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September 17, 2011 - RM Adventist Health Care Presents 2011 Walk of Dreams

What: Dance the night away to the rhythms of Latin America

Where: Hyatt Regency Denver at the Colorado Convention Center

When: Saturday, September 17, 2011

Time: 5:00 p.m. VIP, 6:00 p.m. cocktails, 7:00 p.m. dinner, 9:00 p.m. entertainment

Host(s): Rocky Mountain Adventist Healthcare Foundation

EMCEE: Randy Hafner, CEO, Porter Adventist Hospital

Welcome: Dr. Brian Haas, Partner at Colorado Joint Replacement

Speaker: The Honorable Mrs. Marta Linares De Martinelli - First Lady of Panama

Entertainment: Dancing with the Docs

Music: Guest Patient from Panama - Maria Valdez

Sponsors: BIG DREAMER: Dr. Douglas and Debbie Dennis; DOUBLE PLATINUM: Porter Adventist Hospital; PLATINUM: Colorado Anesthesia Consultants, Mike Durbin & Associates, Exclusive Representative of Depuy, a Johnson & Johnson Company; GOLD: Borgen Family Foundation, Dr. & Mrs. Andrew Fedorowicz, Stryker Orthopaedics; SILVER: Derick Levy, Active Motion Physical Therapy, Dr. Barb Allen, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, Joshua & Jessica Carothers, Tom & LouAnn Curran, Dr. Brian & Patty Haas, Hanger Prosthetics and Orthotics, Dr. Raymond Kim, Dr. Lance Little, Dr. Todd & Melisa Miner, Radiology Imaging Associates PC, Zimmer Rocky Mountain

Auctioneer: Adam Kevil

Menu: Small plates: Mojito berry shooters, crudite shooters, Arugula salad, snapper ceviche and avocado salad; warm plates: brown sugar seared chicken kabobs, coffee marinatred beef, achiote turkey, pan seared chili rubbed Salmon; desserts: rum cake bites, pPineapple upside down cake, dulce de leche vheesecake, banana cream in brandy snap, coconut mango square, key lime tarts

Attendance: 450

Attire: Tropical cocktail attire

Event Coordinator: Director of Events-- Laura Fitch

Blacktie Photos by: Howie Grapek

 Dr. Doug Dennis (podium) with Aileen Paez (OpWalk Foundation Board Member & Walk of Dreams Committee Member) and Dr. Todd Miner (right) talks to the guest patient from Panama - Maria Valdez.
Dr. Doug Dennis (podium) with Aileen Paez (OpWalk Foundation Board Member & Walk of Dreams Committee Member) and Dr. Todd Miner (right) talks to the guest patient from Panama - Maria Valdez.

Imagine being confined to a wheelchair or a lifetime of crutches and suddenly being able to walk again. Operation Walk Denver gives patients this life-changing ability.

On Saturday, September 17, 2011, the Rocky Mountain Adventist Healthcare Foundation held the Walk of Dreams Gala at the Hyatt Regency Denver at Colorado Convention Center. The evening was filled with rhythms of Latin America, entertainment, a live auction, a delectable dinner and a glimpse at the work of the amazing Operation Walk Denver surgeons and their team.

There was a special guest visitor - The Honorable Mrs. Marta Linares de Martinelli - First Lady of Panama.   She had an opportunity to speak and thanked everyone for their generous support of the people of her country.  A special video prepared by Marble Jones was shown to share the accomplishments the Walk of Dreams' doctors and staff.  Highlighted on this video was one of their first patients, Maria Valdez.  Maria was present and shared some of her heart warming comments regarding "the selfless acts of amazing doctors who gave her the gift of walking."   The featured entertainment was called "Dancing with the Docs"... loosely based on the hit TV series "Dancing with the Stars".  Ten of the doctors and staff members were partnered up with Roberta Farley and her professional dancers from "Shut Up & Dance Productions" to put on a wonderful show at the end of the evening. 

The money raised from this event will help transport the team of physicians, nurses, physical therapists and surgical technologists as well as provide equipment, supplies and medication needed to complete 50 to 70 joint replacement surgeries during the week long mission.

The people encountered on mission trips all suffer from advanced arthritis and other degenerative joint diseases. The intense, never-ending pain they endure makes conducting normal, productive lives difficult to impossible. For these people, even the most basic everyday activities such as moving across a room or getting in and out of a chair are a task. Because of their inability to walk and provide for themselves, many lose their jobs, their families, and the ability to experience the basic joys of life.

With an extraordinary volunteer medical team, donated surgical supplies, and financial contributions, Operation Walk Denver is able to provide free, desperately needed knee and hip replacement surgeries to patients in developing countries where people have little to no access to healthcare. The week-long mission trips are designed to restore the gift of walking to as many people as possible, typically more than 50 patients, while educating local healthcare workers in advanced surgical and rehabilitation procedures.

In host countries, local surgeons, doctors and nurses play an integral role in the entire process. Prior to a trip, these medical professionals screen, evaluate and take x-rays of potential surgical candidates. The test results and patient x-rays are sent to Operation Walk Denver team members months before a trip. This enables the Denver team to plan and assemble appropriate supplies, including specific sizes of joint implants. Then, the massive logistical task of coordinating schedules, surgical supplies and transportation begins. Approximately eight tons of supplies are shipped in advance to the selected region for each one-week mission trip.

Once in the host country, team leader Dr. Douglas Dennis sets up four complete surgical teams, including surgeons, anesthesiologists, interns, physician assistants, physical therapists and other volunteers. Local surgeons, doctors and nurses are all invited to join in the operating room and subsequently receive training on the recovery floor. All surgeries are performed during the first few days of the trip to ensure Operation Walk doctors are on hand to monitor outcomes and treat any complications. The surgical procedure involves pre-operative patient education, a two to four day stay in the hospital and typically several weeks of physical therapy.

Rehabilitation is the focus of the latter part of the week. Physical therapists conduct classes for patients and their families in which they teach and demonstrate safe techniques for walking and going up and down stairs. Local physical therapists are trained to continue the healing process for these patients long after the Operation Walk team returns to the United States.

For more information, please visit Operation Walk Denver

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