In a humanitarian effort to assist the pro-Western, democratically elected government of President Vicktor Yushchenko of Ukraine, Congressman Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R-FL) has been working to bring 20 Ukrainian children in great need of prostheses to Florida.
With the assistance of Hanger Prosthetics and Orthotics, Otto Bock HealthCare and the supporters of Cuba Democracy Advocates, the first group of eight children from Ukraine recently arrived in Orlando, Fla. During their 15-day visit, they were fitted with new upper extremity prosthetic devices, received occupational therapy and met with Florida physicians.
“It is heartwarming to see the outpouring of support from our community for these children. I am deeply grateful for the compassion and generosity of spirit that have been demonstrated by all who have made this worthy humanitarian effort possible,” said Diaz-Balart.
This humanitarian initiative is the result of a December 2005 visit to Ukraine by Diaz-Balart and Paula Dobriansky, the U.S. Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs, to identify ways to assist the government of President Yushchenko. Hanger and Otto Bock participated in this charitable gesture to support Ukraine, an emerging democracy, in its efforts to improve pediatric health care. Other companies participating in the visit were Endolite, Hosmer/Fillauer, and Aetrex Worldwide who provided all the children with new shoes.
The companies were eager to assist Diaz-Balart in highlighting the need for prosthetic parity in the United States.