Dr. Candace Granberg Carries a Hammer for Haiti


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