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DENVER, Aug. 1, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Team Zaryen, Port-au-Prince’s amputee soccer team, will tour the United States this fall, running soccer clinics for wounded members of the U.S. military and focusing attention on the great strides being made by those with disabilities in Haiti.

The tour will be co-sponsored by the Knights of Columbus and Project Medishare, who co-founded “Healing Haiti’s Children” – a program that has made prosthetics available to every child who lost a limb in last year’s earthquake in Port-au-Prince. All of the players on Team Zaryen have received prosthetics courtesy of this program. The earthquake in Haiti last year left thousands of amputees in its wake – many of them children and young adults.

The team and its U.S. tour are some of many positive results to have come from the “Healing Haiti’s Children” program. The program makes a multi-year course of prosthetic care and physical therapy available to every child who lost a limb as a result of the earthquake. Included in the rehabilitation is the “Return to Sport” program where Team Zaryen coaches children and youth in this fast-paced sport so that they too can enjoy the fun and excitement of sport and learn to lead normal lives.

The Knights of Columbus have committed more than $1 million to the “Healing Haiti’s Children” program through Project Medishare, which runs the premier hospital for amputees in Haiti.

“The Knights of Columbus is honored to be able to be able to help transform the lives of children and young people in Haiti and to bring healing and hope to some of the neediest people in our hemisphere,” said Supreme Knight Carl Anderson. “We are very happy to have the members of Team Zaryen, who have overcome so much, with us at our convention.”

“Following the earthquake, there was a tremendous outpouring of support from the people of the United States, much of it coordinated by America’s armed forces,” said Dr. Bob Gailey, director of rehabilitation services for Project Medishare. “Team Zaryen is now looking to return the favor by running clinics for wounded American service members this fall in the United States, and we are honored to be working together with the Knights of Columbus to assist these young people in Haiti and to be providing these clinics for the U.S. military.”

A key reason for forming the soccer team was to change attitudes in Haiti and to help remove the negative stigma associated with being an amputee in Haitian society. The members of Team Zaryen believe their example will prove to the youth of their nation that despite any handicap, there are no limits to what an individual, a team, or a nation can achieve.

Project Medishare for Haiti was founded in 1994 by Drs. Barth Green and Arthur Fournier when they assembled the first team of faculty from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and Nursing to assess the health status of Haitians and explore ways of rebuilding their healthcare infrastructure in a long term and meaningful way.

The Knights of Columbus is the world’s largest lay Catholic organization, with more than 1.8 million members around the world. Last year they donated more than $154 million to charity and donated more than 70 million volunteer hours to charitable causes.

Representatives from Team Zaryen with Jason Miller & Dr. Bob Gailey, Director of Rehabilitation Services for Project Medishare, at the Knights of Columbus 129th annual Supreme Convention in Denver, CO.

Special thanks to Perry Ellis for outfitting Team Zaryen for the US tour!

This article can be found on the PRNewswire by clicking here!

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Wilfred Macena

Twenty-six year old Wilfred Macena was at work welding in a shop when the catastrophic earthquake hit Haiti in January 2010. Like so many others, Wilfred was trapped under the rubble. He was able to free himself but not without escaping injury. Wilfred damaged his right leg when it was crushed by falling debris.

Wilfred stayed at home with his injured leg for three days before finally getting to Adventist Hospital. He waited at Adventist Hospital for four days but ended up leaving out of frustration as he was never seen by a doctor and went to the neighboring Dominican Republic. Seven days after being injured in the earthquake, Wilfred had an above the knee amputation on his right leg in the Dominican Republic. At first he was very hesitant about the procedure. He asked the doctor what his prognosis would be following the amputation and was told that he would be able to walk again with a prosthetic leg which made him feel comfortable with the procedure.

On April 1, 2010, Wilfred went to the Project Medishare field hospital to have his leg fitted for a prosthetic. Upon his return to the hospital on April 3, the staff explained to Wilfred how to walk with the prosthetic and within five minutes he was up and running! Dr. Barth A. Green, co-founder of Project Medishare, was in the tent and asked Wilfred if he wanted a job with Project Medishare. Wilfred currently works in the Prosthetics and Orthotics laboratory and clinic at the Hospital Bernard Mevs Project Medishare. He takes measurements for prosthetic limbs and knows how to fix them. He has learned how to speak and understand English while working for Project Medishare. Wilfred is also a mentor to anyone that is facing amputation and for those being fitted for prosthetics. He is the perfect example that life does go on even after amputation and is a constant source of encouragement and inspiration. He is playing soccer again with the Project Medishare Team Zaryen Amputee Soccer team. He has a one and a half year old and is expecting his second child in July.

Wilfred’s spirit is incomparable. It takes two hours to get from his tent home to work every day by taking three tap taps. He repeats the same long, treacherous trip to get home each night. He says that he is extremely grateful to Project Medishare because if he did not work there he would not be able to work as he lost everything, including his welding tools, in the earthquake. It is fair to say that the feeling is mutual; Project Medishare is very grateful to have Wilfred as part of our team.

Wilfred Macena at work in the Prosthetics and Orthotics laboratory and clinic at the Hospital Bernard Mevs Project Medishare

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more about “Project Medishare Continues Fitting A…“, posted with vodpod

By Jennifer Browning

Marcus Solis from ABC Channel 7 out of New York features the important work being done at the Project Medishare hospital, but especially the work of Certified Prothestists Orthotists (CPO) and volunteer physical therapists as they continue to fit earthquake victims with much needed prosthetic limbs.

The piece also features amputee patient Wilford Messine. After being fitted with his prosthetic leg, Messine began playing soccer. Project Medishare has hired him to help fellow Haitians overcome the physical and cultural obstacles of being an amputee.

Almost four months later, Project Medishare is keeping our promise to continue providing much needed medical care to the Haitian people drastically affected by the January earthquake. Such efforts are still in need of funding so that we can continue to help people like Wilford Messine and others.

If you would like to help us fund such relief efforts please click here to make a donation online.

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