Quad run sponsors medical care trip


Junior Ahmad Parvinian in the lead, with sophomore Sam Gallardo and senior Zach Long close behind, runs to finish the 5K run Sunday. The run supported a group of doctors, nurses and students that will travel to Honduras in May to provide free medical care Erica Magda

By Brittany Abeijon

Runners huddled under a tent to take shelter from Sunday afternoon’s rain to participate in the “Quad Run for Honduras” that began with a lap around the Quad. The University chapter of Global Medical Brigades held a 5K walk and run fundraiser for its trip to Honduras on May 21. The group will be traveling to Central America to provide medical assistance to impoverished people.

The Global Medical Brigades at the University is one part of the international, nonprofit network of university clubs and volunteer organizations that travel to developing countries and provide medical relief and health education to the world’s poorest areas, according to its Web site.

The group’s mission is to treat patients to the highest ethical standards, sponsor referrals to those with needs beyond the group’s capability, record data for quantitative reports and work to improve the water, sanitation and economic systems.

Beth Neighbors, sophomore in LAS and president of the group, began the University chapter of Global Medical Brigades this academic year.

Neighbors, 43 other students and five doctors will travel to Honduras for eight days to provide free medical attention. The group will act as a mobile medical unit, traveling around Honduras with the goal to help all those suffering of curable and treatable illnesses.

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“(Diseases) that don’t necessarily affect us do affect them,” Neighbors said of the impoverished people in areas with no access to health care.

The 5K walk and run raised $400 and had 54 total runners. The group also held a fundraiser last Thursday at Joe’s Brewery that raised $600 from wristband sales.

The majority of the money the group raised for its trip came from writing letters to friends, families and communities asking for donations.

“The trip will also let us grow closer and get to know each other better,” Neighbors said.

The group also asked for medicine donations from drug representatives and pharmaceutical companies.

John Hawes, University alumnus and member of the group, said they will be providing generic assistance, such as dental and medical services, and they will treat various injuries and illnesses.

“It’s also about education and exposure for college students,” he said. “Many of them are pre-med, and this will help them in the future when they do become doctors.”

In 2006, the last year with recorded data, the entire Global Medical Brigades organization helped more than 30,000 patients.

Meera Shastri, is in pre-nursing, majoring in Spanish and loves traveling.

“This is a great opportunity to help people and speak Spanish,” Shastri said.

Joe Abraham, senior in LAS, said he heard about the group in his Medical College Admission Test class at Kaplan Test Prep & Admissions and decided to join.

“There are a lot of impoverished people in the world, and I just wanted to do my part,” Abraham said.