I was raised in a small town in West Virginia. I watched family members, friends and other citizens in my community help others daily. As a young child, I learned the joy of helping others without expecting anything in return. As an avid reader of local and national newspapers, I read several stories about spiritual and medical organizations traveling internationally to help people who did not have access to healthcare, education, food, shelter and/or clothing. Although I found inspiration in each newspaper article and longed for the opportunity to help individuals in need, I was not sure how to get involved and where I could possibly fit in. How could I fly on a plane to another country and be of help to a group of professionals so they can provide the best care?
Fast forward about 10 years later, I met my now husband, Bryan. One of our earliest conversations involved him describing a medical mission that he had been on as a college student. As he described his experience, I selfishly drifted off to dreaming about the one day that this just may be possible for me. In 2014, and four children later, Bryan joined an Operation Walk team from Denver as a guest physician. Bryan’s excitement and energy about the medical mission trip was infectious. I was so excited for him to be apart of such a meaningful experience that was going to help the most grateful, strong and deserving patients…walk! From that trip came the birth of Operation Walk Carolinas. I have watched him work diligently with his team, and I have listened on many nights about all of the intricate details that make the OpWalk trips successful. Subsequently, my desire to join the OpWalk Carolinas team has grown every year. Our family grew by one more child in 2015, therefore rightfully delaying my application until now. I would be honored to be an OpWalk Carolinas team member. This organization stands for everything that I have yearned for since being a young girl; improving the quality of life of others living in developing countries and expecting nothing in return.