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of the month
By Rich Petersen
Ulises Saúl Guerrero Velázquez
What a great name, eh? This is 8-year-old Ulises Saúl Guerrero Velázquez. Ulises lives in Ixtlahuacán with his parents and three siblings. Mom, María Guadalupe, is a housewife and also does sewing and alterations. Dad, Saúl, works as a security guard at one of the fraccionamientos along the Libramiento.
Ulises was born with right hemiparesis; in other words, his right side is weaker than his left. While there are many causes of this disorder ranging from a brain injury, head injury, cerebral palsy, or meningitis, in Ulises’s case it is thought he suffered a small stroke during birth.
His parents became aware of his condition at around age two and began seeing an orthopedic specialist at the Hospital Civil in Guadalajara. At first physical therapy proved useful, but as the boy grew he required further assistance with a right leg brace, special orthopedic shoes, and a brace on his right forearm to augment his strength there.
All the while he continued his therapy at a branch of Teletón, a national children’s rehabilitation center, in Guadalajara. Last year the doctors at Teletón tried a new treatment on Ulise—the injection of Botox in the muscles of his right arm. This new use of the anti-wrinkle agent Botox has been used with several of the children in our Program to relax the tense taut muscles that accompany paralysis. In the photo you can see that Ulises’s right hand is a bit crooked. He is not able to grasp objects as others do, but with his continued therapy and the arm brace, he is making great progress.
Niños Incapacitados has paid for his therapy, the transportation to and from his appointments, his orthopedic shoes and brace, plus one-half of the Botox injection. (Teletón pays the other half.) Ulises is a very good student and has learned to overcome his physical limitations to a great degree. His winning smile and outgoing personality are wonderful to see.
IMPORTANT NOTE TO OUR SUPPORTERS: Niños Incapacitados is facing a budget shortfall at present and we need your help if we are to continue our work. Medical costs here in Mexico have skyrocketed in recent months at the same time donations have decreased substantially. Also, we did not receive as much monetary support from the Jalisco State Government this year. Please do what you can to allow us to continue helping our sick kids here at Lakeside. Our expenses are currently between 80,000-90,000 pesos per month. We are undertaking a major fundraising effort at present, of which you may already be aware. To donate with a check or cash in pesos, you can deposit directly into the Niños Incapacitados account at Multiva. To donate with a check or cash in U.S. or Canadian dollars, deposit directly into the Niños Incapacitados account at Actinver/Lloyd.
Also please attend our next regular members meeting at 10:30 on Thursday, September 9 in one of the Sala meeting rooms at Hotel Real de Chapala in La Floresta. Part of each meeting is dedicated to introducing one of “our niños” in order that you can see firsthand how our money and your generosity is paying off in the lives of these children.