Tuesday, February 4, 2014


I'll never stop trying....

It's 6:30am, 90 degrees Fahrenheit, near 100% humidity, day ten of the TWECS Philippines mission and there is somewhere north of 800 people waiting at the clinic site when the team arrives…..Just another day at the office for this TEAM.

Waiting patiently for their glasses

My brother in law asked once why I do this and I really did have a good answer for the question.  Perhaps that answer was in the smile on the face of 18 Diopter nearsighted patient when her new glasses gave her back her world and her ability to function in it;  or perhaps I found the answer in the 88 year old woman who stopped in that line of 800 bent at the waist hoping for a chance to get the glasses that gave her back the ability to read.

I know that the smiles, the thank you's and the hugs are worth a lot to me.  I know that I will continue to do this work until I find the last person waiting in line and I know that is not really possible……but I know that I and TWECS will never stop trying.

Dr. Mark Cook
Michigan, USA

Claro na.........

Natural disasters are beyond our control but we can help people to recover from it. We are stronger than Yolanda. Filipinos heartily welcome us in the City of Yolanda. In all the streets we passed people waive their hands with a big smile in their face and you hear the same words from everyone “Salamat for helping us”. Today is the 89th day after typhoon hit this area; still the place is like a war zone everywhere you can see the devastation of typhoon. Sometime coming in these areas can cost your life too. Food and water is still contaminated; Electricity is not reinstated yet. 

It’s my 14th day with the TWECS crew. 
And So far we have seen more than 6000 people and dispensed more than 5500 glasses. 
Those who wear glasses can easily tell you how much difference a good pair of eye glasses can make in people’s daily life. 

  Management of whole crew and passion of social service shown by Marina and Derrick was great. I have heard and read about Derrick and Marina before coming here with them but after seeing their hard work and a heart to sever, I believe that they are down to earth to help others. And anyone would love to come and serve under their leadership.

Getting eyeglasses ready in the dispensary

Glasses separated into men's women's and children
One thing what I feel; which makes TWECS unique is there dispensing unit. I have never seen the huge bulk and good quality of glasses for dispensing in any other free eye camps. You know, when you found someone who can hardly see beyond 1 meter and after refraction you got his normal vision. But with high power glasses like - 12.50 D. Neither you nor the person will be happy if you just leave him with the diagnosis of high myope. Finding a high myope is not worthy until you can correct it. Its TWECS dispensing unit which makes the difference. They have almost everything in their dispensing unit whatever you need. Being an Optometrist I can understand how hard it would have been for TWECS crew to make this all glasses available for people affected by typhoon. Coming from 6574 miles away with 15000 glasses is not a joke.
      I am very satisfied to be a part of TWECS in typhoon hit areas of Philippines and I have seen the big smile in people’s face saying ‘Claro na” while dispensing when they got their lost glasses; they are satisfied too. It would have been very difficult to rebuild their city without a good pair of glasses. Thanks to TWECS and other people behind the scene to make it possible.

Dr. Suraj Upadhyaya

The smiles on their faces will say it all.......

As the population and urbanization both grow, Leyte in the Philippines is experiencing an accelerating environmental challenge. Like in the recent Typhoon Haiyan "Yolanda" aftermath, this place was turned into total devastation. In the advent of global warming and environ change, people and infrastructure should be better prepared.

    Today, like any other day, people have slowly picked up pieces and moved on with their dear lives. Other people both foreign and local, have come to their aid of all sorts in relief and rehab. This is where our group came into the picture and played it's very important role of eye care and eye sight saving. My years of experience in this endeavor have never been satisfying and invigorating as this one. I am deeply overwhelmed and overjoyed by the humongous task we've done for the past two weeks of helping many survivors to see better.           

The smiles on their faces will say it all.
 I had the chance of visiting this community in its better days, but I never really dreamed that things of this magnitude could happen in a very memorable place such as this. I have returned to extend my helping hand and I will never forget and forever be thankful to this mission and organization TWECS especially Dr. Marina Roma-March, who gave me the opportunity to help all these people in their time of need where it matters the most... "TINDOG TACLOBAN" 

Dr. Janette Penez

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