Photo: Jairo’s Brother, Lester, & Mother, Marta, with Move Together CEO’s Mother, Dorothy, & CEO, Efosa
Life is not free from challenges and struggles, but with love, all is possible. At the age of 14, Jairo Rodríguez, a young boy from Villa Nueva, Guatemala, was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy. Muscular dystrophy results in progressive muscle weakness and loss of muscle mass thus making movement difficult. Jairo did not allow his diagnosis to inhibit him from pursuing his dream to receive a bachelor’s degree in computer science. As muscular dystrophy began to impact his mobility, the venture down the hill to classes and therapy became quite challenging as he could no longer walk on his own and the road was too rocky for a wheelchair. But his determination and spirit brought hope and spirit to his family and community.
His mother, Marta, placed her son on her back and walked down the hill daily so Jairo could attend classes. In the afternoon/evenings, she placed him back on her shoulders and carried him back up the hill to the house.
Marta’s love and Jairo’s determination came to full fruition in 2012 as Jairo graduated with a bachelor’s in computer science and dedicated his remaining years to selling chocolates on the streets.
Move Together’s Co-Founders Efosa & Josh embrace Marta holding a picture of Jairo.
On March 30, 2017, Jairo Rodríguez passed away from muscular dystrophy but not before leaving a lasting legacy on the hearts and minds of the Municipality of Villa Nueva and the world. His tenacity, determination, and passion for making the most of life inspired not only his family but the community. Therefore on May 25, 2017, the new physiotherapy clinic built in Mercado Concepción, Villa Nueva, Guatemala was named in memory of Jairo. The Jairo Rodríguez Municipal Physiotherapy Clinic represents the truth that all is possible with love. Todo es possible con amor. Love was shown by a mother who carried her teenage son to classes and by a community of neighbors and strangers who collaboratively came together to build and functionalize a sustainable physiotherapy clinic in Villa Nueva.
The new sustainable physiotherapy clinic in Villa Nueva gives hope and a myriad of opportunities for the people, families, surrounding communities, and the world. People now have access to rehab care to enhance their movement and maximize their life, and their families have access to resources, education, and training to understand the prognosis and how to help enhance their loved one’s mobility and life. An opportunity not available for Jairo and his mother, but one inspired by their love and determination to make the most of life and make a difference in the future lives of others.
Marta & April
On clinic build day, April, part of the Move Together family, tapped Jairo’s mom, Marta, on the shoulder. In Spanish, April asked Marta if she was the mother of the young man whom the clinic was being dedicated. Marta nodded yes as her eyes filled with tears. They embraced and accompanied one another in a heartfelt love of two strangers grateful for Jairo’s tenacity and the community’s support. April shares, “I felt a mother’s pain for the loss of her child, but I also felt the joy of a mother who was inspired by the cohesiveness of the local community.” The joy and pain in one mother’s heart is felt by another as we go out into the world with our hearts, hands, and words sharing in the hope of a healthier world through healthier movement. One small touch, hug, or smile provides a rippling effect of love in the world near and far.
Villa Nueva Community & US Move Together Family constructing the clinic.
The power of love filled the air and fills the physiotherapy clinic at Mercado Concepción in Villa Nueva, Guatemala, today. Every moment, thought, and action to functionalize this sustainable clinic was done with love and compassion for one another and the world from idea generation, planning, construction, and functionalizing. The heart of every person involved inspires and impacts all who grace the doors of the clinic, patients, PT professionals and students, translators, leaders, and the Move Together family. You can read more about the Villa Nueva Clinic here, One Day, One Clinic: Lifetime of Rippling Impact.
This is one of many stories of love, community, and impact experienced as Move Together collaborates with communities and organizations near and far through the Clinic Development Program, Pro Bono Incubator, and PT Day of Service. On May 18, 2018, 24 community members from the US arrive in Guatemala to continue the community enriched clinic development program. This experience brings together the Municipality of San Pedro Sacatepéquez, Guatemala and Move Together. We will work alongside local leaders, community members, and PT professionals and students to functionalize, physically and operationally, the first physiotherapy clinic in the area and will bi-directionally share treatment ideas and principles.
You can follow the experience throughout the week on social media and find future stories here on the Move Together blog about the San Pedro Sacatepéquez project and the various other initiatives supporting the Move Together vision for a clinic in every community, and a sense of community in every clinic. Social media: Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.