express a chance to continue its services. Let’s make it a strong net and match last year’s goal of 75, 000 dollars. Thank you!
Whip and Judy