BENEFITING: PERUVIAN HEARTS
EVENT DATE: Sep 18, 2016
It was fate that I met the Peruvian Hearts scholars when I did. I left to solo-backpack South America just days after matching into a pediatrics residency program. After 4 years of medical school, some recent personal struggles, and a plethora of anxiety, I felt I had lost my sense of self. I was traveling for selfish reasons ... to find myself ... to reaffirm my happiness ... but what I found was a purpose so much greater than myself in 30 brilliant, funny, charismatic, and awe-inspiring girls. Many of you may remember the series of unplanned, fateful events that led me to Cuzco, Peru and the privilege I had meeting and mentoring the girls. For those of you who I have recently become friends with, below is a brief anecdote of how I became a supporter of an outstanding foundation for an outstanding cause.
03/28/2016: Last week, there was an accident with the airline I was flying from Lima to Cusco. After hearing some sketchy reviews, I spontaneously bought a second plane ticket with a reputable airline, leaving a day earlier than planned. When I arrived at the airport at 4:30 am, the counter man informed me that I had bought a Peruvian nationals ticket, not a gringa ticket. Significantly more costly (think $300+), they told me I could pay the penalty instead. A little discouraged, I boarded the plane and sat next to an American man. We began to chat, and as if fate coordinated my flight debacle on purpose, I was sitting next to Danny Dodson. Danny's sister, Ana, was adopted from Peru 23 years ago. When she was 11 years old, she decided she wanted to change the world. And change it she did. Ana founded Peruvian Hearts, a non-profit organization that provides empowerment to teenage girls in (very) rural Peru offering them lessons in health, education, and character building. Almost every girl in the program has been accepted to college - the first in their families to even graduate high school. Tonight, Danny is allowing me the privilege to speak to the girls about being a woman in medicine and how if they believe in themselves, anything is possible. Today, I am lucky.
My luck extended for 3 extraordinary, unforgettable days. The girls' perseverance and tenacity make me want to always strive for more, even if the odds are against us; their integrities make me want to be a better human; and their struggles reaffirmed my passion for adolescent medicine.
For these young women, I run.
How you can help:
$10 provides a Peruvian Heats scholar with 1 week of English Classes at a local language institute.
$20 provides a Peruvian Hearts scholar with transportation to and from university for an entire month.
$50 provides a Peruvian Hearts scholar with eye-glasses for university.
$100 provides a Peruvian Hearts scholar with university text books for an entire semester.
$2,500 will send a Peruvian Hearts scholar to university in Cusco for an entire year.
It doesn't take much to make a significant difference in the lives of these young women whose goal in life is to receive an education - to us, a basic human right. Please help me run for them - the more money you give, the faster I run [and we all know I almost died during the last 13.1]!
Thank you all for your support xo Brittany
[I am running the Philadelphia Rock n' Roll Half Marathon for the Peruvian Hearts Foundation on September 18. For more information, please go to: http://www.peruvianhearts.org/]