Friday, October 26, 2007

Dreaming Big in the Dominican Republic

Posted on behalf of Erenia Mesa

Neither poverty nor epilepsy could kill the dreams of this young slugger from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

Nelson has no doubts about his dream. One day he’ll be a great shortstop like his hero, Miguel Tejada, of the Boston Orioles. And thanks to sponsorship, he just may make it.

Challenged by epilepsy, Nelson used to pass out. This caused him problems in school and caused him to get behind.

Ana Josefina, Nelson’s mom, is grateful to the medical staff from Children International in Santo Domingo, in the Dominican Republic, for diagnosing Nelson’s epilepsy. She’s also thankful for the support he’s received since then.

“He used to get fever, and right away he’d go into convulsions. But he doesn’t do that anymore,” says Ana Josefina.

Nelson and his mom, Ana Josefina, with Nelson's bat and baseball trophies.

Now he can play baseball. “I play shortstop and second base for the team,” says Nelson, proudly. “I’ve been playing baseball for four years, and I don’t get sick anymore. I’m hoping they’ll sign me because I want to be a successful ballplayer. Thanks to sponsorship and my medical treatment, I can keep on playing.”

He’s in school now, and he’s made significant progress. He’s working on finishing sixth grade. And his epilepsy is almost completely under control; his convulsions are a thing of the past.

Despite living in poverty with his mom and three sisters – and without the support of a father – Nelson is very optimistic and sure of his dreams. And sponsorship provides the medications and the care he needs to give those dreams a fighting chance.

Photos by Erenia Mesa. Erenia is the communications coordinator for Children International’s agency in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.


Children are the World said...

This blog was put up right before the storm. How are the sponsored children in Santo Domingo doing now?

Jennifer said...

While many in Santo Domingo have been less fortunate, the number of sponsored children and their families remains fairly low. The majority of complaints have been the damage caused by the rainwater to beds and clothing. At this time, we are not aware of injuries or loss of life to any sponsored children from Tropical Storm Noel.