Who We Are

Steve-SoudDR. STEPHEN SOUD Two years ago I wrote on this blog: “I will confess that I am making the trip a little reluctantly—even anxiously—but I am doing it for my son because I know he [Jonathan] would want me to do it.”   Amazingly—perhaps miraculously—I am returning to Mongolia this year, and without the tiniest hint of reluctance.  Rather, I am returning with great excitement about seeing Rita, Margie, and their families, along with the many other friends we have made in Mongolia.  And most importantly, I am excited about continuing the mission established in Jonathan’s memory.    You see, when we were there in 2012, a member of the medical staff looked at our lead doctor, Eric Sandler, and said “Lots of people come to Mongolia [on medical missions].  No one ever comes back.”  Eric looked him in the eye and replied, “We’ll be back.”  And as this blog attests, Eric returned last year with two additional doctors and one of Jonathan’s nurses.    This year, however, Eric had a conflict and couldn’t make the trip. So once again he asked me to accompany the team, this time as someone with experience in Mongolia.  (At that point we didn’t realize that the intrepid John Ng would be rejoining the team as well.)  So here I am, returning to Mongolia and excited about what awaits us.  Between the medical expertise we bring, the desire we have to learn more about this wonderful country and its people, and the chance to help out with the soccer camp that has become an annual event, we have an opportunity to continue Jonathan’s legacy on the other side of the world. John Blog PhotoDR. JOHN NG I am John, once again the pharmacist of our medical mission team! Never had I ever imagined that I would have the opportunity to go back to Mongolia and now I am less than two weeks away from returning to the Country of Blue Skies! It is the first time I return to a mission field and I have been very excited to have heard from the Second Team that many of our original recommendations were considered and taken by the Mothers and Children’s Hospital. Our Supportive Care Guidelines, recommended formulary drugs for common cancers, use of flow cytometry to guide leukemia treatments, etc, etc. were all being physically used in taking care of actual children in Mongolia! I am also very excited to visit my Mongolian friends too, inside and outside of the hospital. I certainly miss their friendly faces, hospitality, care-free and always-happy attitudes in the vast Mongolian Steppes. My family has also been “getting into the mood” too! With Candace’s help: bedtime stories about Genghis Khan, chit-chats about nomadic lives, Mongolian wrestling in the living room, children with cancer in other countries, praying for Daddy’s trip, etc. etc. Along with our Youth Group in church, TsiLam and JunJun were inspired by the fact that all these… were started with one child’s dream. I am getting ready to have another adventure with Jonathan. Although I miss all my comrades from the first trip, I am looking forward to have a great inspiring experience with Alex, Dr. Gauger, and Steve. Last time I was inspired by the same passion of healing in a totally different country and culture. I was blessed with deep love shared between a father and a son. I was touched by the passion of two missionary families who devoted their lives taking care of orphans in a foreign land. This time I am ready for anything the Lord has for me under the Blue Skies. GaugerDR. CINDY GAUGER Dr. Cynthia Gauger is the Medical Director of the Sickle Cell Program and Hemophilia Treatment Center at Nemours Children’s Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida. She attended medical school at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and completed her pediatric residency at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center/ Children’s Medical Center of Dallas. Dr. Gauger then completed a Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Fellowship at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center/ Children’s Medical Center. After completing her training, Dr. Gauger was appointed to her current position at Nemours Children’s Clinic in Jacksonville. Dr. Gauger is a Board member of the Child Cancer Fund, one of our local organizations supporting our pediatric cancer patients here at Nemours Children’s clinic. She is very active with the state chapter: Hemophilia Foundation of Greater Florida, and participates annually as a camp physician at Boggy Creek camp. Dr Gauger is a member of the Pediatric Resident Education Committee affiliated with our University of Florida, Jacksonville pediatric residency program. Teaching has always been a big part of Dr Gauger’s life and she continue to stay very active in resident teaching, and participating in lectures locally, at the state level, and for the National Hemophilia Foundation. One her life’s ambitions has been to participate in a medical mission. Having had the privilege of participating in Jonathan’s care, and knowing it was his dream to go to Mongolia, makes this opportunity as part of the medical team/educator to Mongolia even more special! BoddieALEX BODDIE, MSN, RN I’m Alex Boddie and I have been a nurse at Nemours Children’s Clinic for a little over a year now. I began my nursing career eight years ago at CHKD in Norfolk Virginia, where I knew right away Pediatric Hematology/Oncology nursing was what I wanted to do. I have been married for eight years to my husband Shun, who after getting out of the Navy decided to pursue a law degree. Last spring Shun and I decided to move back down south for him to begin school and for the opportunity for us to be closer to family. In 2006 I obtained my associates degree in nursing at Three Rivers Community College in Norwich, CT and then went on to obtain my BSN and MSN degrees through Jacksonville University. I never had the opportunity to meet Jonathan, but I have heard many heartwarming stories about him and his family from my co-workers at Nemours. I have always had a love for traveling and have had a desire to complete a mission trip since I became a nurse. When the option of going on this trip with an amazing crew was presented I knew this was an opportunity of a lifetime and I asked to go. I have always been one who loves to learn and then share my knowledge with others. As the date of our departure to Mongolia approaches, I find myself becoming more excited about the trip and the opportunity to share some of what I have learned along the way. 2012 Team

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