Peru, the home of the organic Pima cotton that is used to make Marc Skid underwear, is also home to CNN’s Hero of the Year for 2018, Dr. Ricardo Pun.
As a medical doctor in Lima, Peru, Dr. Pun treated many children whose impoverished families had traveled from rural areas to get appropriate medical treatment for their kids. These families had made difficult and dangerous journeys to the city. “People have to cross the mountains or take a boat to cross the river,” the physician explains. “It can take many days. Just imagine having this trip with a kid with cancer.” When they arrived in Lima, they could not afford to stay in hotels. As a result, sometimes whole families would curl up to sleep on hospital floors. “I couldn’t get the picture of the families sleeping on the floor out of my mind so I decided to do something for them,” he recalls.
And do something he did. In 2008, this dedicated physician founded a non-profit organization called Inspira that runs a shelter for disadvantaged sick children and their families. The shelter includes toys and spaces for children to, in Dr. Pun words, “be kids.” He says it is vital that the shelter “feel like a home.”
Dr. Pun lives only a few blocks from the Inspira shelter. He runs it with a small paid staff plus many dedicated volunteers. He spends much time – and every holiday – at the Inspira shelter. He says the name of Inspira is beautifully appropriate. “The kids inspire me every day,” Dr. Pun asserts. “When I’m with these kids, and I feel how strong they are, I understand that there are no problems that we can’t resolve.”
Indeed, we can all Make a Marc on the World.
Kabra, Hetal. “Dr. Ricardo Pun-Chong – The Asian Peruvian Doctor – CNN’s Hero of 2018.” BeAnInspirer. Jan. 31, 2019.
Kann, Drew. “CNN Hero of the Year.” CNN. Dec. 27, 2018.
Klairmont, Laura. “Needy families slept on hospital floors until one doctor started a shelter.” CNN. Dec. 9, 2018.