Beloved Child

By February 14, 2015Blog, Landmark Program, News
The Santiago Family

The Santiago Family

As you know, LEAP is blessed to have the great honor of helping children with complex craniofacial problems through our Landmark Program. We have helped approximately 50 children from around the world through this program, bringing them to Dallas for free surgical care that often requires the generous hearts of our LEAP family and community partners to help these patients and their families while living here.

After many months of planning, our newest recipient has recently arrived in Dallas with her sweet family, originally from Cuba. Elizabeth or ‘Ely’ is four years old, quite precocious and very smart. Elie will have complex surgery on Tuesday, March 17th at Medical City Children’s Hospital​. She will have a team of extraordinary surgeons taking care of her, including Dr. Craig Hobar, Dr. Fred Sklar​, Dr. Douglas P. Sinn,​ Dr. Grant Gilliland, and Dr. Lauren Bourell​. In addition, there will be a host of nurses and other healthcare providers who will provide the most wonderful and compassionate care for Ely and her family.

Elie with mom Ailyn and Charles Debtor

Ely with mom Ailyn and Charles Debter

Ely, her parents Gilberto and Ailyn, and her eight-year-old sister Esther have been a joyful blessing to us. Gilberto is a Baptist minister who has led a large church in Cuba for over eight years. After much prayer, this family made the difficult decision to leave their home and church family to travel to the US over 18 months ago, seeking surgical care for Ely. After many roadblocks and set backs, LEAP was later connected with the Santiago family through a family friend, Charles Debter​. Not only has Charles been an incredibly humble friend who brought the Santiagos to us, but his church family at Park Cities Presbyterian Church​, many of whom are part of our LEAP family, has been amazingly supportive of the Santiagos in a most loving and kind way.

As so many of you often do, we would appreciate your help in supporting this family by bringing food, calling and/or checking on them during their stay, or providing gift cards to help with food, gas cards, etc. If you would like to be a part of Ely’s journey, please contact Ashley Winder at or call the office at (972) 566-6550. Please keep this wonderful family in your prayers, particularly as we draw near her surgery date.