January 12th, 2010, marked a day of devastation for Haitians when a 7.0 magnitude earthquake turned thousands of homes, schools, and entire communities into rubble. Over 100,000 people lost their lives, and almost 3 million were affected by the disaster.
Keeping the Faith
After the devastating earthquake, over 4,000 people sustained injuries that required amputations. Not only did they have to learn to live with limb loss, but they also faced an ingrained social stigma that marginalized and ostracized the disabled population, making integration and acceptance almost impossible. Twelve years later, the road to economic, structural, and physical recovery has been long, but some brilliant victories and successes continue manifesting hope and marking forward movement.
For the Love of Sport
Haiti is a country that loves football (or soccer, as the western world knows it). Whether as a participant, or a spectator, the sport brings communities and people together in a way few other activities can. Dr. Fred Sorrell is President of the International Institute of Sport and Founder of Operation Go Quickly, a non-profit organization that serves to assist people with disabilities in less economically developed countries worldwide. Fred saw the potential of amputee soccer in Haiti to rouse spirits, foster hope, and create camaraderie and acceptance — and now manages a Haitian National Amputee Soccer team that will be attending its fourth World Cup in Turkey this October!
When Good Things Get Better
Prosthetic technology and support are poorly lacking in Haiti, and many amputees live with ill-fitting devices or no prosthesis at all. Enter Mark Selleck, owner of South Beach Prosthetics. Upon hearing about the team of amputee players from one of his employees, Mark promptly invites the athletes to his facility to custom-fit and donate prostheses to the team while they are in Florida! South Beach Prosthetics has the latest and best prosthetic technology, and his team of experts put it to good use for the Haitian National Amputee Soccer athletes. Prosthetic innovations like 3D printing make it possible to manufacture a prototype device that is a perfect fit in a matter of hours where it once would have taken days or weeks. The team will walk out of the facility with a comfortable, unique-to-them prosthesis and continue to inspire, foster hope, and persevere — and hopefully win the World Cup in Turkey this October!
The Haitian National Amputee Soccer team needs more support to make it to
the World Cup. If you would like to help them get there, here is how:
Supporters’ GoFundMe fundraiser:
Other tax-deductible donation options:
1. Operation Go Quickly accepts donations online.
2. Zelle – email@example.com
Operation Go Quickly
4736 Bryant Irvin Rd #702
Ft. Worth TX 76132