Occasionally, supporters of CCC comment that they would like to “breeze off” with us to one of our destinations, say, Guatemala, or Kenya, or Haiti. The fact is that getting to our work sites is no “breeze.”
When CCC goes overseas, we have already accomplished a huge set of tasks since we must travel with all the equipment and medical supplies we need to examine thousands of women. We must also carry enough cryotherapy equipment to treat the 10 – 12 percent of our patients who have pre-cancerous lesions and to equip the clinic we set up once we leave.
How does all that material get to Guatemala? First, it has to be ordered from suppliers and then delivered to the garage of CCC’s founder, Dr. Patricia Gordon. Next, the supplies must be unpacked and reorganized for travel. Large suitcases full of equipment must be organized. Cryotherapy materials must also be order ordered, unpacked and re-packed. Once all this work is done, the suitcases and cryotherapy packages must be transported to LAX.
Upon arrival in Guatemala, CCC must take all its medical goods through Customs. This can be extremely time-consuming. As one example, in Ethiopia, Dr. Gordon spent 10 hours and 15 minutes at Customs making sure everything got through the approval process. In Guatemala, we must initiate our trip on a Friday, a day earlier than planned, because it is impossible to process goods through Customs on a Saturday.
Finally, the equipment must be transported to our overseas clinic which, in Guatemala, is a six-hour drive from the capital.
No, there is no way for CCC to “breeze” into Guatemala or any other overseas destination. But every preliminary step is rewarded upon arrival at our clinic location where the See and Treat work we do saves women’s lives.