Category Archives: Blog

Introducing LEAP’s New Board Chair: Michael Byrd

By | Blog, News, Volunteers | No Comments

Byrd-chairFor the first time in our 25-year history, LEAP has a new Chair of the Board of Directors. Longtime Board Member and LEAP supporter Michael Byrd has taken over the role Dr. Craig Hobar has held since the organization’s inception in 1991. Michael is an attorney and founding partner at Dallas-based healthcare firm ByrdAdatto.

“Michael’s level of commitment to LEAP was an early sign of his leadership potential,” said Dr. Hobar. “His sharp mind and kind heart will prove to help LEAP continue to grow and evolve in the years to come.”

Through Dr. Hobar’s tremendous acts of service, leadership, and sacrifice, LEAP has had the opportunity to grow toward shared leadership within the organization. As we plan for success and a long future of service ahead, it is an honor to have Michael serve in this capacity.

Please join us in congratulating him and thanking him for his commitment to LEAP.

Dr. Candace Granberg Carries a Hammer for Haiti

By | Blog, Haiti, LEAP Stories, Mission Program, News, Volunteers | No Comments


Dr. Granberg started a Facebook campaign called #hammerforhaiti to raise money for LEAP with the goal of $2500 before traveling to Haiti on April 20. The plan was that if she reached that goal, she would carry the heavier hammer in the fall Hammer Race on October 7. Well, she surpassed the goal and will carry that heavy hammer!

Dr. Granberg says she’s “happy to suffer/sweat/bleed/run for such a great cause” and “will try to make the Hammer Race [her] fundraiser every year.”

 We caught up with Dr. Granberg soon after the Haiti mission to learn more about her involvement with LEAP:

Why did you choose to volunteer with LEAP?

Dr. Clanton Harrison, one of my mentors during my pediatric urology training in Dallas, invited me to come with him to Haiti when I was a fellow. I was honored to be part of that team in April 2012, and it was such a great experience. Dr. Harrison taught me so much during that mission, and I prayed that I would get asked to go again. The LEAP organization is simply amazing – they put together an outstanding, dedicated team, gather necessary supplies, and run an efficient surgical mission trip.

How is it different from your everyday practice?

I listened to a talk by a pediatric urologist about international volunteerism where the speaker said, “Volunteering is an antidote to burnout.” I truly believe that I am a better surgeon because of my trips to Haiti – technically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. My experiences with LEAP have put everything in my medical practice – and my life – in perspective.

Was there a particular patient experience that especially moved you?

Not a particular experience but a particular trip – my first trip in 2012 was so moving. I had no idea what the state of medical care was in Haiti. I had no idea how much poverty existed. Parents were stoic pre-operatively and tearful/thankful after surgery. Patients that Dr. Hobar had operated on previously came back to thank him. The teamwork was phenomenal. I couldn’t wait to go back.

18402071_10155066127847254_7967324067632329150_oWhat is it like working with the team? 

I am always in awe of how a group of people, many of whom have never previously worked together, meet up in a hospital with limited resources and just go straight to work – and within minutes, we are gliding forward as a well-oiled machine. Everyone is visibly happy, working their tails off, and nobody ever complains – this makes for such a positive atmosphere! Hours go by, but they feel like minutes. This is truly amazing.

What parts of the experience will stick with you the most? 

How grateful the parents are after we have cared for their children. They not only thank us for our work, but many also tell us they will pray for us. This always affirms that our (LEAP’s) mission is not only providing medical and surgical care but to teach and share that we are doing this work through our faith.

What drives you to share your gifts in this way?

Knowing that God has blessed each of us with different gifts. Every single person on our team is necessary for us to do the work that we do, and I feel lucky to be able to share my knowledge and skills with the children of Haiti. I also love that we are able to teach the local nurses and surgeons (Dr. Dreux and his residents!) so that even more kids and families can be helped after we leave.

Photos: Hammer Race and Scott Porter

Landmark Program: Long & Xuan

By | Blog, Landmark Program, LEAP Stories, News | No Comments

16864453_10154833341597254_6025252422809752584_nLast month, Long (9 years old) and Xuan (8 months old) came to us from China to receive free surgeries provided by LEAP through our Landmark Program.

Both children were abandoned by their parents at birth, likely due to their craniofacial deformities. These surgeries will not only heal them physically but will allow for a greater opportunity to be adopted. That’s part of the beauty of our work, and we are grateful to be able to help them have a better chance at finding forever families.

It was such a joy to welcome them at DFW Airport after their long journey. We had a large, happy group of LEAP staffers, host families, and previous Landmark patients there to greet them.


IMG_8940Xuan is a cuddly and sweet little one who came to us after having had a prior cleft surgery that had complications. Upon arrival, he had a few appliances put in to help him with alignment issues prior to surgery. He will have two phases of surgery to repair his cleft lip.

Two families generously opened their hearts and homes to Xuan during his stay. Dr. Michael Cotter is a pediatrician at Children’s Hospital. He along with his wife, Katie, and their five children were thrilled to welcome him as part of their big family. This is their first time hosting with LEAP.

During Xuan’s recovery phase, Jane Lamon, who hosted Li Ying last year, is once again serving as Host Mom. She’s raised four kids of her own, is a former nurse, and has a loving spirit.


IMG_8961Long is a loving, smart, and inquisitive boy who has severe craniofacial deformities. His surgery was quite complex in nature and took over 8 hours to complete. In his pre-op appointment, Long learned everything about his surgery so he knew what to expect. Dr. Hobar led the surgery and was accompanied by three other pediatric surgeons: Dr. Fred Sklar, Dr. Doug Sinn, and Dr. Evan Beale.

While he awaited surgery, he stayed a couple hours north in Oklahoma at the ranch home of Janet and Pat Ortega—longtime LEAP supporters who champion our mission in a number of ways. At the ranch, Long got to enjoy nature and animals and taught Janet’s parents—who he called “Grandma and Grandpa”—how to play chess.

Post-surgery, Long is staying with Melissa Howell, one of our wonderful LEAP volunteers who has traveled with us on several mission trips. She and her husband, Dan, have 7 children, and they all have been looking forward to showering Long with lots of love and affection!

LEAP Surgeons Perform Critical Surgeries on Syrian Children

By | Blog, Disaster Relief, ISAPS, LEAP Stories, News, Volunteers | No Comments

WaelAfter traveling from around the world to a hospital located in Tripoli, Lebanon, the team started conducting clinical evaluations of 90 prospective patients on January 8, 2017. The vast majority were children who sustained injuries as a direct result of the war, such as bombs or fuel exploding, or as a result of living in makeshift camps because they were displaced by war. Read More

Haiti: Seven Years of Hope and Healing

By | Blog, Disaster Relief, Haiti, LEAP Stories, Mission Program | No Comments

Dr. Craig Hobar in Haiti after the earthquake

It has been 7 years since the devastating earthquake hit Haiti. Its epicenter was a mere 16 miles from the capital city of Port-au-Prince. Hundreds of thousands lost their lives, and those who survived lost nearly everything else.

On Day 4 after the quake, accompanied by Drs. Ale and Ian Mitchell, LEAP Founder Dr. Craig Hobar worked around the clock, amputating gangrenous limbs and repairing facial injuries of victims pulled from the rubble in Port-au-Prince.

LEAP then sent rotating surgical teams for 6 months, during which time we developed a close partnership with locally based Hopital Espoir and saw the extreme need for continued surgical care beyond our disaster relief efforts.

Read More

Shout for Joy

By | Blog, Mission Program, Zimbabwe | No Comments

sat-12-31joy3Sweet Cerys shouts for joy in Harare Children’s Hospital, where we not only offer surgical assistance but also education and training to healthcare providers based there. The joyful nature of the children in Zimbabwe is truly something to behold and inspires our teams to keep working hard, despite the long hours.

Dominican Republic: Franchesca

By | Blog, Dominican Republic, LEAP Stories, Mission Program | No Comments

pch-franchescafranchescaOur relationship with Franchesca began in 1998 when LEAP Founder and Medical Director Dr. Craig Hobar performed a bilateral cleft lip repair for her as a baby while on a surgical mission to the Dominican Republic.

By monitoring her progress and providing age-appropriate surgeries over the past 18 years, we are able to give her the best possible care as she grows and develops into a confident young woman.

pch-franchesca-2016On our recent September mission to the D.R., Dr. Hobar performed a cleft nasal revision and palate repair, which included a bone graft from her hip. This surgery gave Franchesca a more natural looking lip and nose and will allow for future dental implants.

We so cherish the opportunity to watch Franchesca grow up as part of our LEAP family and help her reach special milestones through continued surgical care.

Give Hope

By | Blog, Landmark Program | No Comments
hope2A simple hope for a better life can bring about monumental change. Landmark recipient Misha arrived in the U.S. with only the clothes on his back. His government housing in Moldova has conditions so meager that they do not have running water or electricity. He was burned badly as an infant because his mother must cook meals over an open fire. To receive care from Dr. Hobar through LEAP and stay in a warm home to heal, with luxuries such as a bathtub and refrigerator, was beyond his comprehension.


Spread the Love

By | Blog, India, Mission Program | No Comments

sat-12-10-love3Children are drawn to LEAP Founder Dr. Craig Hobar in really amazing ways. They seem to be both calmed yet in awe in his presence. Perhaps it’s the deep love he has for all people–especially children needing some form of healing. He’ll tell you he’s inspired by the perfect love of Christ–a lovely reminder for this Christmas season.