LEAP Foundation (Dallas, Texas)
The LEAP Foundation, LEAP (Life Enhancement Association for People), is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to enhancing and enriching the lives of people around the world by providing specialized medical services. The primary goal of LEAP is to serve others in the name of Christ. LEAP is comprised of volunteer plastic surgeons, urologists, eye surgeons, anesthesiologists, orthodontists, nurses and support staff. Dedicating time, expertise and often their own resources, these volunteers endeavor to bring free surgical care to children and adults born with deformities.
A child born with a deformity often faces a lifeof loneliness and isolation, excluded from their village or community due to ignorance or superstition. Touched by the amount of people who do not have access to reconstructive surgical care around the world and the lives they are forced to live, Dr. P. Craig Hobar founded the LEAP Foundation in 1991 as a way to reach them.
“I wanted to find a way to use my skills as a surgeon to help people who didn’t have access to reconstructive surgical care…So many kids have to grow up with the embarrassment of a facial deformity because they live in a country with little or no surgeons who can perform this type of surgery. We wanted to do what we could do to help.”
Dr. Craig Hobar
Making a difference can look like many things. Sometimes it is the simple things: like a smile, kind word or a listening ear. Other times, making a difference calls for a journey around the world.For over 18 years, LEAP has helped enhance and change the lives of over 2,500 people from six continents.
LEAP Teams travel as fully equipped surgical units to remote areas in central India, Belize, Guatemala, Zimbabwe, Laos, and the DominicanRepublic. As LEAP has grown, so has its capability to tailor teams to specific areas. Depending on the need, plastic surgeons, ophthalmologists, hand surgeons, pediatric surgeons, or urologists comprise the surgical team. Along with ophthalmologists often comes an eye prosthetic team, and with the cleft lip and palate team an orthodontics team and teaching nurses.
Furthermore, LEAP endeavors to establish working relationships with the main pediatric hospitals and universities in the host countries. Developing these relationships with physicians, healthcare officials, educational organizations and local volunteer groups helps provide continuity of care on a year round basis. This team effort enables LEAP to provide quality care for those with the greatest need and ensures the most efficient use of supplies and donations.
Even with all the skill and preparations, some cases are highly complicated and pose high risk if performed in remote locations with limited resources. For those special cases, LEAP has established the LEAP Landmark Fund to bring patients to Dallas, Texas to perform these complex surgeries in a controlled setting.
Through medical mission teams and dedicated partners, LEAP has truly been able to “touch the world, one life at a time”. The need is incredible, but the opportunities are vast.
Read more on the LEAP Foundation Website.