Joel was born with a hemangioma, a facial deformity caused by an abnormal buildup of blood vessels, most often on the face or neck. Surgery is required to correct this condition which interferes with his breathing and vision.
The Tuorto family enjoys providing the normal family routines and activities like birthday parties and celebrations just as they did when they hosted Adolfo, now aged 22. Adolfo, also from Dominican Republic, first stayed with them in 2005, aged 15, when he continued with a series of ten surgeries to correct deformities caused by severe burns he suffered when he was very young.
Doctors provide medical care and surgeries on a pro bono basis and all living costs are provided by the Tuorto family during the stay of a sponsored child. As a host family, they provide food and shelter as well as making and attending doctor appointments and providing necessary transportation. The school community of faculty and parents is helping in a very small way by providing diapers and wipes for Joel.
Joel is a precious toddler whose smile and response to those providing his care are so appreciated by all who have come to know him. It’s as though he was always among them. This is truly a gift to Joel that may one day be paid forward.
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