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COMMUNITY IMPACT STATEMENT PURPOSE When attempting to convey in words the incredible advances made in children’s healthcare in Los Cabos and our state of BCS, it dawned on me that the old adage of a picture is worth a thousand words was never truer than in this case. How better to share the passion that powers our organization and the joy, love and service that is the trademark of our programs and the culture of the Los Cabos Children’s Foundation than to compile some of the graphical Newsletters, Blogs and Facebook stories published throughout the year into one Community Impact Statement. Only in this way does one begin to get a coherent view and a grasp of the magnitude of accomplishments filling the individual days, weeks and months of 2013 and 2014 and their impact on the community and state. Like single drops of love that join together to become a stream, a river and finally an ocean of love. This Community Impact Statement is divided into three sections: • The first is entitled Circles of Love and it is composed of our three programs: pediatric cardiac care, pediatric oncology and the community service/grantee program. They come first naturally at LCCF as they are the reason for our existence. • The second is a look at some of the ways funds are raised to fuel our programs by the generous donors and supporters that regularly commit each year to the children of this state through LCCF. It is evident by these stories and pictures that fundraising can be a lot of fun! This section is called Give Yourself to Love. • In the third and final important section, the reader will find our financial reports. To be good stewards of the funds entrusted to LCCF and transparent to the community through our actions and reports is always our intention and target. It is my hope that this Impact Statement will be as precious to you as it is to me. It is our story together as we labor to make a difference around us. The crew at LCCF has worked 24/7 to channel the generosity of our supporters and our mutual concern for the children and families battling life endangering illnesses into productive programs that have tangible results in their lives. Thank you for being there for us, for the children and parents and for the community that we have all chosen to call home. And finally, a very special heartfelt thank you to the talented team at SoyMarketing and photographer Gayle Edwards, that have labored all year telling the story of LCCF through the Social Media; to Jena at Jena Sher Design out of Wisconsin who spent several sleepless nights laying out the booklet; and to the sister/brother combination of Fernanda and Francisco Naredo of Industria Editorial Grafica in Mexico City, printers extraordinaire, for putting such a high quality booklet into our hands. Gracias Amigos! Greg Edwards President/CEO 2013–2014 Los Cabos Children’s Foundation











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The afternoon of June 17, 2013 made the record books. Wonder of wonders! On that day the first open heart surgery ever attempted in BCS was successfully performed at the ISSSTE Hospital in La Paz. The young boy’s name was Roman and he has been dubbed ever since, Roman the First, a title he wears with pride and a smile. Prior to June, 2013, a small number of children with cardiac issues were sent to Dr. Hammel at the Children’s Hospital and Medical Center in Omaha, where they could be cared for at great cost both financially and emotionally. With Dr. Hammel leading the charge as surgeon and medical director, the heart program has ‘come home to the Baja’! Since Roman the First, three more rounds of surgeries have taken place and 42 more children have a new heart. With progress, the costs have come down. Today, for the cost of sending one child to the US for open heart surgery, 5 children can receive life altering surgery here. Magically, what once was a surgical campaign has become a pediatric cardiac care program. The vitality of this program is attracting physicians from across Mexico. In January 2014, pediatric cardiologist Dr. Ayala joined the team from Leon. In March, pediatric intensivist Dr. Schcolnik joined the team from Guadalajara. Dr. Ayala is a skillful interventionist and has already performed 18 diagnostic and 20 therapeutic heart catheterizations. Dr. Schcolnik has put the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) in order, established its medical protocols and has obtained Federal accreditation. Training the Mexican physicians and nurses and including/integrating them into the surgical campaigns has been a top priority. In only one year, with the increasing involvement of the Mexican physicians and nurses, our US team has gone from 27 members down to 12, a trend that will continue into the future. Heart surgery is a miracle! It is also dangerous and expensive. Since June 2013, LCCF has invested $328,106.10 dollars into the program and has received $2,085,805 of free in-kind services and equipment. We are well on the way to creating a new paradigm; stretching every dollar donated by our generous supporters to save more lives and create integrated, sustainable programs! Thank you for the love! Greg Edwards LCCF 2013–2014 Yesterday afternoon we visited the ISSTE NIC unit where 6 of the children were still being held and monitored . . . It was quite moving to see these children that before were continually exhausted and extremities blue in color from the lack of oxygen now playing and moving around. To see the expressions of gratitude on the parent’s faces was worth all the effort and expenses that LCCF has provided! I could not have ever been more proud to have been a small part of our efforts together! Tom Walsh LCCF Founder 7 Los Cabos Children’s Foundation





PRESS RELEASE: Julie Anderson: Communications Director Los Cabos Children’s Foundation Office Tel: (624)-104-3211; Cel: (624)-121-1128

Los Cabos Children’s Foundation Announces New Cardiac Surgery Program

Los Cabos Children’s Foundation Cardiac Program Update—March 2013

Twin programs developing side by side Bringing them home to the Baja Alongside the Spirit of Joy Children’s Cancer Program, LCCF has been facilitating and developing our Cardiac Program at an equally rapid pace. The stars are aligning and the time is right to move both of these programs to new levels. The emphasis is on providing the majority of the services here in Baja California Sur! This will allow donated dollars to be stretched to the MAX , more children to be served and lay the groundwork for future sustainability.

Gail Freels, the Chair of the Board of Directors of LCCF, explained how previously LCCF had been sending local children with these severe heart conditions, along with a family member, to the USA in either Sioux Falls, South Dakota or Omaha, Nebraska for treatment. The history of this process has been through an important collaboration between LCCF, Amigos de los Niños, Avera McKennan Hospital of South Dakota and the Children’s Hospital and Medical Center in Nebraska. This was not only a traumatic experience for the families but also a very expensive solution. After five years, LCCF and its dedicated partners are now prepared to pioneer these services in the BCS under the wellorganized hand and guidance of Chief Pediatric Cardiac Surgeon Dr. James Hammel of the Children’s Hospital and Medical Center of Omaha. Dr. Hammel has been able to coordinate the busy schedules of these seventeen prestigious physicians and medical professionals from several parts of the U.S. and enlist their help and support in bringing new life to these children in need- right here in the Baja.

There are many contributors to these exciting times...most of whom have been involved since the beginning such as; LCCF and supporters, our Miracle Bid Donors, Amigos de los Niños, Omaha Children’s Hospital, Avera McKennan Medical Systems and of course the Doctors in the Baja, Sioux Falls and Omaha! All angels who have taken care of the children both in the Baja, in Omaha and in Sioux Falls ….you all know who you are! Thank you from the bottom of our hearts !

Perla Denisse Translation of a letter Perla wrote on Facebook: Well, tomorrow I return to Los Cabos with a lot of joyful energy and much more because I am now happy again and thankful to God for having given me the opportunity to have another perfect and beautiful birthday.

I give thanks to Doctor Sami, Jeanie, Mark, Bob, Donna, Brenda and especially the Doctors who healed me. One of them is the first who is Dr. Hammel who I owe thanks for operating on me when no other Doctor wanted to operate but he stepped up and operated on me! Now I am a very happy girl and content

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to be able to have a new and beautiful heart. This was what I dreamed of and I thank God. Well, my dear friends and family, I return home with such happiness and a smile from ear to ear. Thank you.

The President and CEO of the Los Cabos Children’s Foundation (LCCF), Greg Edwards, announced today a new phase in their program serving children with congenital heart defects. LCCF is a both a USA 501.c.3 non-profit organization and a Mexican A.C. Donataria which dedicates itself to improving the health of children of low-income families in the southern area of Baja California. Over the last eight months, the collaborative effort between LCCF, Omaha’s Children Hospital and the Mexican government has created an opportunity to pioneer open heart surgery for children here in the Baja rather than sending them to the USA. A team of seventeen medical professionals including pediatric cardiac surgeons, anesthesiologist, intensivist, perfusionist, and specialized nurses have been assembled to perform this crucial heart surgery on 10 to 12 local children who have been on a waiting list for this kind of extremely delicate and complicated intervention not previously available in BCS. The surgeries will take place June 15th through the 26th at the ISSSTE hospital in La Paz, the capital of the state. Considering that this kind of surgery is not available anywhere else in the state, LCCF has received special permission for all children regardless of their particular health insurance (IMSS, ISSSTE, Seguro Popular) or location of residence in BCS (Los Cabos, Cuidad Constitución. El Triunfo, La Paz), to be served.

I am going to miss everyone from the Children’s Foundation. Many thanks for helping me. I love you all!

Since there is currently no children’s cardiac surgery program in the State of BCS, Edwards emphasized that an important part of the plan of LCCF is to provide specialized training to the local medical team. Therefore, the program for this year has two events, June and November, with the US doctors doing the principal part of the operations, using the latest in techniques, with the Mexican surgeons and nurses assisting them. Next year the team from the US will again participate in two clinics, however, as a result of the training program, the plan is for the US team to bring fewer members and the Mexican medical professionals to take increasing responsibility. In this way, not only will the approximately 20 BCS children per year with congenital heart defects get the specialized

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surgery that they so desperately need, but a long term sustainable cardiac surgery program with trained local doctors and nurses in the region will be established. The Governor of Baja California Sur, Marcos Covarrubias, as well as the First Lady, Maria Helena Hernandez de Covarrubias, who is also the Head of the DIF (the office for the “Integrated Development of the Family”) for the State Government, have given their whole-hearted support to this program from the very beginning of its conception. In addition, a very significant multidisciplinary team including important government officials, Directors at all levels of the ISSSTE medical system, Senators, the Secretary of Public Health, local and ex-pat Physicians and the Salvatierra Hospital have combined with the work of many dedicated non-profits and individuals to make this historic process possible. The LCCF Duckett Challenge Golf Tournament, through the extremely generous donations of many caring individuals, has raised the funds to make this all a reality! There are simply too many supporters to mention them all by name! Thank you…you know who you are! How wonderful is that! A true community project thinking only of saving and improving the quality of the lives of these special children with heart defects! This altruistic help for these children, many with potentially life-threatening conditions, will be carried out this first time in the new ISSSTE Hospital in La Paz. The children will be coming from all over BCS including Cuidad Constitución, El Triunfo, Los Cabos and La Paz. Our heartfelt thanks go out to the organization Tedda Bemalcu, who has eagerly and willingly agreed to assist with the coordination of the travel, feeding and hosting of the children and families from outside La Paz. We give special thanks for the support of the Federal Delegate of the ISSSTE in BCS, as well as the ISSSTE authorities that head the national office of this agency in Mexico City. Greg Edwards explained to us that the ISSSTE Hospital in La Paz has the only specialized heart pump in the entire state of B.C.S. which is needed for children’s surgery. The LCCF considers it a magnificent gesture on the part of this governmental agency to lend its high-tech equipment and installations to the group of doctors who are coming here to so generously give of their time and professional services to carry out this worthy cause. The Blood Bank in La Paz (including the equipment from the Santa Josefina Blood Bank from Los Cabos which was donated to Salvatierra Hospital) will also have an important role to play in the success of the surgeries to be done during this life-saving effort that will be realized by the group of doctors that are coming here to the Baja this month. The Seven Crown Hotel will be hosting many of the doctors coming on this visit, and restaurants, such as the Cafe Corazon, will be hosting a Thank You & Farewell Event, where surely our guests who will have contributed so much to the people of The Baja while here, will have a difficult time saying “Adios” to all of the good friends that they will have made during their stay here.

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FIRST EVER PEDIATRIC CARDIOLOGY & CARDIAC SURGERY PROGRAM IN BAJA! This has been an exciting week for LCCF. We have launched the first ever Pediatric Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery Program in the Baja with 17 Pediatric Cardiologists, Surgeons and Nurses from the U.S. and Mexico joining forces to bring the first open heart surgeries to La Paz and Baja California Sur. We have conducted 31 heart evaluations which have resulted in a total of 10 heart surgeries this week, and we are happy to report all are doing well!! Some of the first patients from the beginning of the week have been discharged and are home with their families after only a couple of days in the hospital. The initial cool response to the project has turned into overwhelming and enthusiastic collaboration with the government, hospital officials and the public. Everyone involved with the project is now thinking of doing 3 more with the goal of establishing a Pediatric Cardiology Program for the entire state! Stay tuned for some inspiring stories of the children and families who have gone through these surgeries and are the true heroes!

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Los Cabos Children’s Foundation Cardiac Program Update—July 2013 Dream realized of 10 children benefiting from open heart surgery here in Southern Baja!


GRACIAS HEART HEROES! Many of the children around the hospital in La Paz after their heart surgeries were wearing capes from Heart Heroes  that were donated by the organization. It made a huge difference in the post operative environment in the hospital and put a huge smile on everyone’s faces, not only the children.

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Every life has value and potential. Every life has equal value, but for some the potential, in terms of time to realize it, is cut short by congenital heart disease combined with the lack of access to the incredible developments of modern medicine. Los Cabos Children’s Foundation, with YOU on our team, has had the priceless opportunity to facilitate an historic event! After months of work with Delegates, Senators, Directors, & Doctors across the Baja and Mexico City, LCCF obtained permission to perform the historic first ever open heart surgeries in the Baja.

On June 17, 2013 began a week that will forever change the medical culture of pediatric cardiac surgery here. The team of 17 medical practitioners arrived in La Paz including two pediatric cardiac surgeons, an anesthesiologist, cardiologists, perfusionist, intensive care and operating room nurses, & respiratory therapist from Omaha, Pittsburgh, Houston, Washington DC, Maine, Leon, Mexico and Nicaragua. Over the course of two days, 30 children were evaluated and 10 children who most urgently needed the surgeries to save their lives were selected.

The ISSSTE Hospital became the site for this first series of life-saving surgeries because they had the only heart pump in the state. The hospital was prepared and the staff warmed up quickly when they met the enthusiastic team that came to spend a week performing the ten surgeries. Over a period of two weeks (one for surgeries and one for follow-up), doctors and staff from both sides of the border, speaking two languages, worked side by side to help save the lives of ten children. The door was opened to new possibilities!!! The need for families to suffer and deplete their small

The Team They say it takes a village to raise a child….well it also takes a village to change medical culture and open the door to such miracles. Here are some photos of the June 2013 team. We wish we had room for photos of ALL the generous LCCF Duckett donors who have made this possible

and all of the wonderful doctors, medical teams and LCCF staff who have built the foundation on which this dream has been built! You know who you are!

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resources looking for expertise they would not find in Mexico or to travel to the US at great cost will no longer be necessary. The door is now open for them to have open– heart surgery here in La Paz!

Special points of interest: 

Permission granted to perform open heart surgery in the Baja

30 children evaluated

10 open heart surgeries performed

Lives saved

Medical culture changed

Dr. Ricardo Ayala joins the team

The Medical Team at Work The LCCF team was under great scrutiny by the Mexican Medical community. Visiting Doctors and officials from Mexico City stayed the week and observed surgeries first hand in the operating room. They commented that they were “very impressed” and would like to bring more surgeons from the mainland to observe the next round.

Dr. James Hammel and Dr. Ricardo Ayala return to La Paz to a Royal Heart Heroes Party with an incredible result! Dr. James Hammel accompanied by his wife, Dawn, and Dr. Ricardo Ayala accompanied by his wife, Tatiana, traveled to La Paz to follow up on the 10 children who had surgery in June, evaluate a few more, work on the next surgery clinic starting on December 2, 2013 and explore the possibility of Dr. Ayala and his family relocating to La Paz. Dr. Ayala is a Pediatric Cardiologist from León, Mexico who has studied in Toronto, Canada. He has been participating in the LCCF evaluation clinics providing pro-bono services performing echocardiograms and catheterizations.

The History For a period of ten years, the LCCF has provided funding for 15 children in need from Baja California Sur to fly to the Omaha Children's Hospital, located in Omaha, Nebraska, USA. In Omaha, the facility's Chief Pediatric Surgeon, Dr. Jim Hammel, and his team performed the open-heart surgeries pro-bono. The cost for sending one child to Omaha for open -heart surgery is approximately $25,000 USD for materials and consumables,

prohibitively expensive to provide surgeries for every child in need in the state. The children then traveled to Sioux Falls, SD where they were hosted at the LCCF residence Casa Carlitos, a component of the Walsh Family Village and attended by Avera-McKennan Hospital during there recovery until they were strong enough to make the long journey home to the Baja.

This was always a difficult and stressful time for the families compounded by being so far from home!

He and his wife and two boys have agreed to relocate to La Paz forming a solid base for the cardiology program. We are so excited to have them onboard and ready to move to the next level of 1st class medical services in the Baja!

Heart Heroes Here in the Baja we can treat five children for the cost of sending one child to the United States.

Mexican Officials Give their Stamp of Approval Governor Marcos Covarrubias and his wife María Helena Hernández de Covarrubias, the new Secretary of Health for BCS Dr. Virgilio Jimenez and ISSSTE Delegate Dr. Oscar Fco. Martínez Mora gave their full support to the LCCF heart program!

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LCCF has been working closely with the Baja Government to make this position possible….the wonderful news is that Dr. Ayala has been offered a job by the Salvatierra Hospital in La Paz.

A mother in the United States whose child had undergone a similar surgery and who had started a non-profit organization called "Heart Heroes," made Superman capes to send to the children in the hospital to brighten their days. "Children were flying around the hospital in their capes after their surgeries," said LCCF Executive Director Edwards. "That's the miracle of open heart sur-

gery. These kids are just barely hanging on and a month later after the surgeries, they are out playing soccer with dramatically increased oxygen saturation levels in their blood." Kitty Burton, one of the Heart Heroes co -founders, recently committed a cape to every future heart surgery child

New Heart Program Team Member “Corazón de Niño” A fabulous Mexican AC nonprofit “ Corazón de Niño” , based in La Paz, has taken the lead in organizing all the services for the children and their families as they come to La Paz for evaluations and open heart surgery. They are also helping with publicity, donations and discount prices for the needs of our medical team. Started by a mother who had experienced the frustration and fear of searching for the help her son needed for his heart problem, they are a dedicated group, full of enthusiasm and the

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biggest hearts around. It is a family affair, with her husband and children (her son is now grown and studying at the University) participating along with volunteers from La Paz and Cuidad Constitución. The team is currently setting up a network of coordinators in the different towns to offer a helping hand to those families traveling from San Jose, Cabo San Lucas, Loreto ,etc.

Children’s Photo Gallery: Lives in the Balance– Circles of Love To us this is a beautiful project. Many have contributed and sacrificed to make this moment a reality. We celebrate the fruition of all the hard work and sincerely thank all of those who have made this possible. But to the children and families this isn’t a project….it is life and death for their child. It is unconditional love. Their love for their child and the love of strangers who have come to make their dreams come true! Each child and his family have a story of survival. Here are a few comments from the families and a few of the moments in pictures we shared with Andrea (6), Bryan (5), Amanda Camila (2), Daniel (8), Diana (5), Isabel (2), Oscar (3 months), Román (8), Sinahy (4), & Victor (2).

“There are no words to Thank You!” Diana’s Mother “The surgery has changed her life. She has so much more energy and can play now like other children which she could not do before.” Camila’s Grandfather “Never stop fighting, always give love and understanding to your children who suffer with heart problems, and above all have faith in God…...We give thanks to God and all of these people for their great help.” Román’s Father “Thank you for all you have done for my son. Thank you to the Los Cabos Children’s Foundation for bringing these doctors that are out of our reach because of our economic situation and for the help that you offered us in the hospital as well as a place to stay, food, and transportation. Thank you because we could never have paid for this treatment and operations. We hope you can continue to support these programs!” Victor’s Mother

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THE REASON FOR IT ALL: THE BEAUTIFUL CHILDREN & THEIR FAMILIES The “heart” of everything LCCF does is, of course, the children! Meet some of the children in need of cardiac evaluation and possibly surgery. They came from Los Cabos, La Paz, Ciudad Constitución and as far away as Sta. Rosalia with hope in their hearts for their childrens future health. The evaluation clinic took place over 3 days from November 1820th with 58 children evaluated!

Thank you: Monica Page Logistics: Shipping of surgical equipment Café Corazon: Lunches for medical team. Hosting of the closure celebration party. Conalep: Lunches for the families Seven Crowns Hotel: Hospitality for medical staff

The most tender moment of surrender….handing her beloved child over to the team to go to the operating room.

Casa Brigida: Hospitality for families Manuel Burgoin: Photography Anthony Perez: Video

Message from the President/CEO, Greg Edwards LCCF has a commitment from Dr. Hammel's team for four visits over a period of two years to perform surgeries on 10 children during each visit. The intent is that over this two-year period, they can train a local medical team to be the support staff for these surgeries. One member of the team, Dr. Ayala from Leon, Guanajuato is a fully bi-lingual pediatric cardiologist trained in Toronto, Canada who is working with the LCCF. Dr. Ayala has already visited La Paz in July and met with Dr. Hammel and the state Secretary of Health with the goal of establishing a fully functioning children's cardiology/cardiac surgery program as part of our long-term plan.

of ten surgeries. We have complete governmental support, the hospital and staff are ready, the children who require evaluation are waiting, and all systems are "go". As you can see after reading this update, this LCCF program requires the help of many to be successful: a team of 17 physicians and nurses from the USA and their Mexican counterparts; the hospital, its operating rooms, ICU, blood bank, pharmacy, recovery rooms; the transportation, feeding and hosting of the families and children involved; the logistics of moving equipment across the border; sponsors for team hotel and dinners…..but it all starts with YOU, the community of supporters and donors that have been with LCCF since the beginning, invested in our programs and ultimately made these dreams come true. On behalf of these children and their parents, I send along their message of deepest appreciation and ‘heartfelt’ gratitude to you, their angels.

Dr. Hammel's team is scheduled to return the first week of December of this year (2013) to perform the second series

Los Cabos Children’s Foundation Cardiac Program Update—July 2013

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Corazón de Niño, another organization receiving an LCCF grant, works specifically with our heart program to assist in the organization of the heart clinics and surgeries, appointments, transportation and hospitality for the families in addition to making November 17, 2013 contacts to identify children with congenital heart disease! HEART PROGRAM NEWS Corazón de Niño manages theLCCF ever-growing database of children’s compiled information from evaluations and surgeries LCCF. They also assist with publicity in the Exciting for news! Second round of open heart surgeries to begintelevision December 2,interviews 2013. Advance team arriving today! Mexican community e.g. radio and and newspaper coverage of our work! A “heart felt” thank you to Corazón de Niño!



Evaluation Clinic 11/18-20/2013

First Lady Supports Cardiac Program

59 children were seen in three days for cardiac evaluation

Families came from all over Baja California Sur

Training hospital staff simultaneous with evaluations

LCCF Receives full support from the BCS state government First Lady of the State of Baja California Sur, Maria Helena Hernandez de Covarubias paid a visit to the Cardiac evaluation clinic giving full state government support on behalf of the Governor. They have generously donated the use of the Salvatierra Hospital facilities and auxiliary services such as EKG’s, Xray AND medical and nursing support.

Advance team arriving! Four advance team members arrive today consisting of a cardiologist, an echo cardio tech, a medical translator and a nurse educator. 60 children from all over the state of Baja Sur including Los Cabos, La Paz, Constitución and as far away as Santa Rosalia will be evaluated in 3 days, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Simultaneously the nurse educator will be training ICU staff for the upcoming surgeries.


LCCF has set up a private cyber connection with the Omaha Children’s Hospital so that Dr. James Hammel, the Pediatric Cardiac Surgeon, can follow the evaluations in real time and be able to make decisions about which 12 children will be operated on next week.


Open heart surgeries begin Dec. 2 November 17, 2013

LCCF HEART PROGRAM NEWS Exciting news! Second round of open heart surgeries to begin December 2, 2013. Advance team arriving today!

Of the 60 children evaluated, the12 most urgent cases will be chosen for this cycle of surgeries. Dr. James Hammel and a team of 22 medical professionals will arrive on the 30th of Nov. Surgeries will take place in the Salvatierra Hospital in La Paz with their full cooperation!

Heart Heroes to bring capes to all children receiving surgeries! Kitty and Sondra, who both have children with congenital heart defects and are founders of Heart Heroes, an organization that has been featured on NBC news, will be joining LCCF in honoring each hero child with a special cape! This empowers the children and after the last round of surgeries in June they were running around the hospital the next day in their capes!

Advance team arriving! Four advance team members arrive today consisting of a cardiologist, an echo cardio tech, a medical translator and a nurse educator. 60 children from all over the state of Baja Sur including Los Cabos, La Paz, Constitución and as far away as Santa Rosalia will be evaluated in 3 days, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Simultaneously the nurse educator will be training ICU staff for the upcoming surgeries.

LCCF would like to thank referring organizations assisted by LCCF grants and individuals in the community who help identify, refer and sometimes follow-up with these special children and their families! We have a wonderful network of collaborators who make all of this possible.


Statistics 59 Children were seen for cardiac evaluation! 34 Echocardiagrams were uploaded and sent real time to Dr. James Hammel, the Pediatric Cardiothoracic surgeon, at the Children’s Hospital in Omaha. These results will be used to determine which 12-15 children are the most urgent and appropriate for the next round of surgeries beginning December 2, 2013. ___________________________________________________________________________

Families came from all over the Baja Families came from the Los Cabos area, La Paz, Cuidad Constitución and as far away as Santa Rosalia. Organizations receiving grants from LCCF such as Corazón de Niño, Amigos de los Niños, Mobilize Mankind, Liga MAC and the East Cape Clinic participated in the cardiac program by identifying children, helping their families, and supporting the work at the clinic with organization, services to families, interpretation and transportation. ___________________________________________________________________________

Training a core part of the LCCF cardiac program LCCF/Omaha Children’s Hosptal provided training classes for three days on ICU and Cardiac nursing to 20 members of the Salvatierra Hospital Nursing Staff. In addition, during the evaluations, hospital interns, residents and an echocardiogram technician received training from the LCCF team. __________________________________________________________________________


A special thanks goes out to AC Corazón de Niño which is coordinating all of the appointments for evaluations and surgeries, transportation to La Paz and to the hospital, as well as, hospitality including lunches for the families and medical staff! Children identified can be referred to the LCCF Cardiac Program through Corazón de Niño, Amigos de los Niños, Liga MAC, Mobilize Mankind, East Cape Clinic, as well as other local nonprofits, DIF and government assistance programs.

LCCF has set up a private cyber connection with the Omaha Children’s Hospital so that Dr. James Hammel, the Pediatric Cardiac Surgeon, can follow the evaluations in real time and be able to make decisions about which 12 children will be operated on next week.




Photos The LCCF Facebook

Open heart surgeries begin Dec. 2 Of the 60 children evaluated, the12 most urgent cases will be chosen for 22 2013–14 Impact Statement this cycle of surgeries. Dr. James Hammel and a team of 22 medical professionals will arrive on the 30th of Nov. Surgeries will take place in the

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Thank you to Dr. Steve Kindel, Pediatric Cardiologist from Omaha Nebraska, for giving of his free time to consult with the families of the Baja, taking time to explain to them the medical conditions of their children and consulting with Dr. Jim Hammel in Omaha about which children will need surgery in December.



KENIA GUADALUPE Four year old Kenia is our second heart hero this session . . . she is brave and patient. Kenia lives in Cabo San Lucas with her grandparents. Kenia is out of PICU but still in the hospital while she gets her strength back after 2 surgeries. She loves watching DVDs of Dora!



Angel is LCCF’s first heart hero from the second round of open heart surgeries. He is 5 years old and has had 59 hospital admissions and spent 4 months in intensive care in his short life! Mom is completely dedicated to her sweet boy and has exhausted her resources and beyond in search for help for her son’s heart condition. We are so happy to see them have a new life!

Introducing our sixth heart hero, 7 month old Cristian, from Cabo San Lucas. Cristian came for an evaluation one day and the next day was having surgery. The surgery schedule was quickly adapted to accomodate his urgent needs. Cristian is going home from the hospital today!

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Los Cabos Children’s Foundation Completes Year 2013 Pediatric Cardiac Program

A historic collaboration benefiting 27 children from Baja California Sur


ABEL ARMANDO Five year old Abel was our next heart hero. Abel is from Cabo San Lucas. He came for an evaluation and was immediately admitted to the hospital due to the urgency of his heart condition. The surgery schedule was modified to do 3 surgeries instead of 2 on Thursday. Dad ran home for clothes and Abel has a “new Heart”! His favorite person at the hospital was Kitty from Heart Heroes! He loved playing with her!


PERLA DENISE You may wonder what happens to the children after they have open heart surgery and go home. Just to let you know, LCCF follows all of the children, does echocardiograms to make sure that all is well with their hearts and continues a very special relationship with them and their families! Here was a sweet reunion with Perla, the last LCCF heart “child” to go to Omaha and Sioux Falls for her surgery in February 2013. Dr. Hammel and Heart Heroes made her a very special cape!

SAN JOSE DEL CABO (BCS) December 15, 2013 – The Los Cabos Children’s Foundation (LCCF) successfully completed its second round of pediatric cardiac operations December 2 through 6 at Hospital General Juan María de Salvatierra in La Paz, BCS. To date, 27 children have received critical medical assistance through this historic program spearheaded by the LCCF and delivered through support from the Mexican government, Children's Hospital and Medical Center of Omaha, Nebraska (USA), La Paz non-profit Corazon de Niño A.C. and the private sector. At a press conference on December 2 at Hospital General Juan María de Salvatierra, BCS Secretary of Health Dr. Virgilio Jiménez Patiño warmly welcomed the press, patients’ families and the US medical team. Dr. Jiménez praised the LCCF’s pediatric cardiac program, hosted at Salvatierra Hospital, and emphasized that this collaboration is statewide and inclusive, covering all children regardless of medical insurance affiliation, lack of insurance or their home municipality. BCS State Health advisor Dr. Rogelio Ortíz Batanero introduced Chief Pediatric Cardiac Surgeon Dr. James M. Hammel of Children's Hospital and Medical Center, Omaha. Dr. Hammel thanked the LCCF and its PresidentCEO Greg Edwards and the families of the young patients “… for your confidence, for not being afraid. It’s a privilege to be here serving you.” Greg Edwards, assisted by medical interpreter Dr. Cesar Humberto Hernández Montenegro, recounted the LCCF’s efforts to foster the development of pediatric cardiac surgery in Baja California Sur. By building relationships and coordinating with local institutions, government agencies, and visiting U.S. pediatric cardiac medical teams, the LCCF is successfully transitioning its surgical program from USbased hospitals to La Paz, the State capital. Stressing the importance of the local LCCF/Salvatierra cardiac program in saving more children’s lives and removing the need to travel far from home for surgery, Edwards revealed that over the past 10 years, US-based operations had benefited 14 children. Typical costs for these operations

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would begin at $100,000, however, through the generosity and partnership with the Children’s Hospital in Omaha, the cost to the Foundation has averaged $35,000 dollars per child. “Here in La Paz, with the support of Hospital Salvatierra, in just one year we have been able to treat 27 children with cardiac problems that require surgery at an average cost of $6,000 dollars each,” Edwards announced to applause. Edwards also thanked all involved, lauding the 22-member U.S. surgical team, led by Dr. James Hammel, which included intensive care pediatricians and nurses, pediatric heart surgeons, a pediatric cardiologist, cardiac perfusionist, anesthesiologist, respiratory therapist and a medical interpreter.

Dr. James Hammel and Dr. Ricardo Ayala return to La Paz to a Royal Heart Heroes Party with an incredible result! Dr. James Hammel accompanied by his wife, Dawn, and Dr. Ricardo Ayala accompanied by his wife, Tatiana, traveled to La Paz to follow up on the 10 children who had surgery in June, evaluate a few more, work on the next surgery clinic starting on December 2, 2013 and explore the possibility of Dr. Ayala and his family relocating to La Paz. Dr. Ayala is a Pediatric Cardiologist from León, Mexico who has studied in Toronto, Canada. He has been participating in the LCCF evaluation clinics providing pro-bono services performing echocardiograms and catheterizations.

LCCF has been working closely with the Baja Government to make this position possible….the wonderful news is that Dr. Ayala has been offered a job by the Salvatierra Hospital in La Paz. He and his wife and two boys have agreed to relocate to La Paz forming a solid base for the cardiology program. We are so excited to have them onboard and ready to move to the next level of 1st class medical services in the Baja!

Heart Heroes A mother in the United States whose child had undergone a similar surgery and who had started a non-profit organization called "Heart Heroes," made Superman capes to send to the children in the hospital to brighten their days. "Children were flying around the hospital in their capes after their surgeries," said LCCF Executive Director Edwards. "That's the miracle of open heart sur-

An advance cardiac team, led by pediatric cardiologist Dr. Steve Kindel of the Children's Hospital of Omaha, assisted by local pediatric cardiologist, Dr. Richard McFaul, evaluated more than 60 children with congenital heart disease to identify those most in need of the December operations. The first round of cardiac operations took place June 17 to 22, 2013 with ten children, who returned December 2 for evaluation by Pediatric Cardiologist Dr. Jeffrey Delaney of the Children's Hospital and Dr. Richard McFaul. All received echocardiograms and were pronounced in good health.

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gery. These kids are just barely hanging on and a month later after the surgeries, they are out playing soccer with dramatically increased oxygen saturation levels in their blood." Kitty Burton, one of the Heart Heroes co -founders, recently committed a cape to every future heart surgery child

New Heart Program Team Member “Corazón de Niño” A fabulous Mexican AC nonprofit “ Corazón de Niño” , based in La Paz, has taken the lead in organizing all the services for the children and their families as they come to La Paz for evaluations and open heart surgery. They are also helping with publicity, donations and discount prices for the needs of our medical team. Started by a mother who had experienced the frustration and fear of searching for the help her son needed for his heart problem, they are a dedicated group, full of enthusiasm and the

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biggest hearts around. It is a family affair, with her husband and children (her son is now grown and studying at the University) participating along with volunteers from La Paz and Cuidad Constitución. The team is currently setting up a network of coordinators in the different towns to offer a helping hand to those families traveling from San Jose, Cabo San Lucas, Loreto ,etc.

With Greg Edwards looking on, Governor Covarrubias said the BCS State Government is sparing no efforts or resources to work with civil associations and individuals to give hope to children with congenital heart disease.

Also present and important to the cardiac program were Hospital General Juan María de Salvatierra Director, Dr. Roberto Rodríguez Pulido and Chief of Pediatrics, Dr. Miguel Angel Badillo Pallares.

"I want to thank you from the heart, the state government thanks you on behalf of the parents of the children who have been given a new lease on life, who have come to take part in this noble cause. Words fail to express our enormous gratitude, please tell them they have a home here and take the love of all of these children with you,” the governor said. Maria Helena Hernández de Covarrubias renewed her commitment to support the cardiac program, saying it is necessary to give families the tools to overcome adversity and to cope with difficult situations such as heart disease. Governor Covarrubias also delivered very welcome news: Federal Senator for BCS Carlos Mendoza Davis had recently received approval from the Mexican Institute of Social Security (IMSS) for a State pediatric cardiologist position; long a goal and significant gain for the program.

At the close of the press conference, the Coro de Pajaritos sang "Yo Quiero Tener Un Millón de Amigos" (I Want to Have a Million Friends) to rounds of applause, a few tears and much joy. Following the week-long surgeries a farewell dinner for the U.S. medical team was held Saturday December 7 at the Costa Baja Resort. Governor Covarrubias and his wife hosted and recognized the U.S. medical team, the Salvatierra hospital doctors and staff, non-profit organizations, and all supporters who made this round of pediatric cardiac operations a resounding success.

Gail Freels, Chair of the LCCF Board of Directors, noted that the LCCF’s annual fundraiser, The Fred Duckett Challenge, will take place at Querencia Golf Club March 20-22, 2014. In its eighth year, “The Duckett” provides the majority of funding for the LCCF’s medical programs. “Knowing we are now providing a pediatric cardiac program in La Paz with substantially reduced surgery costs shows our donors just how hard the LCCF is working to treat as many children as possible throughout the state while making every dollar count. We look forward to an excellent turn out,” Freels said. Gail Freels also noted that LCCF supporters unable to attend The Duckett Challenge may support the foundation by donating online through the LCCF’s website.

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A beautiful story from one of our little heart heroes . . . On a recent follow-up visit to his home, Juan Severiano quickly went to his room and came out with a plastic bag. In the bag, as you can see, were some pesos in coins and one 20 peso bill. He offered his hand out with the bag . . . The mother explained that Juan had been saving the money for 1 year to buy something for the day of the Three Wise Men on January 6th, but he had changed his mind . . . because he had received such a wonderful gift of a “new heart”, he wanted to donate the money to LCCF Spirit of Love Heart Surgery Program so he could help other children to have heart surgery. We received the money with sincere thanks and promised him his money would be used as he wished to help another child!

“The LCCF, with offices in Sioux Falls, South Dakota and San José del Cabo, BCS is a US Non Profit Organization 501 c 3 and a Mexican Fundación Sin Fines de Lucro - A.C (Non Profit Civil Association) and all donations are tax-deductible,” Freels added.

Greg Edwards stressed that although it appeared that the LCCF’s cardiac program is new, especially in La Paz, the road had been a long one, going back almost 10 years. “Without the dedicated efforts of many people and institutions from Mexico and the U.S., the infrastructure, the facilities, and the team the LCCF has today would not exist. From the beginning, this has been a collaboration that only goes to prove that when people decide to work in unity for the common good of children, monumental life-changing events can take place. Estamos caminando juntos… we are walking together!” Edwards declared, closing the event.

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HEART HEROES WHALE WATCHING EXPERIENCE 2014 Heart heroes of 2013 went on a fun whale watching adventure aboard the “tropicat” in Cabo San Lucas. What a great time we had! Thank you to “Tropicat” for providing this wonderful whale watching experience for our “coro de pajaritos” (children who had their heart surgeries in 2013)

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DOMINIC AND THE DUCKETT A LIFE CHANGING PARTNERSHIP Those of you who attended the Duckett this year saw a video called Give Yourself to Love. The last image was of a young boy, Dominic from Cabo San Lucas, who was waiting for the life-changing heart repair he needed. You were promised that the money donated at the event would go directly to programs. You answered generously! No time was wasted and on April 6th, 2014 Dominic was the first of five children to receive the answer to their prayers! Our miracle team this round was three Pediatric Cardiologists; Dr. Jeff Delany (Omaha), Dr. Ricardo Ayala (La Paz) and Dr. Richard McFaul (Cabo San Lucas). Many of you know Dr. McFaul, retired Pediatric Cardiologist, who has been assisting the LCCF Congenital Heart Program for years. This year he took a special interest in expanding the work of the Spirit of Love Program by spearheading the acquisition of special devices to close holes in hearts through catheterization (cardiac intervention) as a less invasive alternative in some cases to open heart surgery. Another first for the LCCF heart program! Here are a few pictures of Dominic’s journey. He had the corrective catheterization on Sunday and was up playing and ready to go home on Monday! Life changed!

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VANESSA’S LIFE CHANGING HEART REPAIR Meet Vanessa a new friend of Dominic. They met in the hospital when they both were having their hearts repaired recently. Vanessa was the second child whose heart we helped, Dominic was the first. Vanessa was full of love for her doctors and nurses and made a colorful heart in the play room the next day after her surgery to say ’thank you’ before she went home.


INTRODUCING DR. SRUL SCHCOLNIK NAVARRO PEDIATRIC INTENSIVIST TO THE SPIRIT OF LOVE PROGRAM We are pleased to welcome and introduce Dr. Srul Schcolnik Navarro, Pediatric Intensivist, who has recently joined the Los Cabos Children’s Foundation’s ‘Spirit of Love’ Program and will take charge of the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at Salvatierra Hospital in La Paz, BCS. Dr. Srul, as he is known at the hospital, will participate for the first time in the 3rd round of pediatric open heart surgeries which begin June 4th. These surgeries mark the one year anniversary of the program. We conducted an interview for all of you that you may get to know Dr. Srul and learn more about his role in this incredible program. Tell us a little bit about yourself: I am married to my wife Alejandra, I have two daughters: Sarah 4 years old and Avigayil 2 years old. I am from Guadalajara where I worked at the Centro Medico Nacional de Occidente (Western National Medical Center). My father is from La Paz; my great grandfather immigrated to La Paz from Poland.  My mother is from Guadalajara and her father, my grandfather, was one of the firsts Pediatric Anesthesiologists there. I was born and raised there but growing up I spent my summers here in La Paz.  I was an intern, here in Salvatierra Hospital and also had my first year of residency here specializing in pediatrics.  Actually a lot of the doctors here were my teachers in my early years.  I finished pediatrics in Hermosillo at Sonora Children’s Hospital and then Pediatric Critical Care in Guadalajara.  I’ve been back here in La Paz since March. How did you get involved in the LCCF Spirit of Love Cardiac Care program at Salvatierra?  Well, a big part of the professional development for an intensivist is to work in cardiac surgeries.  The hospital I was working with in Guadalajara is one of the most active centers for heart surgeries in Mexico.  Dr. Ortiz from Secretary of Health department contacted me, shared the overall program with its two previous campaigns last year and that the collaboration between the Secretary of Health, the Children’s Hospital and Medical Center of Omaha, Nebraska and the Los Cabos Children’s Foundation was building a team of local doctors to be part of this project within Salvatierra Hospital.  Afterwards, Greg Edwards from the Los Cabos Children’s Foundation extended us a formal invitation to join the program.  I believe it is the dream of every caring doctor to be part of something that will impact somebody’s life and improve not only the child but the whole family.  I thought this was the perfect way to help someone who, because of their condition, cannot enjoy life the way we can. So I and my family decided to come back. What is your role in the upcoming Spirit of Love campaign?  Patients with a cardiac condition require multidisciplinary management.  So my role is to manage all the medical requirements apart from the actual surgery.  For the patients involved in this upcoming campaign I will attend to any medical complications leading up to the surgery as well as post-surgery.  There are a lot of changes that the heart suffers during and after the surgery which require attention and treatment.  A heart surgery is like fixing a motor in a car.  The magic here is fixing a “motor” while it is still

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running. While in most surgeries the patient is advised to rest, in this case we do not have the luxury of giving your heart a break!  That is why the help of the intensivist is required.


CARLOS – 15 YEAR OLD – JUNE 2014 Meet Carlos, a happy, playful and cheerful 15 year old boy that is now a heart hero. Carlos was the first of 12 brave children that, in the third round of heart surgeries of Los Cabos Children’s Foundation, received the heart repair that he needed to have a normal life. Since he was a baby, Carlos was diagnosed with Atrial Septal Defect (ASD), a congenital heart disease which caused him to live a passive lifestyle as he would get tired much faster than other children his age. Congratulations to Carlos and his family for their bravery and courage, and thanks to all those who contributed for this story to become a reality. 

How do you feel about the upcoming surgeries? I feel very excited. I have been preparing for this and working with LCCF for the supplies needed. It’s a lot of responsibility that I have taken on voluntarily and I am pleased to contribute in this capacity.  It is an honor to be a part of the lives of these families for a moment while making a big impact that will last a lifetime. Any special message for the families with children with heart defects? I would tell them to rest assured that all of us participating with the LCCF Spirit of Love program are 100% committed to providing the best possible results and our goal is for these children to have the potential to live a normal life. In medicine one of the rules is to never promise anything . . . but nobody can stop us from saying that we will provide our very best effort!


INGRID VALERIA – 7 YEARS OLD – JUNE 2014 This beautiful little girl is Ingrid Valeria, she likes to be called Vale. Vale dreamed of becoming a dancer but, being diagnosed with a congenital heart defect, she was unable to practice like any girl her age, as her heart would start beating very fast putting her health at risk. Now, at age 7, Vale can continue to pursue her dream, live a decent life and play like other children her age, because she finally received the heart repair that she needed during the third round of open heart surgeries of Los Cabos Children’s Foundation. Congratulations to Vale and her family for their bravery and courage, and a heartfelt thank you to all those who contributed for this story to become a reality.

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XIMENA – 3 YEARS OLD – JUNE 2014 This beautiful little girl is Ximena, our 5th heart hero of the third round of open heart surgeries of Los Cabos Children’s Foundation. Three year old Ximena received a delicate operation last month after being diagnosed with Atrial Septal Defect (ASD). Today we are very pleased to know that she is full of energy and happier than ever.  Ximena and her family have demonstrated an unparalleled strength, having faced a double battle, as Carlos, the first hero of this round, and Ximena are siblings. Congratulations to Ximena and her family and thank you Carlos for providing your little sister with the security that only another great heart warrior can give.

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JESÚS ALESSANDRO – 1 YEAR OLD – JUNE 2014 This cute little boy is Jesús Alessandro, our 11th heart hero of the third round of open heart surgeries of Los Cabos Children’s Foundation. At age 1, Jesús Alessandro received the heart repair that he much needed. After his surgery, he kept smiling and made everyone around him smile. He demonstrated the qualities of a true warrior that radiated happiness after his victory. Congratulations to Jesús Alessandro and his family for their bravery and courage, and thanks to everyone who collaborated to give him the quality of life he deserves!


LCCF COMPLETES YEAR 2013 PEDIATRIC CARDIAC PROGRAM We are excited to share that the Los Cabos Children’s Foundation’s third round of open heart surgeries in our Spirit of Love program has successfully concluded. This round the lives of 12 children from 1 to 15 years of age were changed for a lifetime! Once again this tremendous success was built on the collaboration and hard work of many individuals and organizations contributing their talents, time and resources to make a difference! We extend an enormous thanks to each of the individuals and organizations who contributed to save the lives of these little ones. We would like to send out a very special thanks for the work of the medical staff, Salvatierra in La Paz and the Children’s Hospital of Omaha, who brought to the program the high level of expertise necessary to perform these heart repairs. In addition, a special salute to the dedicated logistical team of LCCF who kept all the various gears and wheels of the project turning smoothly. Corazón de Niño did a fabulous job moving the parents and children from their homes across the state to their evaluations and surgeries, coordinating the food and comfort of the families both pre and post operation. The Heart Heroes joined us again for this round and provided parent emotional support and guidance to the parents as to the surgery process as well as providing colorful capes to our little heart heroes. Please stay tuned over the next few weeks as we post the photos and stories of this round through our social media, Facebook and Blog. We would like you to share with us the miracle of the Spirit of Love in these stories and interviews. Thank you very much one and all!

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THE TEAM IS BACK! The team is back! Yesterday we warmly welcomed the medical team from Omaha and Vancouver, whom along with our local team of specialists, begin our fourth round of open heart surgeries, November 12, 2014. Their first stop was the Salvatierra Hospital at La Paz where they were welcomed by Ministry of Health representatives and had a working meeting with the Mexican medical team.  Today we are ready to start with the first surgeries! Please send your love and prayers for these kids.

For many years a few kids from Baja were brought to Sioux Falls by Los Cabos Children’s Foundation to be treated at the Avera Health System. I got involved because one of the kids needed heart surgery and most of the patients from Sioux Falls travel to Omaha when this intervention is required. After that occasion, 1 or 2 kids were brought up first to Sioux Falls to be evaluated by pediatric cardiologist Dr. Sami Awadallah, and afterwards they were sent to Omaha for their surgery. One of these children died, his name was Mario, as he was very weak and after the surgery he did not make it.  Had he been treated on time back home this would not have happened. This was very hard for me. After that came Perla and everything went very well with her. However, something needed to be done to avoid these delays in getting the urgent medical care the children in Baja needed. What are you hoping to achieve through this program? Starting a heart surgery program in La Paz allows us to multiply the benefits to the children and families in Baja California Sur. Treating children in La Paz allows us to serve more children and also to contribute in developing the local health system and improving their capacity to treat all sorts of affections. My goal is teaching how to fish not just giving a fish for the day.  We are seeking accreditation for this program to receive federal funds and become permanent. Our purpose is to bring specialists to La Paz that will stay full time and will be able to treat many more patients that require heart surgery.


MEET THE HEART SURGEON WHO PERFORMED SURGERIES FOR 33 OF OUR CHILDREN THROUGH THE SPIRIT OF LOVE PROGRAM This past June we proudly completed our third round of open heart surgeries, adding 12 more successful surgeries to the 21 completed last year. This simply could not have been possible without the tremendous hard work, sacrifice and dedication of Dr. James Hammel who performed successful surgeries on all of these Baja kids locally in La Paz. We are very pleased to provide you some insight into the background of Dr. Hammel as well as a recent interview with this very kind and talented individual. Dr. Hammel is a graduate of the University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor. He completed his residency in General Surgery at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) and in Cardiothoracic Surgery during his residency at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City; after which he completed a fellowship in Congenital Cardiac Surgery at the Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He also accomplished research fellowships in Neonatal Cardiac Surgery and Transplant Surgery. Dr. Hammel practices pediatric cardiothoracic surgery at both Children’s Hospital and Medical Center, Omaha and The Nebraska Medical Center.  He is Board Certified in both Surgery and Thoracic Surgery. His clinics are held at Children’s Hospital and Medical Center (CHMC). Dr. Hammel is also Assistant Professor of Surgery in the Section of Cardiothoracic Surgery at UNMC. Dr. Hammel is 44 years old and married to Dawn with a son, Silas, who is 16 years old and a daughter, Beatrice, who is 13 years old.  His family lives in Omaha, Nebraska. How did your work for the children in the Baja begin?

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What message do you wish to convey through this program? What I wish to convey through our work is that every child is worth it. We insist in being able to treat all children, regardless of what type of health coverage they have or if they have none; no matter if he/she is poor or rich. You never know what each of these children might grow up to become. I believe in providing the highest medical attention to every family equally. If we can get people to believe in what we are trying to achieve, to see that we are actually making it happen right now, that it was not just something we decided to do a few times . . . then maybe we can attract the correct, qualified and committed people to be able to achieve our goals. Observing Dr. Hammel during surgeries and in speaking with patients and their families, his commitment, dedication and love is evident. Especially impactful was his interaction with previous patients from last year’s surgeries. There is a mutual admiration between doctor and patient. While speaking with the families and doctors involved in the 12 surgeries, praise for the quality of medical attention was a repeat theme.  Many indicated that the medical attention was the best they had ever witnessed. The Los Cabos Children’s Foundation (LCCF) is very encouraged by the results of the Spirit of Love program and the LCCF work continues. Our goal is to facilitate the required treatment and care for the children of the Baja and ultimately contribute to the establishment of a permanent, local medical team to continue the valuable work which has been started. A worthy task indeed.

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We are happy to introduce our first heart hero of our fourth round of open heart surgeries of our Spirit of Love program: Jared. Jared is a brave 12 year old that had his heart repair last Wednesday and is now back home. “Thank you everybody!” said Jared’s mom as they left the hospital, words that she learned in English during their stay as a sign of appreciation. Before he left, we asked Jared what is he most excited to do now, and he said with a smile “Play soccer”. A soccer team plays near his house that he always wanted to be a part of, but couldn’t because of his heart condition.  Thanks to everyone who collaborated, because of you Jared can play soccer!

Meet Alexander, a happy and playful 5 year old boy and the second heart hero of our fourth round of open heart surgeries of our Spirit of Love program. Alexander shared with us that bikes, motorcycles, singing, cows and horses are some ofthe many things he loves. He told us that the first thing he is going to do, now that he is healthy, will be to ride a horse with a ‘sombrero’ like his grandpa. Thanks to everyone who collaborated, now Alexander can do all the things he loves!

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Leonardo Daniel, our third heart hero, is a miracle to his parents. Rosa and Leonardo were once told that there was no hope for their son, but they didn’t give up. Last year, Rosa found out about our Spirit of Love program and this fourth round their dream finally came true: Daniel received the heart repair that he needed.

Meet Zaid, we call him “the hurricane miracle”. After hurricane Odile, one of our LCCF volunteers found Zaid’s family in a park in Los Cabos. While asking for directions, he discovered that Zaid was a candidate for our Spirit of Love program. Two months later, Zaid became the seventh heart hero of this fourth round of open heart surgeries; an unexpected surprise! His family is very grateful to everyone that collaborated for the opportunity given to Zaid.


JOHANA – 4 YEARS OLD – NOVEMBER 2014 This cute little girl is Johana, our eight heart hero of this November 2014 Spirit of Love round. Johana seemed to be a shy girl in the hospital, however her mom told us that she loves to dance and sing, and we are glad that now she has no limits!  We would like to congratulate Johana for her bravery and her parents, Maribel and José, for their commitment and dedication to their daughter’s health. Thanks to all those who contributed to help Johana have a healthy and happy life! 

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OUR PROGRAMS SPIRIT OF JOY Children battling childhood cancer was the match that lit the fire that has burned bright and continuously since the first days of LCCF. Knowing what was possible and acknowledging the value of every child’s life, LCCF has held the torch high while evolving through a process that began by sending children north to our good friends at Avera McKenna Hospital in Sioux Falls and then to Culiacan on the Mexican mainland. We never lost sight of our goal and the precious lives to be saved! Finally, the day arrived in early 2013 when the ribbon was cut on the first pediatric oncology center serving the entire state in the General Hospital ‘Salvatierra’ in La Paz. What started out as an effort to save one child could now save many! LCCF’s role in this ten year process has been to facilitate, increase awareness, partner with other organizations e.g. Amigos de Los Niños, St. Jude and Rady Children’s Hospital and provide financial support to attract world class physicians and obtain the necessary specialized equipment. In 2013 and 2014, $186,050.95 dollars were invested into the center. With your generous donations we have been able to play a principal role in ‘bringing the children home’ to face their challenges with their extended family in the Baja. Because of the increased awareness, many more children are being diagnosed at an earlier stage of their cancer and given a chance at life. The accreditation obtained in November, 2014 will mean that this program is sustainable into the future and integrated into the Mexican healthcare system. Greg Edwards LCCF 2013–2014 The Los Cabos Children’s Foundation, like other startup nonprofits, thanks to Tom Walsh’s vision and creative initiatives, gave the Gringo community an opportunity to make a difference for Cabo children in serious need. It did capture people’s imaginations, driving those initiatives forward, and then during the past two years under the leadership of Gail Freels and Greg Edwards, the Great Leap Forward emerged. This effort has produced critical care right here in the State Capital of La Paz, saving children’s lives from the entire area. LCCF has now realized a broader vision, pediatric medical stability and the chance to secure a long term platform. Key to this is local Mexican leadership bringing their expertise along with that of the other long term Mexican board members. Essential Mexican involvement has, of course, guided LCCF from the beginning and is steadily expanding, making LCCF a true joint venture on every level. What a gift to all of us, recipients of Mexican hospitality and lifestyle, to be able to help continue making a difference in gratitude for all we receive! Barbara Forster LCCF Past Chair, Board of Directors 52 Annual Report 2013–14

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Dr. Eduardo Altamirano and Dr. Rogelio Ortiz Dr. Altamirano comes to La Paz after developing the cancer program in Culiacan where LCCF/ADLN has been sending the Baja children for treatment for years. He has been working in Pediatric Oncology for 26 years and associated with St. Jude’s Outreach program for 18 years.

Proyecto de Oncologia Pediatrica BCS LCCF Spirit of Joy Children’s Cancer Program La Paz, BCS 2013 Greg Edwards, President of LCCF, Visits the Spirit of Joy

Dr. Altamirano is working closely with Dr. Rogelio Ortiz, the Director of the State Cancer Center. Dr. Altamirano is currently treating outpatient children in the state cancer facility as well as having his office located there.

Los Cabos Children’s Foundation January 2013 Report Special points of interest:

The BCS Government has now made supporting children with cancer in the state a priority. Government facilities have been made available for use by the Spirit of Joy! Many promising collaborators are coming to LCCF with a desire to expand the services being offered.

As a direct result of many years of work by LCCF along with Amigos de los Niños, children with cancer in Baja California Sur are beginning to be treated in La Paz. Eight children who were already in treatment no longer need to travel to Culiacan and five newly diagnosed children will receive their entire treament here.

Dr. Eduardo Altamirano, Renowned Pediatric Oncologist, at work in the center in La Paz

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Staffing and Training Additional staff and training will be needed to serve all of the children with cancer here in the Baja. This will require additional funds for salaries and specialty training of nurses and support staff. Several collaborations are in the making for staff training including the proposal of LCCF Board member Nizar Mandami (University of Nebraska).

Inside this issue: Dr. Altamirano






Blood Bank


Casa Valentina




Message from the President


Collaborators The collaboration include support Exciting new collaborations are in the making through thewill International Comstaffing training. munity Foundation who is eager to formofanincreased alliance with LCCFand to carry the care of children with cancer to a new level. They are bringing to the table expertise interested in making a triangle of care between Culiacan, Tijuana and La Paz. ICF has already stepped up with an initial grant toward this end and will be meeting in La Paz in February with LCCF President Greg Edwards and Dr. Altimirano, as well as representatives from St. Jude, Rady Children's Hospital and the UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center to look at details of the collaboration.

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Proyecto de Oncologia Pediatrica BCS

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The Santa Josefina Blood Bank

Los Cabos Children's Foundation and Amigos de Los Niños A.C. share the Spirit of Joy Cancer Project, which is currently treating 30 children diagnosed with different types of cancer. The Pediatric Hospital of Sinaloa (Culiacan) and St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital have been working hand in hand with LCCF/ADLN to save lives of children for several years now.

The equipment from the Santa Josefina Blood Bank has been donated by LCCF to the cancer program and some of it is already in use. This equipment made a significant contribution to the necessary steps for accreditation which will authorize payment for treatment by Seguros Popular and allow most of the children with cancer in the Baja to be treated in La Paz.

Casa Valentina BCS Under Construction Casa Valentina will be a place for families and children to stay while the children are receiving inpatient treatments. Four rooms are being built as well as a shared kitchen, laundry facilities, and common areas of comfort. The efforts of LCCF and ADLN have brought the attention to this need and facilitated its construction. The BCS Government is stepping up to cover the cost!

LCCF has been instrumental in changing the BCS health culture in many ways. In regard to children with cancer, LCCF and it’s cancer program partner ADLN, have endeavored to bring a new awareness of the high rate of cancer in children in BCS to the community and make a difference in addressing their urgent needs. By investing time, energy and funds consistently over the years we have established our credibility with the BCS Government, earned their respect and in the case of Casa Valentina BCS their financial support. As a Foundation committed to furthering the work already accomplished, we look forward eagerly to the new partnerships and collaborations dawning on the horizon.

The Spirit of Joy Cancer Program is being integrated into existing BCS Government facilities. We currently share space with the State Cancer Center for administration and outpatient chemotherapy infusion as well as having designated rooms in the Salvatierra Hospital. Another floor of Pediatric rooms are potentially available for the Cancer Program if and when funds are available for staffing.

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It is through the generosity of donors, the commitment of the local medical community and the courage of our young patients that LCCF/ADLN received approval in spring of 2009 to develop the first-ever pediatric oncology program in the southern Baja. Together we are raising the level of health care for all children while "changing the world one child at a time."

Message from the President of LCCF


January 2013 Report

The Spirit of Joy cancer program is more than just a treatment. It is a journey filled with care and compassion by the families, patients, doctors and donors. The families staying at Casa Valentina (Culiacan) and Casa de Carlitos (Sioux Falls) receive love and support as their children courageously fight their battle against cancer. However, it is the goal of LCCF to further support and provide the same world class level of treatment for these children in their home state of Baja California Sur. So far, we have served 15 children!

We often talk about sustainability...this is sustainability! Sometimes this process may take longer and be more frustrating than anticipated. As a major project evolves it transforms itself over and over and takes on its own identity...much like the transformation of a child into an adult. Sometimes those who did the actual work, as nurturing parents, do not get the credit and the name of LCCF may not always appear on the marquis, but I want every one of you who have believed in the mission of LCCF and supported the children of the Baja in so many ways over the years to take comfort in the fact that this sacrificial work is now bearing fruit! Remember...this is not about constructing a building...but about constructing a new health approach in the hearts of those who care! Thank You!

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OFFICIAL OPENING OF CASA VALENTINA In May of 2013, Maria Helena Hernandez de Covarrubias, the First Lady of the State of Baja California Sur and President of DIF, officially opened Casa Valentina. She was joined by her husband, Governor Marcos Covarrubias. This home away from home for mothers with children in extended treatment at the Spirit of Joy pediatric oncology center will provide a place for them to rest and food to eat. Helena was inspired to build this hospitality home after visiting the first Casa Valentina at the Culiacan pediatric oncology center with Tom Walsh, Founder of the Los Cabos Children’s Foundation.

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SPIRIT OF JOY: RECOGNITION PLAQUE GOVERNOR AND SECRETARY OF HEALTH RECOGNIZE LOS CABOS CHILDREN’S FOUNDATION In November of 2013, Governor Marcos Covarrubias and the Secretary of Health, Dr. Virgilio Jimenez, honored the Los Cabos Children’s Foundation, Amigos de Los Ninos and the Avera Mckennan Hospital with installing a plaque at the entrance to the new pediatric oncology center. The inscription reads: In appreciation to the Los Cabos Children’s Foundation, Amigos de Los Ninos and Avera McKennan Hospital for reaching out with love and respect to the children of Baja California Sur and families fighting cancer bravely, for your sincere dedication and support to the establishment of this world class Pediatric Oncology Unit.

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INTERNATIONAL CHILDHOOD CANCER DAY FEBRUARY 15, 2014 Today is a very special day celebrating hope for some very special friends of ours . . . it is the International Childhood Cancer Day celebrating the precious children and their families who have been touched by childhood cancer. LCCF celebrates the gifts from God, the families, the community, the doctors and nurses, the generous donors, the journey, the hard work, the patience, the love and ultimately the “Spirit of Joy” with which these lovely children confront their challenges. We celebrate those who have beat the odds, those still fighting the battle and those sweet angels who forged the path for the wonderful advances we see today, but are guiding our way as angels from above!


organizations, including Los Cabos Children’s Foundation and Amigos de Los Niños, for their contribution to the fight against this disease. Filling the seats of the movie theater venue was an assembly of caring individuals gathered together as an army fighting the battle of cancer for children and their families. United and determined. Several individuals spoke of the successes and challenges experienced in Baja California Sur. I learned that our State, BCS, has one of the highest annual rates of Childhood Cancer in Mexico. I learned about symptoms for early detection of cancer in children and that many symptoms are commonly overlooked. Mothers shared their story of their family’s battle and their gratitude of the quality treatment now available in La Paz at the Spirit of Joy Children’s Cancer Center which opened its doors in 2013. Previously children diagnosed with cancer were treated out of state. They thanked medical professionals and non-profit organizations such as LCCF for their valuable contribution, sincerity and care. A name echoed repeatedly in the course of the event was Maria Helena Hernandez de Covarrubias, the first lady of Baja California Sur, the wife of State Governor Marcos Covarrubias. Maria Helena was recognized for her action in facilitating the effective relationship between non-profit organizations (which contribute fundraising and vision) and established State Healthcare. The result is a productive assembly of professionals making a positive contribution in the identification, treatment and victory over many cases of childhood cancer. It was a beautiful, touching event, done from the heart. What impacted me most was the genuine care and love of these individuals together with their passion and drive to persist year after year. With the conclusion of the event, I felt encouraged and proud to be involved in something that is going to impact people’s lives in a positive way. I am left feeling engaged in life, feeling alive. The burden of this battle is one worth being shared with everyone here in Baja and beyond. Seeing people from all backgrounds, Mexicans, Americans, Canadians, some young and other not so young, mothers, fathers, grandparents, families with much and families with little joined together for the same goal of bringing hope and care for people in need is truly outstanding. It defined sacrificial love in a tangible way.

INTERNATIONAL CHILDHOOD CANCER DAY EVENT IN LA PAZ, 2014 A few weeks ago I hadn’t heard of the International Childhood Cancer Day. I’m extremely grateful that I was able to be oblivious to the significance of this date since that is a reflection of the good health of my family. My hope is that you too can make this claim as well. However there comes a time in your life when your gratitude calls on you to look beyond the scope of your healthy home and peer into the window of a stranger. International Childhood Cancer Day is recognized on the 15th day of February (appropriately the month of love). It is a global initiative founded in 2001, to promote activities in support of children with cancer and their families. Here in Baja California Sur, the capital city, La Paz was the State host in the recognition of this day. The event, chaired by Dr. Rogelio Ortiz Batanero, Coordinator of the Childhood Cancer Program with the State Secretary of Health presented recognitions to various

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SURPRISE VISIT FROM THE EASTER BUNNY! Monica Page of Monica Page Logistics, longtime partner with LCCF, visited Salvatierra Hospital in November and was enthralled with the kids there in the Spirit of Joy pediatric oncology center. However, she noticed that the children were spending long hours and days healing in the hospital with nothing to do. So she rounded up her husband Russ and friends, such as Diane Byron, asked for donations and purchased 12 DVD players, a beginning library of videos, a pile of coloring books and crayons and some child oriented Bingo games. Well, Monica knew that no child wants to spend the Easter vacation in the hospital and thought this would be a perfect time to help the kids pass the time over the holidays by bringing them their gifts on Easter. So she invited the Easter Bunny and recruited her team of Easter Bunny helpers; husband Russ, daughter Tiffany, friend Diane, Diane’s mom Barbara, Diane’s daughter Alison and off they flew from San Diego to La Paz to spread good cheer, happiness and so many fun things for the kids to play with during their stay. The kids loved it! So did the nurses and the doctor by the way! Everyone had yummy cupcakes and lots of fun with the Easter Bunny and helpers. When it was time to go the DVD players were playing and the kids were settling down with their cupcakes for an afternoon movie! On the way out, the Easter Bunny visited the kids in the general pediatric ward as well and brightened up their day with gifts, cupcakes and fun as well. The Los Cabos Children’s Foundation, along with the Secretary of Health and Salvatierra Hospital, would like to thank Monica and team, the Easter Bunny and helpers for sharing their day with the children in the hospital and making this a day for the kids to remember for a long time to come! Thank you all for initiating this ongoing DVDVideo library for the children during their treatment and healing. Hopefully others will donate more videos for kids so we can build the library. Bravo Monica and Team!

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REST IN PEACE: FRANCISCO JAVIER RIVERA DOMINGUEZ Young Francisco Javier Rivera Dominguez lost his battle to cancer this past June 20th 2014 at age 15. He was from Ciudad Insurgentes, in the municipality of Comondu, BCS. He was diagnosed with leukemia on September 2013. Francisco was a very special young boy to us. We would like to recognize him today for his brave battle for the past 9 months. You will never be forgotten, your spirit will live on in all that you shared with those around you.

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JOSUE DANIEL, A CLEAR DEMONSTRATION OF OUR SPIRIT OF JOY PROGRAM Josue Daniel is 10 years old. His cancer treatment began in the Pediatric Hospital of Culiacan, Sinaloa under the medical attention of Dr. Eduardo Altamirano. While Josue Daniel had finished his treatment, his health was being monitored closely and in December 2013 he received a PET scan which detected tumor activity once more. Josue Daniel’s family followed the advice of Dr. Altamirano to administer treatment again; they decided to do it in the Pediatric Oncology unit in La Paz where the Doctor had relocated. Josue Daniel was recently brought to Mexico City to receive preliminary exams for the next step in his journey to recovery. He is now back in La Paz recuperating in preparation for a bone marrow transplant. It has been a challenging year for Josue Daniel as infections and a decrease in platelets have slowed his recuperation. Traditionally a blood transfusion can contribute to increased platelets however this corrective measure reduces the possibility of a successful bone marrow transplant. In response to this situation, Dr. Altamirano prescribed Romiplostim,a medication which helps increase the body’s production of platelets. This prescription came with a $4000 USD price tag. The Los Cabos Children’s Foundation assisted Josue Daniel’s family by providing this medication which was simply out of their reach. Half way through the treatment, Josue Daniel’s health allowed him to be sent home to continue his recuperation. It is probable that Josue Daniel will need to return to the Hospital prior to his bone marrow transplant as there has been a constant strain on his immune system. Josue Daniel however, has a strong will and is an optimistic boy. He is a strong, young warrior; in his most difficult moments, he crawls into a ball position to attempt to ease the pain, nodding his head yes or no to the questions and requests of the nurses and doctors. He never screams or complains about his pain. When he received the good news that he would be sent home, he was beaming with joy. A very different face to what he had shown days before. He gave me the biggest hug and a big kiss and asked me to say thank you so much!! Please keep Josue Daniel in your prayers as we continue to assist children like him in the battle against cancer. If it’s in your heart to do more please contact us for information on volunteer opportunities. Your contribution is valuable and will have a positive impact on the lives of childhood cancer patients and their families.

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SIOUX FALLS MEDICAL TRIP One of the missions of Los Cabos Children’s Foundation (LCCF) is to provide educational support to our medical team in order to achieve first class medical programs in the state of Baja California Sur. As part of this work, from August 25th to August 29th, Dr. Rogelio Ortiz Batanero, Ministry of Health Coordinator, Dr. Srul Schcolnik, Pediatric Intensivist, and Brisia Velarde, LCCF La Paz Administrative Representative, visited Sioux Falls, in South Dakota. The purpose of this visit was to view the facilities of different hospitals and their protocols and methodology to search for new ideas that could be implemented in the Salvatierra Hospital in La Paz. Brenda Kuyper, LCCF Administrative Director, and Greg Edwards, LCCF Executive Director, welcomed the team and were eager to show them around. The first places that they visited were Casa Carlitos and Casa Ronald McDonald, both part of the Walsh Family Village. These houses were built to provide a place to stay for patient’s families. Casa Carlitos was named after Carlitos, a 7 year old leukemia patient whose spirit and joy inspired the beginning of our foundation. This house was originally built for families of Los Cabos to stay while their children received treatment in USA. This was before the Spirit of Joy Cancer Center and Casa Valentina were established in La Paz in 2013. Casa Ronald McDonald also serves as an additional guest home for the patient’s families. The team continued the medical trip by visiting the Avera McKennan Hospital, the charitable LCCF partner that helped develop our Spirit of Joy Cancer Center in La Paz. They toured the Heart Hospital, the Cancer Center, the Children’s Hospital and the Avera E-Care unit, where long distance medical support is given to dozens of hospitals in the region by real-time video monitoring. They also visited the Sanford Children’s Hospital, which is a vibrant, colorful, castle themed hospital that seeks to give an inspiring, creative and playful environment for sick kids. The team also had the opportunity to go inside a Blood Mobile that has been donated to the state of Baja California Sur through LCCF. This vehicle, that promotes blood donation to save lives, is the second unit donated to our state by the Sioux Falls Blood Bank and is much needed in BCS. Finally, Dr. James Hammel welcomed the LCCF team to the Children’s Hospital and Medical Center in Omaha (CHMC). There they saw many of their medical team friends from the previous rounds of surgery and had time to view them at work in Omaha.

There was an excitement in the air as the two teams reunited and shared stories from the previous rounds. The medical team from Omaha wanted to know how each of the children were doing and many touching stories were shared. All of the children’s hospitals that the team visited in Sioux Falls /Omaha provide world class medical services and many new possibilities were explored. However, what stood out the most is that these US centers of children’s medicine also seek to create an inviting and attractive environment for the kids that are being treated. Everything is child friendly, colorful, and ensures a comfortable safe place for a child and parents to feel at home. They are treated as special guests and that loving attention helps them to have a more pleasant stay and forget, if even for a moment, that they are battling life threatening medical issues.

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REINFORCING THE EDUCATIONAL AND DEVELOPMENTAL ASPECTS OF THE ‘SPIRIT OF JOY’ CANCER CENTER The Los Cabos Children’s Foundation’s mission to provide educational support to our medical programs was demonstrated this past June when LCCF supported the staff of the Pediatric Oncology-Hematology center of the “Juan María Salvatierra” General Hospital to attend an important medical congress. The ‘XX Congreso Internacional de Oncología y Hematología Pedriátrica’ is the most important annual oncology congress in México and this year it took place in the city of Querétaro. Los Cabos Children’s Foundation granted air and land transportation and accommodations for Dr. Eduardo Altamirano Alvarez, Dr. David Mejía, Psychologist Laura Ronquillo, Social Worker Bibiana Cruz, Nurse Eunice Ibarra and Nurse Adriana González. As a sign of appreciation, they proudly wore the LCCF foundation’s t-shirts to the event. The ‘Juan María Salvatierra’ General Hospital is the home of the LCCF ‘Spirit of Joy’ Children´s Cancer Center and this particular medical congress provides the opportunity for leading doctors, nurses and support staff to network with others in their field, to learn and share their knowledge and programs in a positive learning environment and return home with new ideas that will make a significant contribution to the quality of care for the patients and their families here in BCS. At right is Dr. Altamirano, leading Mexican oncologist and director of the ‘Spirit of Joy’ Pediatric Oncology Center at Juan Maria Salvatierra Hospital, sharing information about advances in the cancer program and medical work in BCS. LCCF is pleased to contribute in making our state, Baja California Sur, the home of a first class medical staff and pediatric cancer program. Of course, none of this would be possible without the generous yearly support and long term commitment of our community of friends, supporters and donors and the dedication of our medical team. Congratulations!

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ESTRELLITA W4W COLLABORATION Estrellita was the first oncology patient treated in the LCCF Spirit of Joy Cancer Center in La Paz, BCS. She was diagnosed on July 12- 2012 with leukemia at the age of 6 years. She lives in the Colonia Industrial in La Paz, in a little house that DIF helped them to get with a credit that has two bedrooms, one bathroom and a little space for a kitchen and dining room. In this house lives Estrellita, her mother, grandmother, grandfather, two sisters, one brother and one cousin. Her life situation is not easy, they have a very bad economy; and use the grandfather pension and occasionally part-time work that Chuyita, Estrellita’s mum, can get some times. So we thought that her family must be the first in La Paz to have a Waves for Water (W4W) filter donation through the LCCF-W4W collaboration. They couldn’t wait, Rogelio show them how it has to be used and we shared with them a happy time. Don Juan, the grandfather was so happy that he was clapping his hands when we gave them the filter and said: “all the time I am so worry about how to get money to buy drinking water, because it is almost 12 pesos daily that I have to pay for 1 container, we use 1 every day, and now I will not worry any more. THANK YOU SO MUCH AND GOD BLESS YOU !” His eyes got the shining cry!!! Thank you LCCF and thank you W4W for giving us the opportunity to have these moments and make a difference helping families together!  Dr. Rogelio Ortiz, Ministry of Health and Brisia Velarde, LCCF

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ACCREDITATION DR. ALTAMIRANO’S LETTER To all the supporters and community of LCCF, I would like to share a letter I received this morning from Dr. Altamirano, the Director of the Pediatric Oncology Center for BCS: “Dear Greg: With pleasure and satisfaction I inform you that we obtained accreditation for the Seguro Popular. This is a victory for all and an example of the collaboration between you and us. Please extend this achievement and thanks to LCCF for always supporting us!” Thank you Dr. Altamirano for this great announcement! After 10 years of hard work, sacrifice, investment and dedication to the task, the Spirit of Joy Pediatric Oncology Center, General Pediatric Program and the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit as of yesterday received accreditation by the Federal Government. What this means to the children of BCS for the future is incredible! Stay tuned for details on how this is going to benefit the children of BCS. Greg Edwards, President of LCCF


DÍA DE REYES In México, there is a popular tradition for the ‘Día de Reyes Magos’, a day honoring the biblical three wise men celebrated every 6th of January. In this day, families get together to eat a bread ring called ‘Rosca de Reyes’ which has a hidden plastic figurine that represents Baby Jesus. Whoever finds Baby Jesus inside their bread slice has to bring tamales el ‘Día de la Candelaría’, celebrated the 2nd of February. We would like to thank María Helena for making this day special for our oncology patients in Casa Valentina. She brought three ‘Rosca de Reyes’ to share with the children and their mothers. Looks like Brisia, our LCCF representative in La Paz, will be bringing tamales for everyone!


PEDIATRIC ONCOLOGY CENTER ACCREDITATION A HISTORY OF THE PROCESS AND AN EXPLANATION OF WHAT IT MEANS TO HAVE ACHIEVED IT Interview with Dr. Altamirano, pediatric oncologist, regarding the achievement of receiving accreditation for the Pediatric Oncology Unit in Baja California Sur. LCCF – You and LCCF have been working together for several years in Culiacan where LCCF assisted children with cancer from BCS to travel and be treated there under your care. LCCF also assisted with the operational costs of the Culiacan Casa Valentina (hospitality house). How and when did this process move to BCS? Dr. Altamirano - It all began when I arrived here in La Paz to work at the State Oncology Center where I looked after the children that were being treated in Sinaloa but were native to BCS. We began with treatment for 5 children that were very stable and did not require to be hospitalized. Eleven months later we started treating them here in the Salvatierra Hospital as they needed to be hospitalized. In July, 2012, we had the first leukemia patient who stayed in La Paz to be treated instead of going away to Sinaloa. Since that time we have continued to treat children cancer locally from BCS, however, we did not have a proper space as we were using beds in the pediatric ward. It wasn’t until April of 2013 that the current area was set up with 11 beds, 3 of them for special care, and an area for outpatient chemotherapy. From this point on, we were working towards achieving accreditation with the ongoing support from the Los Cabos Children’s Foundation.

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What is the accreditation process like? The accreditation system for catastrophic expenses such as cancer means that through the Seguro Popular insurance plan the federal government reimburses a portion of the treatment for each child diagnosed with cancer. The accreditation process is done based on a long list issued by the government with over two hundred items to comply with. The list contains items such as human resources, infrastructure, support services and supplies. How did the collaboration with the foundation begin to achieve this project? I arrived in Sinaloa in 1988 to establish the pediatric oncology unit and work towards accreditation. Children were being sent from BCS to Sinaloa that were in critical conditions, many of them losing blood and some of them passed away. The first contact for support by the LCCF was to form the Santa Josefina Blood Bank to solve this problem. The blood bank was financed 100% by the foundation and I was in charge of it. LCCF supported children from Los Cabos that were being sent to Sinaloa for treatment with the collaboration of Amigos de Los Niños. Through these relationships and in meetings we agreed that LCCF would assist with the requirements list needed for accreditation. They helped us specifically with equipment such as the cancer crash cart, the nurse’s supply inventory such as diagnostic syringes, hand sanitizer dispensers, needles, bandages, caths, special expensive equipment like perfusion pumps for chemotherapy and also with staff training. What does it mean for the children of Baja to have an accredited pediatric oncology unit? This accreditation is a formal certification and for the families it brings them the security of having a place that treats their children with cancer at an optimal level of care. The pediatric oncology unit went through a very thorough and strict exam that demands the highest international levels of attention for children with cancer. It demands those standards from the staff, the infrastructure, the materials used and our procedures. Being accredited means protocoled treatments, i.e., treatments given properly and with the highest quality medications. These protocols mean to treat patients with proven international criteria. Of course, there are still many things that we do not have, such as a radiotherapy area. However, Seguro Popular allows this case because we have agreements with accredited external units that can provide those services.

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We had to achieve 90% of the list of items required for accreditation and we were at 95%. We will be checked every two years and need to pass the exam to maintain accreditation. It also guarantees the patient that is affiliated with the Seguro Popular insurance plan their treatment will be covered 100%. This is a three party commitment as the federal government does not provide all the resources. Actually, the federal government through the catastrophic expenses insurance provides a portion that represents about 30% of the expenses of the treatment that goes mostly to chemotherapy. The rest is supplied by the State government and by non-governmental organizations. It’s important to know that Seguro Popular is given automatically to children with cancer. Therefore, they do not require to have been affiliated beforehand to receive the critical treatment they need. This is important because most of the patients are from families with low income. How were services provided without this help from the federal government? Thanks to the non-profit organizations that together have covered the needs in all the different municipalities of the State of Baja. Some like LCCF focusing in Los Cabos, others in La Paz or the North of the State, all combined they were able to cover all the expenses for chemotherapies. What would it be like for a patient if these non-profits would not be in place? Basically they could not be treated. They would have to go to another State in Mexico to be treated requiring a severe strain to the family and their finances. Now that pediatrics, intensive care and the pediatric oncology unit is accredited what are the goals moving forward for your unit? Well now that we have the support of the federal government it does not mean that we will not need help to get the daily supplies that non-profits have provided. When the current stock is finished we will need to replenish it as the hospital is not capable to buy them. Unfortunately, childhood cancer is on the rise and there is no way to prevent it. There is where we need the help of non-profits, to develop early detection programs, assist with lab tests, provide constant training, stock supplies and assist with the transportation expenses for families out of La Paz. The hospital can only provide the space and the staff. When we receive this federal assistance, the help from non-profits could go towards improving diagnostic procedures. For example, there is one very important and expensive test called PET that is needed to decide whether we should continue or stop treatment but it is only available in Guadalajara and Mexico, it costs about $1,500.00 USD Dr. Altamirano finished, full of excitement at the possibilities, by telling us that this accreditation opens doors to being considered as a research field for very renowned research centers in the United States. It also makes the pediatric oncology unit’s relationship with St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital stronger as they have been a great support and they are more eager than ever to help. In addition, the BCS unit will be considered and discussed in the annual international pediatric oncology congress and oncology meetings which, of course, will develop and grow the unit even more and make it better and better.

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OUR PROGRAMS SPIRIT OF SERVICE Granting funds to developing nonprofit organizations aligned with the mission was a motivating force in the creation of the Los Cabos Children’s Foundation. Tom Walsh, LCCF’s Founder, believed that assisting these evolving organizations with adequate monetary resources was a key to improving healthcare in general for the children in Los Cabos and the State. Since the grant program began in 2006, $5,753,928.84 dollars have been invested through 24 different organizations into the local community. Our intention is to invigorate charitable activities and do our part to create a comprehensive approach to addressing the urgent medical needs of the children of Southern Baja. In 2013, $518,157.39 dollars were granted to thirteen different organizations. Our focus narrowed in 2014 as we worked on consolidation and the development of medical and medically related programs within the organizations we assist. In 2014, we granted $472,535.00 to nine different well established organizations. In total, $990,692.39 dollars were channeled in the last two years into support of programs that address cerebral palsy and other paralyzing illnesses, autism, basic health needs, dental, juvenile diabetes screening, nutrition, hearing and sight, and pediatric primary care and emergencies. The results have been dramatic and been multiplied many times over by the volunteers supporting these organizations. The awareness created by these tireless efforts have stimulated the Mexican Government to increase their efforts to make the children’s health a priority. We salute these hardworking 24/7 passionate charities, their volunteers and their spirit of service! Greg Edwards LCCF 2013–2014 Love overcomes all obstacles. Love transcends borders, cultures, languages, ages, genders, religions, income levels. And love can accomplish miracles. LCCF is proof. What a privilege to even be a small part of the amazing accomplishments of this past year, built upon the foundation of love. Love and respect for the dignity of life for the children and families of the Baja. Overcoming many of the things that divide humanity today, LCCF is building a bridge of love. Mark Conzemius LCCF Board Member

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HOSPITAL SALVATIERRA TRAINED WITH APLS AND PALS Hospital Salvatierra, located in the capital of La Paz and the largest public hospital in the state of Baja California Sur, recently benefited from a two day training program which will occur monthly and be supported moving forward by the Los Cabos Children’s Foundation. Day one was dedicated to Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) a classroom, video-based, instructor-led course that uses pediatric emergencies to reinforce concepts of pediatric assessment, basic life support, effective resuscitation and team dynamics. The goal of the PALS Course is to improve the quality of emergency care provided to seriously ill or injured children resulting in improved outcomes. Advanced Pediatric Life Support (APLS) is a program created by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Emergency Physicians to assist pediatricians and nurses learn how to avoid and prevent emergency situations in sick children. During the first week of March, Dr. Miguel Lieras coordinated the training with APLS and PALS for 27 medical staff members at Hospital Salvatierra. To assist with the normally high costs of this type of training the equipment was provided by LCCF and the trainers, all members of the American Heart Association, provided their services on a volunteer basis. The benefit for Hospital Salvatierra was two-fold; not only are many of their key staff now trained with APLS and PALS but the training also contributed to the process of accrediting the facility with the Seguro Popular insurance program. This federal accredidation once received will allow both patients and hospital to benefit through assistance of federal funding for medical treatments and services. The Department of Health did not have the financial resources to pay entirely for Hospital Salvatierra’s emergency training program so the creativity of the doctors involved and support provided by the LCCF and the hospital volunteers made up the difference. This team approach to upgrading emergency service skills has as its goal providing patients more affordable treatments. This training work has a ways to go yet. The LCCF has agreed to supply course material for the remainder of the staff to receive the same training over the next four months with the goal to have all the medical staff at Hospital Salvatierra trained with APLS and PALS. Once completed at Salvatierra, the home of both the LCCF sponsored pediatric oncology and cardiology specialty programs, this training model will expand out and across BCS as needed.

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ANDRÉS’S EYE SURGERY Andres, another case of teamwork and unity in the medical community! This past month little Andres had an accident in his left eye putting his sight in risk. His mother, through Salvatierra Hospital, contacted LCCF and thanks to the doctors who donated their work we were able to save this little 6 year old’s sight. We extend a heartfelt thanks to the Eye surgeon Dr. Fausto Miguel Lechuga, the anesthesiologist Dr. Miguel Olvera and everyone involved in changing the world one child at a time!

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OUR GRANTEES FOR THE YEARS 2013 AND 2014 Amigos de Los Niños: Amigos de los Niños provides quality health care in Los Cabos to children under the age of 18 who have no other means of receiving care or whose health care provider is deficient in arranging for external medical consultations, organized clinics and assistance in setting up medical treatment for special cases of the severely ill or disabled. Casa San Juan Diego: Supports and cares for the most needy families and migrants surrounding Cabo San Lucas with a special focus on children. Casa San Juan Diego contains a kitchen providing a free breakfast daily, a community resource center, after school youth activities, job skill training, a shelter for battered women and temporary housing for migrants searching for work.  Corazon de Niño: The mission of Corazon de Niño is to assist children with Congenital Heart Defects (CHD) with information, resources, medical solutions and social care and attention in the state of Baja California Sur. The organization acts as the main logistic support group for LCCF’s Spirit of Love Heart Program providing database management, travel arrangements across BCS state, hosting and evaluation coordination.  East Cape Health Center: Through a medical and dental screening process, East Cape Health Center identifies illnesses that may be present but not yet systemic thereby preventing future chronic health related problems. The Center provides preventative health education, physical health exams, disease detection, laboratory/ diagnostic testing, oral hygiene and restorative dental treatment and eye exams with glasses when indicated. Services are focused on the children and lower income families of the East Cape community.  Liga MAC: The mission of LIGA MAC is to offer a helping hand to the low-income families and elderly of San Jose del Cabo to ensure that they are well-nourished and have access to medical care and to provide children and adults with the opportunity to continue their education.  Los Niños Del Capitan: Provides a day care facility and service for single mothers. Children receive breakfast, lunch and snacks each day. There is an education program for infants and three levels of kindergarten. Additionally, in collaboration with Amigos de Los Niños, there are regular dental checkups and lessons in oral hygiene several times a year.  Mobilize Mankind (MobiMex): Mobilize Mankind is dedicated to maintaining and improving the health and quality of life of children with paralysis and related disorders by providing physical therapy evaluations and proper seating and positioning in mobility tools such as orthopedic wheelchairs and walkers. These vehicles of independence help prevent or reduce deformities, improve cardiovascular, gastrointestinal and pulmonary function; improve feeding; reduce pressure sores and decrease pain. Red Autismo: Provides early detection for autism in children. Assists families, teachers and therapists with educational and nutritional support at their therapy center.    Sarahuaro:  Operates a school kitchen and provides nutritional meals to over 450 children a day in a neighborhood of low income and limited resources. In addition, Sarahuaro provides shelter, food and assistance to children and families and a refuge for migrants and abused women. 

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left, top to bottom Corazon de Nino East Cape Health Center Mobilize Mankind Red Autismo right, top to bottom Sarahuaro Amigos de Los Ninos Liga MAC

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HUMANITARIAN HURRICANE ODILE RELIEF RESPONSE September 14, 2014 changed the lives of all of us on the peninsula! We at LCCF consider ourselves to be at home here in the Baja and when something as devastating as Hurricane Odile happens to our Baja family, we know that we must arise to assist . . . and we did! There were many individuals who also wanted to help but weren’t sure how. They looked to LCCF with a solid reputation as a leader in the community to make sure that their donations were used wisely and where they intended them to go. A separate account was created entitled the Hurricane Odile Relief Fund and donations began to flow in from a concerned humanity. Phase 1 was sheer survival. Odile did not discriminate and touched us all. We helped provide clean water, food and clothing. Just like a family would. We sent our staff and volunteers out into the neighborhoods searching for the children in our heart and cancer programs and those with special needs. LCCF also depended on the best volunteers one could have in this type of crisis, our Grantees. These tried and true veteran organizations were on the ground working with the most vulnerable children and their families. They were connected and knew just who needed assistance the most. We also connected with other like-minded organizations who are specialists in disaster relief and had food supplies, simple water purifying systems, clothing, shoes, hygienic supplies, diapers and other essential basic needs to share. Those with money needed a channel to ensure it arrived safely where most needed. Those with supplies needed a rapid transportation system to move it from the US and Mexican mainland to the Odile victims on the ground in Los Cabos. Those with time and energy needed direction on how to help and where to start. LCCF assisted in forming an Odile response team that overnight began sending the basic survival supplies on private yachts and planes and when the roads opened on semi-trucks and private cars. Our overall role as an organization was to facilitate, lead and coordinate the flow of money and goods to the intended destination. Phase 2 is now in full swing. Restoring shelter is the key now. There are many out there still who still do not have a home, a roof, windows or doors. Mattresses were either soaked or blown away. Appliances as basic as a refrigerator were destroyed. The work continues in the aftermath and LCCF continues to be a part of it. After all, no person is an island. What touches one touches us all. We are in the end, one humanity. Greg Edwards LCCF 2013–2014

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LCCF’S HURRICANE ODILE DISASTER RELIEF PROGRAM The Los Cabos Children’s Foundation (LCCF) would like to express its heartfelt empathy and support for all of those affected in Baja California Sur by the terrible forces of Hurricane Odile. We are aware that the destruction is unprecedented and the level of human suffering great. We are all connected as one whole and we feel the pain of each other. Disaster relief is a very, very complicated process with people’s lives and well-being in the balance. Before a comprehensive plan of action for LCCF to follow could be realized, we needed to come up to speed on the process of relief coordination itself to guarantee a successful end result. LCCF has years of experience working and funding our medical programs and the local ‘Spirit of Service’ nonprofits that are vested and veterans in their work in the Los Cabos community. In addition, LCCF has close working relationships with the BCS government, the Minister of Health and medical delivery systems across the state. It was our goal to bring our resources and experience to this immense project in an intelligent and effective way that would not only address the immediate critical needs of phase 1, but carry on into phase 2, the rebuilding of BCS.  What we found was that the single most difficult task in a disaster such as this is the logistics required to ensure supplies actually make it to the people. To this end, LCCF has been working night and day with multiple organizations to offer a solution and to build a credible coalition that can manage the complicated logistics involved with moving in-kind donations from the USA to Mexico and to the people. This team in the USA is now up and running and consists of: YachtAid Global – Mark Drewelow, Founder, Executive Director Sarahuaro Community – Allison Dake, U.S. Executive Director Monica Page Logistics – Monica Page, Founder, Executive Director Los Cabos Children’s Foundation – Greg Edwards, Executive Director

This ‘A’ team is already hard at work soliciting in-kind donations, working with disaster relief organizations, arranging transportation of donations to a warehouse for palletizing and paperwork generation, subsequent transportation to staging warehouses at designated airports and management of the intricacies of air and truck transportation to Cabo and then the guarantee that these supplies get to the families and children we serve. In addition to this core of coordinators is our rapidly growing list of partners and sponsors such as LIFT (transportation assistance for first responders); PROJECT C.U.R.E. (donated medical supplies and equipment); MATTER (shelf stable food, medical supplies and equipment) to name just a few. The pipeline is now built and basic critical supplies are beginning to flow. The veteran organizations that LCCF has been assisting for years through its ‘Spirit of Service’ program are all familiar names; Sarahuaro, Amigos de Los Ninos, Red Autismo, LigaMac, Mobilize Mankind and have come back online and are poised to assist, assessing needs and ensuring these critical supplies reach their intended end. LCCF is in contact with Dr. Ortiz and the Ministry of Health on a daily basis to expedite the needed permissions and forms required to move these supplies across the border. It is not without cost however. As mentioned in the previous posting from the U.S. Embassy in Mexico “US. citizens wishing to provide charitable assistance to victims in Baja Sur should note that complicated customs and clearance requirements govern such assistance if originating abroad.  The most efficient way to provide assistance and disaster relief is through cash contributions to the charity of your choice, earmarked for Hurricane Odile Disaster Relief.” The Los Cabos Children’s Foundation has opened a  special fund specifically for humanitarian relief for Hurricane Odile victims. Funds donated to LCCF for this emergency purpose will be used to assist in funding the movement of critical in-kind donations from the USA to Mexico AND to assist the nonprofit organizations in our ‘Spirit of Service’ program in their efforts to distribute the needed supplies to the children and families with the highest needs. For those of you who are moved to assist in this relief effort, secure donations can be made in several different ways to this fund. Simply go to our website for instructions on how to make a secure donation to the Hurricane Odile Disaster Relief fund or click here to download a pdf filewith donation instructions. In closing dear friends and supporters of LCCF and Baja Sur, I want to assure you that any funds generously donated to this disaster relief project through LCCF will be guided and used in the most effective way possible to deliver relief to the children and families that we and our partner veteran organizations have served for years. You can count on it! Greg Edwards, Executive Director Los Cabos Children’s Foundation

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M5 BRINGS FRESH DRINKING WATER SEP17 On Wednesday, September 17, the M.5., which is one of the largest private super yachts in the world, arrived in BCS. The hope was to bring it into Cabo San Lucas at first but due to unsafe anchorage and conditions in Cabo San Lucas it was diverted to La Paz. On board the M.5. is a self-contained desalination plant capable of pumping ashore approximately 15,000 liters of fresh drinking water a day. Captain Rocka and his crew began filling tanker trucks immediately which were distributed as follows: Day 1. General Hospitals Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo Day 2. Colonias Diana Laura and Olas Altas Day 3. Secretaria de Salud and Todos Santos Day 4. Colonia Camino Real Day 5. Hospital Salvatierra La Paz and Colonia Península Sur e INVI Mezquitito On Wednesday, September 24 the M.5. Captain and crew were treated to a taco lunch, pulled up anchor and continued its voyage to Southern California. This total of approximately 130,000 liters was distributed in La Paz, Todos Santos, Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo and a result of a wonderful and effective new collaboration between Dr. Rogelio Ortiz, YachtAid Global, M.5., Costa Baja and the Los Cabos Children’s Foundation. Thanks to all! What a super team!

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FIRST CONTACT IN LOS CABOS AFTER ODILE HOW ARE THE LCCF CHILDREN AFTER HURRICANE ODILE? One week after Hurricane Odile swept through Los Cabos, I was asked to visit the homes of the Los Cabos children who are part of the Los Cabos Children’s Foundation’s (LCCF) Spirit of Joy and Spirit of Love programs and provide first contact after Odile. The goal; to inquire about the children’s health and identify any immediate needs of the family. These visits came with mixed emotions. I suppose I wasn’t prepared to see the modest living conditions of most families. These parents have a compound challenge of raising a family with very little household income so the news of a child who is diagnosed with cancer or a heart condition is not only an emotional shock but an economic shock as well. Part of the amazingness of the LCCF programs is that the economic pressure linked to medical treatments as well as transportation to facilities, away from home meals and accommodations is alleviated significantly. With economic pressure drastically reduced, parents can focus on their children’s health and well-being. Donation of non-perishable food and bottled water were provided to the families with the most challenging economic situations to help with immediate needs. It’s valid to mention that the children of the Spirit of Love and Spirit of Joy programs usually have more than 1 sibling. Mexican families value big, beautiful families much more than big, beautiful homes. 86 2013–14 Impact Statement

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While the modest living conditions were obvious, it was evident that these children are living close to normal lives. In speaking with parents, I would inquire about the children if they were not at the front door, and all were either in the house or at a nearby park with a sibling or another adult. Schools were closed for 3 full weeks after Hurricane Odile. As far as most kids are concerned, Hurricanes allow for some extra play time! I was also very pleased to see the reaction of the parents when I introduced myself as a LCCF volunteer. The kindness extended to these families from LCCF and associated grantee organizations are marked in the lives of these parents. I had the opportunity to listen to their stories. They explained the desperation linked with pursuing treatment through the local healthcare system. One family was sent out of state to an appointment with a specialist only to be informed that the doctor they were scheduled to meet had retired 30 days prior. Can you image the frustration linked to this disappointment and financial waste? Being connected with LCCF and caring, compassionate, competent medical professionals is nothing short of a miracle for these parents. The heavy burden is lifted and hope is strengthened. Finding the homes of these families was often very challenging at times taking up to 2 hours. The address list was pulled from handwritten medical records (that are often illegible). Of course some families move and unfortunately streets and house numbers are not well labelled. I had to rely on the kindness of many people who were able to provide directions. Through this process, I knocked on the wrong door only to find that this family had a child diagnosed with a heart defect. They were thrilled to hear about LCCF. The next day while searching out another family, I asked a nice young couple for directions. Their 1-year old boy also has a heart defect. Both families are now in contact with Brisia, a LCCF employee in La Paz. Both children now have appointments for an evaluation with a cardiologist and if needed will receive corrective heart surgeries. LCCF begins its fourth round of corrective heart surgeries next month beginning November 12th. Indeed, my steps were ordered. What an absolute privilege to volunteer in this capacity. Jayson Stirrup, LCCF Volunteer

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FIRST CONTACT IN LA PAZ AFTER ODILE On the night of September 14th, Hurricane Odile left behind large disasters in Baja California Sur. The next day we woke up with a different city: fallen trees, damaged houses, stores and streets destroyed. We didn’t have any communication, which made us face a very difficult situation. Our main concern, however, was not knowing the conditions of the children in the Los Cabos Children’s Foundation’s (LCCF) programs, Spirit of Love and Spirit of Joy, which I proudly represent in the city of La Paz. LCCF works hard at creating bonds with the children and their families. We care for their well-being and continue to support them and be always attentive to the needs of each one. This helps us be more aware of their life situation and since most of them live in modest houses we knew that after Hurricane Odile they would encounter extreme complications of a lack of food and drinking water which are vital for any human being. Los Cabos Children’s Foundation has a disaster fund, which was immediately put into action to support the families of our little brave heroes. After searching for hours for food and considerable time spent in long lines to pay, I had enough food and supplies to make packages for the families. In order to better assist them, we needed to know how they were and what they needed. I first tried to make contact by phone and messages, however during those first days it didn’t work well due to the lack of these services in many areas. So I gave myself the task of visiting their homes to bring them non-perishable food, water, milk and diapers for the little ones and their families. I also tried to give them the emotional support that was so badly needed in that moment. The affection and gratitude shown by them is beyond my words to describe. To realize that they only had a small tray of beans to feed 3 adults and 5 children was shocking. Seeing their shining eyes as they received the food supplies caused a shift in my heart. I realized how much we could learn from these children’s wonderful example of sharing food they just received with everyone that surrounded them, who also had nothing to eat. During this wonderful work, Dr. Rogelio Ortiz and I found several children playing soccer with a coconut they found from one of the many fallen palm trees. Suddenly from amongst these children, José de Jesús came running towards us. Just four months ago he had open heart surgery thanks to the LCCF Spirit of Love program and the amazing medical team from the Children’s Hospital of Omaha, Nebraska. What a joy to see him play and smile! Of course, I couldn’t go without a big hug from him and he didn’t escape my big kiss too! We stayed with him talking for a couple of hours until his mom arrived, who had to go out to work. They didn’t have electricity, water, nor any food for that day so LCCF’s package was a huge relief for them. Many similar stories I lived thanks to Odile. I found smiles, received many hugs and always heard positive words even in these difficult situations. Some households had less necessities than others, however they all agreed that what was important is that they were all alive and healthy. Some parents, filled with excitement, couldn’t stop thanking LCCF for giving their kids the opportunity to live thanks to an open heart surgery.  They truly appreciated that we were still part of their lives, following up on their needs and bringing them water and food when they needed it the most. I felt so fortunate to be a part of this great big family.

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A THANK YOU TO THE YACHT M5 FROM THE MINISTER OF HEALTH Many of you might remember the recent Facebook posting about the yacht M5 and the first water they brought in after Hurricane Odile: The M.5., one of the largest private super yachts in the world, arrived in BCS. Team members Los Cabos Children’s Foundation and Yacht Aid Global just received this letter of gratitude from the Minister of Health, Dr. Virgilio Jiménez Patiño with a request to pass it on to M5. The message that is expressed is so wonderful we wanted to share it with all of our FB friends as well!

Fortunately, many of the cancer patients of our Spirit of Joy program were in the oncology center at the hospital which suffered little significant damage and didn’t delay their treatments. Knowing that some of them had to go home soon, we gave them food supplies for their families in the oncology area. The families of the Spirit of Joy and the Spirit of Love children that live in the municipalities of Mulegé and Loreto escaped the worst of Hurricane Odile and only suffered minor damage. The Los Cabos Children’s Foundation, through its representatives and volunteers, did not rest until they knew that all of the families of the children of our programs were safe and stable. Through the coordination of our executive director, Greg Edwards, the help of Jayson Stirrup in Los Cabos, Eladia Corumel in Comondú, and Dr. Rogelio Ortiz and myself in La Paz, we continued visiting their homes as many times as necessary, always with words of encouragement, water and food. Unfortunately, we cannot magically change difficult situations like this one but we can, as servants to the community, remain always alert and ready to serve when needed. I have always believed that the best of a person can be revealed in the worst of situations. Brisia Velarde, LCCF Representative

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THE ODILE RESPONSE TEAM STRIKES AGAIN! The Odile Response Team strikes again! The Los Cabos Children’s Foundation, in coalition with YachtAid Global, Monica Page Logistics, Matter Org, Feed My Starving Children and Sarahuaro Community, brought to Los Cabos a 53ft truck filled with: water, food, clothes, shoes, cleaning products, exam tables and wheelchairs. This is the fourth shipment as a result of the donations to the LCCF’s Hurricane Odile Disaster Relief Fund. These donations will benefit 7 associations in Los Cabos: Liga Mac, Red Autismo, Mobimex, Amigos de los Niños, Casa San Juan Diego, Gente Joven por un Cambio and Sarahuaro Community.

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We would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to Tiendas OXXO  for their generous donation of over 80 food bags to our foundation. These food bags were given directly to the families of our Spirit of Joy and Spirit of Love programs in La Paz and Los Cabos. We appreciate their solidarity and concern shown towards the feeding of our children.

Motivated to help the Los Cabos community after Hurricane Odile, several families from the United States planned a small event to brighten this holiday season for some of our children. Thanks to the initiative of Mike and Heather Huseby, 13 local families of Los Cabos Children’s Foundation, Mobilize Mankind and Gente Joven por un Cambio, enjoyed a delightful Christmas Party this past Sunday January 4th. It was an evening filled with smiles from the children after eating pizza, painting their cute faces, singing songs, painting cartoons and opening Christmas presents.  We would like to thank  SmArtfun Cabo,  Papelería Y Arte Vanessa, Elizabeth Martínez and Esperanza Chiquete Bastidas for donating their services; and  Salon Jardin La Paloma,AVIS Rent A Car (Los Cabos) and Dominos Pizza Los Cabos for their discounts. Also, a very special thanks to Tiendas OXXO for donating food bags for these families to take home after the party.  Finally, a big thanks to all the generous volunteers from the Unites States and Mexico that collaborated to make this party a success. It definitely was a memorable day for these families of Los Cabos!

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The last two years saw a systematic effort to diversify our revenue streams in to our programs. Several organizations approached us to be the beneficiaries of their fundraising activities. They appreciated our active programs dedicated to helping children and the strong presence in the Baja community that LCCF has developed over the years! Among these are the Cabo Villas Resort, Taste of Cabo and Sammy Hagar & the Cabo Wabo Cantina. We thank you for taking the initiative and approaching us! The Cabo Villas & LCCF partnership is an example of innovative thinking combined with a passionate love for the children in our community on the part of owner Chris Erickson. This is an ongoing fundraiser that keeps on ticking! Please read the story and interview with Chris amongst the articles that follow. We have also been fortunate enough to have both corporate and private foundations seek us out and wish to contribute from within Mexico. In the near future, we would like to see more individual donors with multi-year commitments, develop an estate planning and planned giving program and expand the endowment fund. The LCCF signature fundraising event, the Duckett Challenge Golf Tournament, continues to be annually an opportunity for our friends and supporters (the LCCF stockholders if you will) to gather together, renew old friendships and hear about the progress of the LCCF programs since the last Duckett. In a way, it acts as our annual stockholders meeting where those of you who have stock in what we do can come, hear reports, meet some of the kids in whose lives you made a difference, hear their stories and decide at what level you would like to participate during the upcoming year. Perhaps this booklet can serve as an annual report. Our programs run all year and are growing in size and intensity. Saving children’s lives is what we do. Fundraising is one of the ways we can put fuel in the tank so we can go forward. Joining hearts and hands we can continue to make a difference, make sacrifices and continue to send out circles of love. Greg Edwards LCCF 2013–2014 It has been extremely humbling for me to be involved and to see what has transpired with our Cancer and Cardiac programs over the last two years and to witness firsthand the gratitude of the children and families in being able to receive that care now right where they live. The bonds shared between the families going through these difficult times together is priceless. Brenda Kuyper LCCF, Administration

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Dear Los Cabos Children’s Foundation family of friends and supporters, Anyone who attended the 2013 Duckett Challenge Golf Tournament, the LCCF annual signature fund raising event, knows what a wonderful atmosphere of joy and enthusiasm permeated the daily golf rounds, the bus tour of our grantee’s incredible community service projects, the ancillary activities including unrehearsed spectacular whale watching shows and most of all the enchanting and fun evening dining and entertainment. All in all the 2013 Duckett Challenge was a tremendous social success by anyone’s standards! What you might not know is how great a fundraising financial success it was for the LCCF ongoing programs. It took us 90 days to get all of the final expenses from our suppliers, to value the in-kind donations and to receive and process at least 90% of the Miracle Bid pledges before I was willing to publish the results to you all. I believe that your generous and heartfelt investment in improving the healthcare and lives of the Baja children requires due diligence on my part and a substantiated report on results. See our website at for a detailed Profit/Loss statement on this year’s Duckett. It can be found on the website at About Us>Finances. I am thrilled to announce that as of August 8th the 2013 Duckett Challenge netted $1,088,000 dollars. When the outstanding $112,000 Miracle Bid pledges are fulfilled, the amount of investment into the lifesaving/altering children’s health programs LCCF administers in the Baja will be a little over $1,200,000 dollars!!!! INCREDIBLE!!! A very special and well-deserved salute to our 2013 Duckett Challenge committee led by Richard O’Neal and to our Founder Tom Walsh for presenting to us all how to combine fun and philanthropy! Our hat is off to Cindy Walsh who managed somehow to take such a lofty vision as was given her by the committee and make it happen! I’m sure I speak for all of us when I say BRAVO and THANK YOU! Now, how will these funds be used? The Board of Directors has approved a budget that sets guidelines and designates these funds as follows: 

As promised at the 2013 Duckett, all 2013 administrative expenses required this year to operate will be funded by the Board of Directors and Founder leaving the 1.2 million available to invest in LCCF programs and sustainability. Programs - $702,000 is designated for children’s services programs this year as follows: o $150,000 to our Spirit of Joy children’s cancer program and center.

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o $165,000 to our children’s cardiac open heart surgery program. o $387,000 to the following grantees:  Amigos de Los Ninos – cancer treatment/support, general health clinics  Liga MAC – basic needs and health services  Mobilize Mankind – paralysis: wheelchairs, prosthetics & orthotics, therapy training, orthopedic medical referrals  East Cape Health Services – dental, diabetic,trauma,prevention  Red Autismo – autism  Casa Carlitos – USA hosting and hospitality for extreme medical cases  Corazon de Nino - open heart surgery support, coordination  Casa San Juan Diego – nutritional support/training, malnutrition prevention  Ninos de Capitan – develop medical component in day care program  Sarahuaro – develop medical component in ongoing programs Sustainability – A Los Cabos Children’s Foundation endowment fund has been established with an initial investment of $500,000.

All organizations receiving funding have been personally visited and evaluated and new, stronger reporting guidelines established. I am committed to stretch every dollar donated to the maximum benefit for the children of the


I hope that you have had a moment to look at the Heart Program update you should have received in your email by now. As you can see, we are already off and running with a successful launch of our partnership with the Children’s Hospital of Omaha in solving the urgent situation with congenital heart defects in children in the Baja. Ten children underwent successful surgeries at a cost of 50k. This would have cost at least 300k if sent to the US for treatment. Our Spirit of Joy cancer program and center is now operational in La Paz. Permission has been granted by the Mexican federal government to operate and we hope to have full accreditation in November. In the meantime, LCCF will invest 100k in urgent equipment needs and 50k in staff support and training. A grant has been issued to Amigos de Los Ninos of which a part will be used for cancer treatment supplies. In closing, let me share with you one last invisible-to-most support system that has been realized. That is the amount of enthusiasm, recognition and support LCCF has and is receiving from the BCS state government. We

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are working closely with the Governor, First Lady, Secretary of Health, Senators and Hospital directors in a spirit of unity and cooperation not felt or seen before. I have worked in BCS for 10 years and have never seen this level of cooperation before. The First Lady, Maria Helena Hernandez de Covarrubias, is definitely the spirit and fire behind this support. She passionately cares about the children of her state, respects and honors the work of the nonprofits contributing to a better society here and is committed to continuing into the future this team approach to solving our children’s medical issues. Here is the message to you all, the family and friends of LCCF, that Helena sent to the closing evening of the 2013 Duckett. In her own words:

The future is in our collective will and hands. Stay tuned to LCCF Facebook, Website and Emails for updates.


Some of the major donations at the 2013 Duckett were for 2 years….so we are off to a strong start for the 2014 Duckett Challenge whose theme will be IMPACT. What has been the tangible impact of the donations received in 2013? Come and find out!!

Good evening and thank you very much for taking the time to come to this social event. I appreciate very, very much all of you for cooperating with a human and altruistic gesture in your support of the Los Cabos Children's Foundation of Los Cabos. Also, my thanks go out from the Government of Baja California Sur for caring for our children, the future pillars of our society, which we want to be solid, healthy and humane.

SAVE THE DATES: Duckett Challenge 2014 - March 20, 21, 22. See you there!

I am deeply grateful to work among a group of people each contributing a grain of hope and when added together we have tons of hope and faith! You are the engine of this foundation, without you there would be many needs in the future yet thanks to the efforts of people like you working together with the government we can do so much. We can give faith and encouragement to those in need. As the newspapers say, “cancer is the disease of the century” and by working together we can fight it. We may not find the cure today, but we can fight and give life and hope to the children's future. Through people like you, who care about their lives, they will have the opportunity to see another day.

Greg Edwards President/CEO Los Cabos Children’s Foundation

On behalf of the parents, the state government of Baja California Sur and myself, thank you very much for your noble gesture and I'm inviting you to continue this noble spirit of joining hands when we need it most. I leave you with a thought from the DALAI LAMA "’There are only two days in the year that nothing can be done. One is called yesterday and the other tomorrow. So today is the perfect day to love, believe, do and mostly live’” Thank you.” María Helena Covarrubias de Hernandez

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FRED DUCKETT CHALLENGE GOLF EVENT 2014 World-class Golf, fabulous people, perfect climate, exquisite dining, heartfelt charitable giving, cultural forays . . . All with magnificent ocean views of the Sea of Cortez! The  Los Cabos Children’s Foundation  was born out of the desire to help three children with leukemia from Cabo, and has quickly grown into the most significant children’s charity in the Baja. Our mission is “to provide medical, educational, and humanitarian assistance to the children, their families, and supportive organizations of the Los Cabos area.” We would like to extend an invitation to you to join us for the 8th Annual Fred Duckett Golf Challenge, on March 20-22, 2014 in Los Cabos, Mexico. The tournament will once again benefit the Los Cabos Children’s Foundation and will add to the over $7 million that has already been raised for the missions of LCCF. This year, Inside the Ropes, an event management company, has been hired to help run the Duckett. This year the Duckett will include a practice round and two days of tournament golf at the prestigious Querencia Country Club, and the one and only Palmilla Golf Club. Both courses feature stunning views of the Baja peninsula and the Sea of Cortez. Three days of world class golf, and three nights of fun filled entertainment and local cuisine will guarantee your group a memorable experience. The final night’s party will be held under the stars at Querencia Country Club and will feature The World’s Greatest Hits – Live! with lead singers, Alex Ligertwood formerly of Santana, John Ford Coley, formerly of England Dan and John Ford Coley, John Cafferty of the Beaver Brown Band, Bill Champlin, formerly of  Chicago, and Robbie Dupree. It promises to be a night of greatest hits from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s!

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Hola Wheelchair Staff/Volunteers sharing the wheelchair factory with the bus tour from this year’s Los Cabos Children’s Foundation Duckett Challenge Golf Tournament!

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2014 1/28/2015



News for friends and supporters

LCCF endowment fund! I was, and still am, amazed and thrilled by the incredible generosity of our friends and take it as a profoundly sincere and very visible endorsement of our work and a unified vote of confidence in our direction as an organization.

News for friends and supporters

I promised you that night at the Duckett that your donations would go directly into programs and immediately. On April 6th,7th and 8th, only 15 days after our evening together, Dominic and four other children waiting to have holes in their hearts repaired were brought to Salvatierra Hospital and the procedures successfully done. To read the full story and see the photos, please go to our LCCF blog: Dominic and the Duckett: A Life Changing Partnership The Duckett Challenge 2014 was truly a magical event and journey together with so many memorable moments. Some of you may have noticed a pretty young lady taking photographs at the Duckett. Well, that was Amber of Amber Dawn Photography and she has compiled and posted over 700 photos on Shutterfly that were taken during these three days of fun and fellowship. On Shutterfly, one can make and purchase custom calendars, books or just get the photos they want out of the super pics Amber took of the entire event. Please take a look and enjoy reliving our journey together at:

The Los Cabos Children's Foundation wishes to thank the LCCF community of friends and supporters that attended the Fred Duckett Challenge 2014 and truly 'Gave Themselves To Love'!!! As President and CEO, and on behalf of the Founder, Board of Directors, the Duckett Co-Chairs, the Duckett family, our event managers 'Inside the Ropes' and the Mexican children and parents we ultimately serve, I would like to thank all of the attendees of the Fred Duckett Challenge 2014 that returned for another year and made the entire event so special.

In closing, please know that the work of our programs and the children being served will move forward at a lightning clip thanks to your wonderful outpouring of love and generosity. News of this work and its results will be kept current on our Website, Facebook, Blog and in periodic Email Newsletters. Please read the articles below and check in regularly to stay current as we are definitely in the fast lane for 2014!

This year's event was designed to present an opportunity for you all to enter into a closer relationship with the LCCF children and identify more fully with the work of LCCF over the past year. The golf tournament was organized into the Spirit of Love and the Spirit of Joy flights, named after our cancer and congenital heart defect programs. Each team was named after one of the children that we all saved from a death sentence last year. The golf course and event areas had banners that introduced you to some of the children with a picture and a short bio. The closing dinner and presentation was an opportunity to share with you all; the stewardship of the funds invested by you all at the last Duckett; the wonderful and strong support we have from the Mexican government through the Governor, First Lady and Senator of BCS; the joyful 21 children and parents who came to sing to you all a song of gratitude and give you a piece of their heart, just as you gave them a piece of yours in 2013.

In appreciation, Greg Edwards President/CEO Los Cabos Children's Foundation

News for donors and friends

It was also an opportunity for our friends and supporters to gather together as a community of benefactors and philanthropists to express their vote of confidence in the mission and goals of LCCF and commit to another year of saving children's lives. And that you did! The Fred Duckett Challenge 2014 has turned out to be the most successful Duckett fundraiser ever....and that is saying a lot! An incredible total of 1,021,616 dollars was pledged to the children's programs AND an additional 1 million was pledged to the

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Twenty-one brave, little Heart Heroes travelled from their hometowns throughout Baja California Sur to Cabo in order to give thanks to the supporters who funded their life-saving surgeries by singing the song A Million Friends. Read more 1/4

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THE CORO DE PAJARITOS (THE CHOIR OF LITTLE BIRDIES) THANK THE FRIENDS WHO SAVED THEIR LIVES Last month we were delighted by an appearance of the Coro de Pajaritos singing A Million Friends during the closing event of the Fred Duckett Challenge. The choir was made up of the 21 children who received open heart surgeries in 2013 through the Los Cabos Children’s Spirit of Love program. These brave, little champions travelled from their hometowns throughout Baja California Sur to Cabo in order to give thanks to the supporters who funded their life-saving surgeries. For those who were unable to attend this wonderful event filled with the Spirit of Love, as well as those with limited Spanish, we would like to share the lyrics of A Million Friends in English: I just want to see the fields, I just want to sing my song, but I don´t want to sing alone, I want a chorus of little birds. Chorus: I want to bring this song my friend to the one who may need it I want to have a million friends that way I can sing stronger. I want to have a million friends that way I can sing stronger. I just want a strong wind, to bring my boat northward, and along the way I will fish and divide the catch upon arrival. Chorus I want to build the peace of the future I want a safe home. I want my child to step firmly, singing loudly, smiling freely. Chorus I want love throughout this life, feel the warmth of a friendly hand, I want to see my brother smiling at the wind, see him with tears of joy. Chorus Come with me to see the fields, sing with me my song but I don´t want to sing alone, I want a chorus of little birds. Chorus

At the conclusion of the performance, each child hand delivered a red heart made of glass to each of the attendees as a symbol of their appreciation in providing the much needed financial assistance to make the surgeries possible. Words were not needed afterwards. What words could be spoken to express the gratitude of the children and their families? The hugs said it all!

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IN MEMORY OF MARK AMUNDSON NOVEMBER 27, 1958 –AUGUST 25, 2014 Mark Loren Amundson died unexpectedly this past August 25th in an ATV accident at Sutton Bay, South Dakota. Mark was part of a long family tradition of helping children. As a young boy, Mark got to know some of the kids in the Children’s Home Society (CHS). This organization helps abused and neglected children find a loving family and Mark’s parents would bring kids to their home to spend the holidays together. This left a lasting impression on Mark and he was motivated to assist CHS ever since. Mark’s profession as a physical therapist in the PGA Tour help him befriend some of the world’s best golfers. He then had the idea to invite these players to come to Sioux Falls and play in a benefit event for the Children’s Home Society. The ‘Orion Classic’ was born in 1996 and has been running annually ever since. Thanks to Mark, this golf challenge has raised about $5 million for the Children’s Home Society. Mark was a visionary man that used his passion for golf to benefit the kids. The ‘Orion Classic’ will continue as his legacy event to help children and families in need. Mark’s relationship with the Los Cabos Children’s Foundation began in November of 2012 when he and his son, Danny, received a contract to assist in the organization and development of the 2014 Fred Duckett Challenge golf tournament. Their firm, Inside the Ropes, agreed to take on the challenge of weaving into the fabric of a great golf tournament the programs and children in dire need that LCCF served throughout the year. The presence of these children in banners on the tees, in the names of the tournament flights and teams, during the donation challenge and in photos and posters around the meeting areas brought a whole new dimension to the tournament and a genuine profound awareness of the identity and important work of the Foundation. Mark was also a personal supporter and donor to the children of LCCF as well. On behalf of all at LCCF, it is with a heavy heart we say goodbye to such a genuinely charitable man, who was both a friend and co-worker of the Los Cabo’s Children’s Foundation, the people of South Dakota and the needy children of the world. Thank you Mark and God Speed. Greg Edwards, Executive Director Los Cabos Children’s Foundation

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TASTE OF CABO: SABOR A CABO The Los Cabos Children’s Foundation is pleased to share with you all that LCCF has been selected as one of the benefit charities of the Taste of Cabo (Sabor a Cabo) event this year. In addition, LCCF has been selected as the Non Profit Foundation that the Taste of Cabo leadership would like to work through in assisting Los Cabos get back on its feet after Hurricane Odile. To this end, an agreement has been made with Taste of Cabo that 25% of ticket sales for LCCF friends and supporters purchased in the LCCF marked areas of the seating map will be donated to LCCF for our children’s programs. In addition, a percentage of overall total ticket sales will be donated to LCCF’s Hurricane Odile Relief Fund for use in disaster relief and rebuilding of Los Cabos. The annual Taste of Cabo event is one of the liveliest and most enjoyable outdoor evenings of the year in Cabo and this year will be no different. Surrounded by international chefs and cuisine, along with great entertainment under the starry skies of Los Cabos, here is a chance to have a fantastic time AND give back to the community at the same time. Please join us on the December 6TH for this gala evening and support the Los Cabos Children’s Foundation’s lifesaving programs.


LCCF & CABO VILLAS PARTNERSHIP. The Los Cabos Children’s Foundation (LCCF) is thrilled to partner with the Cabo Villas Beach Resort and Spa in furthering its mission of changing the world one child at a time. It all starts at check-in by inviting members and guests to donate a dollar a day during their vacation. Members and guests are given a bookmark with an overview of the partnership and there is a dedicated in-room television channel outlining additional information about the mission, history and programs of LCCF. Monday nights a representative from LCCF attends the Resort’s Members Party to speak about the foundation’s programs. (Learn more about our programs: Spirit of Love, Spirit of Joy, Spirit of Service) The management and staff of Cabo Villas have demonstrated a great deal of passion and excitement in making this a successful partnership. Members and guests have responded to the call to action and shown gratitude for the work being done through the LCCF programs. Most are very pleased to have the opportunity to contribute to the health and well-being of the children of the Baja. Cabo Villas is not only making a significant contribution to furthering the reach of the LCCF programs but it also serves as a great ambassador, creating awareness of the work of the foundation.

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LCCF recently spoke with the Owner and Developer of Cabo Villas Beach Resort and Spa, Chris Erickson, to learn more about what this partnership means to him and his team. This is what he shared: Interview with Chris Erickson at Cabo Villas Tell us about the partnership between Cabo Villas and The Los Cabos Children’s Foundation? We have thousands of people that come every year, stay with us and trust us as a family owned and operated property. After meeting with LCCF’s founder Tom Walsh and CEO Greg Edwards, learning about their values and what they stand for, I decided that we wanted to become diplomats and as involved as possible in helping people and creating awareness of their programs. Our guests listen to us because they know us and not a lot of them know about LCCF, so we thought we could be good diplomats because of that. How did it all begin? How it all began is actually a very interesting story. My captain had his nephew come down with leukemia. We were fishing one day and I heard him getting a call and he became very emotional after hearing the news and learning about his nephew’s condition. So it was just coincidence or like Tom Walsh says, it was a Godcidence. Shortly thereafter I met his nephew Julian and became very passionate about learning more about the disease, how to cure it and how much the treatment costs. After meeting Julian, I met the Los Cabos Children’s Foundation and became curious about their programs. I learned that without their help children like Julian don’t stand a chance due to the extremely high expenses involved in the treatment. What is the heart behind this partnership for Cabo Villas? After living in Cabo for 25 years and being blessed by this amazing place I have learned to give back to this beautiful community. The older I get, the more I try to be a better person and it means so much to me to be able to give. I learned that when we give we get back tenfold and I know that the support we give goes directly to these kids. LCCF has the infrastructure and their programs help children that have no other option for healthcare, they just don’t have a chance for a cure or treatment without their heart and cancer program in the State. What made you decide to partner with LCCF? Over the past years we have worked with several charities and we are proud of what we have accomplished with them. We have worked with international organizations and they seem to be more business oriented. I learned at the LCCF fundraisers that the people involved in LCCF are passionate and care on a personal level and I decided that that’s the type of organization we want to be involved with at Cabo Villas.


SAMMY HAGAR NEW YEAR FUNDRAISER Sammy Hagar (The Red Rocker) celebrated in style the New Year in Cabo at his famous Cabo Wabo Cantina with proceeds going to the Los Cabos Children’s Foundation. The house rocked with Sammy playing along with Toby Keith and the attendees had both a fantastic time and gave back to the community at the same time. More than $40,000 dollars were raised and donated to support the programs of the Los Cabos Children’s Foundation by the Cabo Wabo family. Thank you to Cabo Wabo Cantina, The Sammy Hagar Foundation and Marco and Janna Monroy for your generous support and help for the children of Baja California Sur!

It is evident that the passion and dedication to this partnership from Cabo Villas starts at the top and is contagious to the staff, members and guests of this fabulous resort. The Los Cabos Children’s Foundation extends a huge thanks to the Cabo Villas family for their trust, teamwork and support. The future is bright indeed!

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Programs Fundraising Administration

In 2013, we changed our granting cycle from a calendar year to a July to June period to better align with the contributions received at our signature fundraiser the Duckett Challenge. This allowed us to grant funds based upon actual funds donated at the Duckett rather than based on estimates. This worked so well, that in 2014 the Board decided to change our fiscal year to match the grant cycle and to align the Foundation with the standard practices of nonprofits worldwide. As part of this process, we hired the well-respected Sioux Falls accounting firm of Eide Bailly to do a formal review of year 2013 and an extensive audit on the first half of 2014. In January of 2015, the audit was completed with the support of our CFO, Heide Olson of All-in-One Accounting, and the audited numbers are included in this booklet. Finally, a set of graphs is included to emphasize the dramatic relationship of administrative costs vs program investment during these two years. Keep in mind that the 2014 graph is a six month snapshot rather than a full year due to our audit and fiscal year change. Therefore, fundraising expense is much higher due to the Duckett Challenge occurring in the first six months of 2014 and will lower in proportion by the end of year. LCCF is on course to have the same relational results for program investment, administration and fundraising for year 2014 as in 2013. To have administrative costs at 5% and program investment at over 80% is phenomenal across the nonprofit sector and is a fact we can all be proud to share with our friends and potential future LCCF donors and supporters!



Greg Edwards LCCF 2013–2014

“The financial condition of LCCF has been dramatically improved over the last 2 years. We are in a much stronger cash and expense management position. With the completion of the audit we are well positioned to continue on with audit level financials, reporting to the board and ability to react quickly to questions and concerns.”


Net Income Expenses Revenue

Heide Olson, CFO All-in-One Accounting

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Los Cabos Children's Foundation

Statement of Financial Position December 31, 2013

LCCF STATEMENT OF FINANCIAL POSITION DECEMBER 31, 2013 Assets Cash and cash equivalents Cash - fiscal agent Promises to give, net Prepaid expenses and other assets Property and equipment, net Beneficial interests in assets held by International Community Foundation


337,102 8,550 438,038 27,939 168 540,024

Liabilities and Net Assets Accrued expenses and other liabilities Fiscal agent payable Deferred revenue




5,070 8,550 23,000

Total liabilities


Net Assets Unrestricted

1,315,201 $


Los Cabos Children's Foundation

Statement of Activities Year Ended December 31, 2013

Los Cabos Children's Foundation

Statement of Functional Expenses Year Ended December 31, 2013

LCCF STATEMENT OF FUNCTIONAL EXPENSES YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2013 Support Services Management Fundraising and and General Development

Program Services Medical programs Grants Entertainment Food and beverage Payroll Travel Recognition/awards Equipment rental Development Rent Bank charges Professional fees & consulting Phone Printing & reproduction Supplies Patient/family support Other Insurance Depreciation


956,024 518,157 82,679 4,863 10,820 7,772 2,400 5,873 3,907 6,388 3,375 1,602,258

Less expenses included with revenues on the statement of activities Cost of direct benefits to donors Total expenses included in the expense section on the statement of activities





27,691 3,474 51 3,607 17,360 5,552 13,925 1,958 388 2,790 2,610 4,800 2,174 86,380





299,924 148,949 9,775 59,382 66,978 43,946 3,607 3,514 1,958 6,714 279 240 645,266

Total $




956,024 518,157 299,924 148,949 120,145 67,719 67,029 43,946 18,034 17,360 16,838 16,325 9,789 7,102 6,976 6,388 6,225 4,800 2,174 2,333,904




LCCF STATEMENT OF ACTIVITIES YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2013 Unrestricted Revenue, Support, and Gains Contributions In-kind contributions Gross special events revenue (including $233,340 of in-kind contributions) Less cost of direct benefits to donors Net special events revenue


293,832 778,165 1,822,094 (515,851) 1,306,243

Gain on beneficial interest in assets held by International Communtiy Foundation Interest income Gain on sale of property and equipment

35,024 3,102 5,000

Total unrestricted revenue, support and gains


Expenses Program Management and general Fundraising

1,602,258 86,380 129,415

Total expenses


Change in Unrestricted Net Assets


Unrestricted Net Assets, Beginning of Year


See Accountant’s Report Notes to Financial Statements Unrestricted Net Assets, Endand of Year



Los Cabos Children's Foundation

Statement of Cash Flows


Cash Flows from Operating Activities Change in net assets Adjustments to reconcile change in net assets to net cash from operating activities Depreciation and amortization Gain on sale of property and equipment Gain on beneficial interests in assets held by International Community Foundation Changes in operating assets and liabilities Promises to give Prepaid expenses and other assets See Accountant’s Report and Financial Statements Accrued expenses andNotes otherto liabilities Deferred revenue

603,313 2,174 (5,000) (35,024) 46,725 (27,165) 4,772 4 3,000

Net Cash from Operating Activities


Cash Flows from Investing Activities Purchases of property and equipment Proceeds from sales of property and equipment Contributions to beneficial interests in assets held by Community Foundation

(168) 5,000 (505,000)

Net Cash used for Investing Activities


Net Change in Cash and Cash Equivalents

92,627 244,475

Cash and Cash Equivalents, Beginning of Year Cash and Cash Equivalents, End of Year

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Los Cabos Children's Foundation LCCF STATEMENT OF FINANCIAL POSITION JUNE 30, 2014 Assets Cash and cash equivalents Cash - fiscal agent Promises to give, net Beneficial interests in assets held by International Community Foundation

Liabilities and Net Assets Accrued expenses and other liabilities Fiscal agent payable

Statement of Financial Position June 30, 2014


730,292 7,000 545,509 564,460




10,518 7,000

Total liabilities


Net Assets Unrestricted Temporarily restricted

1,564,234 265,509

Total net assets

1,829,743 $


Los Cabos Children's Foundation

Statement of Activities Six Month Period Ended June 30, 2014


Change in beneficial interest in assets held by International Community Foundation Interest income Net assets released from restrictions for operating purposes Other Total unrestricted revenue, support and gains Expenses Program Management and general Fundraising


LCCF STATEMENT OF FUNCTIONAL EXPENSES 6 MONTH PERIOD ENDED JUNE 30, 2014 Support Services Management Fundraising and and General Development

Program Services Medical programs Grants Entertainment Food and beverage Payroll Travel Recognition/awards Equipment rental Auto Development Rent Bank charges Professional fees & consulting Phone Printing & reproduction Supplies Patient/family support Other Insurance Depreciation


Less expenses included with revenues on the statement of activities Cost of direct benefits to donors

547,746 70,500 48,819 3,674 1,729 14,198 3,815 2,024 2,444 654 2,302 4,177 702,082




20,577 2,624 1,236 4,733 10,187 2,725 8,095 814 468 1,644 2,982 168 56,253




214,696 111,252 5,635 4,903 29,261 10,250 124 4,733 272 1,012 3,842 164 399 386,543

Total $





547,746 70,500 214,696 111,252 75,031 11,201 29,261 10,250 3,089 23,664 10,187 6,812 10,119 4,270 4,964 4,110 7,558 168 1,144,878




26,929 316,680 1,290,637 (355,209) 935,428 24,436 588 81,528 150 1,385,739 702,082 56,253 31,334

Total expenses

Statement of Functional Expenses Six Month Period Ended June 30, 2014

Total expenses included in the expense section on the $ statement of activities

Unrestricted Revenue, Support, and Gains Contributions In-kind contributions Gross special events revenue (including $64,819 of in-kind contributions) Less cost of direct benefits to donors Net special events revenue

Los Cabos Children's Foundation


Los Cabos Children's Foundation

Statement of Cash Flows

Six Month Period Ended June 30, LCCF STATEMENT OF CASH FLOWS 6 MONTH PERIOD ENDED JUNE 30,2014 2014

Cash Flows from Operating Activities Change in net assets Adjustments to reconcile change in net assets to net cash from operating activities Depreciation and amortization Gain on beneficial interests in assets held by International Community Foundation Changes in operating assets and liabilities See Notes to Financial Statements Promises to give Prepaid expenses and other assets Accrued expenses and other liabilities Deferred revenue


514,542 168 (24,436) 4 (107,471) 27,939 5,449 (23,000)

Net Cash from Operating Activities


2 (81,528)

Net Change in Cash and Cash Equivalents


Cash and Cash Equivalents, Beginning of Period


Change in Temporarily Restricted Net Assets


Cash and Cash Equivalents, End of Period

Change in Net Assets


Change in Unrestricted Net Assets


See Notes to Financial Temporarily RestrictedStatements Net Assets Net assets released from restrictions

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Net Assets, Beginning of Period


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UNITED STATES PO Box 2057 Sioux Falls, SD 57101-2057 phone: 605-275-6305 MEXICO Carretera Transp. Km 28 En frente de El Zalate, Local 1 Costa Azul San Jose del Cabo, BCS Mexico 23406 phone: 624-157-3851

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LCCF Community Impact Statement