Nicholas M. Halikis, MD, Orthopedic Surgeon Todd A. Shrader, MD, Orthopedic Surgeon Torrance Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine Group
San Juan Rio Relief
- Written byLaura Watts
The orthopedic physicians of Torrance Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine Group specialize in every area of the body. The practice has been serving families in the South Bay longer than any existing orthopedic group in the area.
Tell us about San Juan Rio Relief.
Dr. Halikis: “TOSMG physical therapist Janelle Freshman and I have visited Nicaragua three times in the past two years. Dr. Shrader joined us on the most recent trip in August 2013. We’ve treated hundreds of patients brought to us by San Juan Rio Relief, a Louisiana-based non-profit organization dedicated to bringing healthcare to the people of the impoverished Rio San Juan area.
On our first trip in 2012 we met an amazing 6-year-old boy named Jerald who was born with spina bifida. He has spent his entire life crawling in the dirt on his forearms because his family cannot afford the medical care required to manage his condition. Despite this, he is the happiest boy you’ll ever meet.
This year we raised enough money to bring Jerald to the South Bay, and he’s had several medical issues taken care of, including one major surgery donated by Orthopaedic Institute for Children. We’re thrilled that he’s walking now, but he needs more care and is scheduled for another major surgery in a few months. We’re still raising money for him through San Juan Rio Relief.
More than 200 people in the South Bay have come together to help Jerald. Being part of such a giving community builds our bonds and makes us more likely to reach out to each other.”
What motivates you to combine your passion for your business with your desire to give back?
Dr. Shrader: “We’re so fortunate just to be able to help people with their orthopedic problems here at home. Doing it for the people in Nicaragua, where they struggle every day to meet their basic needs, is a wonderful privilege. The people there are full of smiles in the midst of their poverty. They really captured all of our hearts, and we’re happy to help.”
What’s one simple way an individual can reach out and make a difference?
Dr. Shrader: “Please go to sanjuanriorelief.org and donate to their general fund, or find Jerald’s story in the news section on their website. His story contains a link to donate directly to Jerald’s Fund.”