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MAKING A MARK: Pediatrician in Virginia Beach helps children in Nicaragua as well

One experience can change your life forever. That's exactly what happened when Dr. Windy Mason-Leslie went on a mission trip 10 years ago with ORPHANetwork.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Ten years ago, a mission trip changed Dr. Windy Mason-Leslie's life. Now, she's changing the lives of others.

Dr. Mason-Leslie has a heart for helping kids. In 2009, she went to Nicaragua to care for disadvantaged children. 

"I'm holding these babies that need medicine that are sick, that have rashes, that have fever, parents are upset and desperate for help," says Dr. Mason-Leslie. "I think I was very clear about the calling on my life."

She traveled to the country with ORPHANetwork, which provides meals and care for vulnerable, at-risk and abandoned children overseas. 

"That was the first time that I'm like, 'I can't leave here and not do anything,'" says Dr. Mason-Leslie. "At home, my main job as a general pediatrician is to keep track and promote the health and development... the growth and development of children. And so, I wanted to find ways to do that there."

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In addition to treating children locally, she's now improving the lives of moms and kids in Nicaragua through ORPHANetwork's programs and services. 

"We've gone from a clinic standalone that was maybe serving 1,200 kids. We're serving now over 23,000 kids," says Dr. Mason-Leslie. "We went from large acute and chronic malnutrition numbers of children, and we're seeing that impacted by all the work that's going on."

Dr. Mason-Leslie says caring for and feeding children overseas is a gift because they, in turn, feed her soul. 

"There is nothing like feeling used... in a good way. That's reward enough for me."

ORPHANetwork is accepting donations to help children in Nicaragua. If you'd like to give, visit www.orphanetwork.org.

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