Arriving at the dock of TOSA LL, on the shores of Lake Atitlán, our guests, a doctor and his wife, explained that they have dedicated their lives to healing and are allopathic physicians. They first arrived in Guatemala about 10 years ago and donate time at the local hospital to assist the indigenous.
The couple have offered medical services worldwide for years. He explained that he was drafted as a doctor into the Vietnam War and it forever shifted his life. “They were drafting as many doctors as they could, and after the war my wife and I stayed on in Asia working in Thailand and then getting permission to go back into Vietnam and assist as many as we could.”
He continued: “As a urologist I see quite a bit of prostate cancer. When I return to the U.S. and work with patients there, often times they are able to get surgery and have long-term treatment plans that assist them to deal with the disease. While a surgery that costs $25,000 in the U.S. may only cost $3,000 here, it is still totally out of the question for the Maya men I am working with.”
After pausing for a moment, he added, “What has been amazing for me to witness is that in the U.S., men have a much more difficult time with the symptoms and with the management of their disease. Yet here the men are quite different. What I have noticed is that when surgery or long-term treatments are offered to them, they simply smile and tell me: ‘My family cannot afford either the treatment or the surgery. I would not ever offer them the financial burden of helping me, so I will help them and live with this. This is not who I am, it is simply something that is calling my attention’.”
“What I have noticed is that while I only see them once a year, for a follow up, these men are living with a disease in a way that is unheard of elsewhere. Unable to afford medicine or surgery they are surrounded by the love of their families and their commitment to not let the disease affect them. They truly see this as a separate issue…it is not them. They are good spirited, demonstrate significantly less symptoms, and yet by the ‘book’ have all the evidence of advanced disease. It is actually quite miraculous to witness.”
We certainly had much more to share during their visit—once again through their direct experience, we witness the power of divine love in action.
written by Sri & Kira