Going where the need is greatest

March 11, 2014

Dr. Myron Semkuley tends a patient at the SAW orphanage

 

Calgary physician Dr. Myron Semkuley and his wife Elaine travel the world to deliver desperately needed aid, as the founders and leaders of Medical Mercy Canada.

We’ve always believed that health is about more than putting a stethoscope on someone’s chest and handing out pills...That’s why we try to improve their lives in any way we can.

PHOTOS

See Dr. Myron Semulkey and his wife Elaine at work in the SAW orphanage.

When Dr. Myron Semkuley, a Calgary family physician, and his wife Elaine, a pharmacist, were first married, they knew that someday international volunteer work would be part of their life.

In 1992, with their family grown, they realized that dream by undertaking their first medical mission to Burma. It was, says Dr. Semkuley, “an eye opener.”

“We had never seen anything like that,” he recalls in describing the plight of Burmese refugees who were living in deplorable conditions on the Thai/Burmese border without food or medicine, and in constant fear of arrest by the local authorities. "We did what we could and promised we’d be back.”

And they have, returning every year since to help people who might otherwise not receive aid or international attention.

Today as the founders and leaders of Medical Mercy Canada, they travel regularly to that region, as well as to other remote communities in the Western Ukraine, India, the India/Burma border and Nepal.

VIDEO

Learn more about Medical Mercy Canada.

Dr. Semkuley and his wife Elaine work with a team of volunteers to provide medical relief, while helping communities build desperately needed resources such as schools, orphanages and even solar lighting.

“We’ve always believed that health is about more than putting a stethoscope on someone’s chest and handing out pills,” explains Dr. Semkuley. “That’s why we try to improve their lives in any way we can.”

All of the volunteers who work with Medical Mercy Canada cover their own travel costs so that funds raised by the organization can be used to purchase necessary supplies for the communities.

The Semkuleys spend the first half of each year travelling on international missions, returning to Canada each June to resume his part-time practice and begin planning for the following year’s mission.

“That’s why as long as we can walk and talk we’ll be there.”

More about this initiative

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