Breaking News: We are aiming to send 20-30 patients to Ghana for spine surgery within 1 month. Please consider helping us with funding. All donations are welcome and appreciated, and literally any amount helps! Fully sponsor a patient for $13,000.

Your contribution directly affects the lives of these children. You’ve seen the success stories — we’ve proven time and time again that it can be done. Together we can save these children’s lives and give them the greatest gift of all: a future! Stay tuned for pictures and bios of the children we are looking to help.

Thank you,

Dr. Hodes

Mesfin’s Incredible Story

Dr. Dollar and Mesfin

Once an ill young boy on the verge of death in Ethiopia, Mesfin Yana is now healthy and on the cusp of graduating from Georgia State University as a respiratory therapist. Dr. Hodes came across Mesfin in 2001 and quickly identified his condition as rheumatic fever, a very serious heart condition that required immediate surgery. Mesfin was flown to the US for surgery with the help of Dr. Allen Dollar and the nonprofit organization Children’s Cross Connections International. Dr. Dollar would go on to adopt Mesfin and raise him in Atlanta.

Read more about Mesfin’s story in GSU Magazine.

Honorary Doctorate of Humanitarian Medicine from Regis University

On January 13, 2011, Dr. Rick Hodes was presented with an honorary degree from Regis University. At the Dinner of Unconditional Love, the president of Regis University, Father Michael Sheeran, S.J., presented the Doctor of Humanitarian Medicine, Honoris Causa to Dr. Hodes for leading a life of distinguished service and professional achievement, which includes his work in Ethiopia for the past 28 years.

The award is quite an honor. Previous winners have been:

  • Lech Walesa
  • Elie Wiesel
  • Oscar Arias Sanchez
  • Archbishop Desmond Tutu,
  • His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet

Click to read more on the Regis University website.

$500,000 for Unconditional Love!

Last week was “The Dinner of Unconditional Love,” a large fund-raising dinner to support the work of Dr. Rick Hodes. The event was a HUGE success! Over 950 attended the dinner, which raised over $500,000 for Dr. Hodes’ patients in Ethiopia! For more details about the dinner, read “A Dinner of Unconditional Love,” a recent article from the Denver Post.

Tsehai Returns, Huge Facial Tumor Removed!

Attention: This article contains graphic images.

As part of my JDC work at the Catholic Mission here, Tsehai came to us early this year. She  is a 21 year old from Southern Ethiopia who had an enormous jaw tumor the size of a bowling ball, (an ameloblastoma), growing for several years. In August, I brought her to Munich for surgical treatment. She had a new jaw constructed from her fibula (lower leg), and subsequent plastic surgery. She returned to us this week, and will return back to Germany in April for more plastic surgery. See before-and-after pictures below.

We have joked that she now has a new name: We’ve dubbed her “Addis Hiwot,” (actually a typical girl’s name here), which means “New life.”

We are all extremely grateful for the generosity of the people of Munich who funded her surgery after an article in the Munich newspaper, for Dr. Peter Cornelius and his amazing surgical team at Ludwig Maximilian University, and the help of the Bavarian Dental Association. Peter gets my nomination for Nobel Prize for facial surgery. Hildegard Cornelius befriended Tsehai, and helped her transition into a new culture, language, and food and played a key role in her success.

Tsehai is now looking forward to returning to school as soon as she can.

Photos and story used with permission of Tsehai.


Rick Hodes, MD, MACP
Addis Ababa

Click to enlarge.

2010 Website Performance (Courtesy

The stats helper monkeys at mulled over how this website did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall site health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

The average container ship can carry about 4,500 containers. This site was viewed about 24,000 times in 2010. If each view were a shipping container, your site would have filled about 5 fully loaded ships.

In 2010, there were 48 new posts, not bad for the first year! There were 117 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 12mb. That’s about 2 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was November 18th with 545 views.