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Last Summer During My International Health Fellowship

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Last summer during my International Health Fellowship in Peru, one person who stuck out to me most was the father of a teenage boy with Cerebral Palsy who lived in a village called Quicha Chico, which was a few hours from the closest big town. What amazed me the most was how they navigated the steep paths and uneven terrain, with the dad carrying his son sitting on his shoulders, as had done since the boy was a toddler. Now, as an older man, it was incredible to see the lengths he went to so his son could have a health screening by our team, carrying him on his shoulders from their farm, which was outside the village. Not only did it show the desire for health care people have but it also showcased the other aspects of health and wellbeing that are so much broader than diagnoses and treatments. This young man in this isolated village in the Andes had never had a wheelchair and, even if he did, the terrain in and around his village would have made it impossible for him to use it. Additionally, it was discouraging to imagine what will happen to him once his father died, a fear his father shared with us. For this young man, the isolation caused by the extreme terrain and the lack of support eclipsed the effects of his diagnosis and even that medication or other clinical treatment would have had. It showed how health and well-being are so much more intricate than medicine.
It is impossible to say genetics or environment or nutrition or even medicine is the sole determinant of a
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