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While traversing this relentless present, if you can support the human ahead or behind you in the climb of life, that’s when you realize what it’s all about: loving hard as we climb with purpose, intention and grace. And as a mother, I can’t think of an intention more fitting than to support new mothers in their next step, on one of their most difficult climbs.”

-IMR Board Member and Climber of Peaks, Gillian Green

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A few months ago, our board member Gillian set out to climb mountain peaks in Mexico and raise funds for IMR. We can’t be more thrilled to have someone like Gillian on our board, supporting mothers and other vulnerable populations around the world. These peaks are no match for some as determined and dedicated as her. We are thankful for all those who supported her tremendous effort, raising over $1200, which goes to our programs to give women suffering with obstetric fistula, a devastating birth condition, another chance at getting their lives back. Over 90% of women with fistula have lost their newborns to obstructed labor, and in some cases, lost family, friends and social ties over the chronic urine and or fecal incontinence caused by the injuries. It is estimated that only 1 in 50 women who need surgery for fistula actually get an operation. We are working to change this by working with local surgeons, medical societies, Ministries of Health, and other advocacy groups to provide safe and skilled operations in Liberia, Haiti and Malawi. Each project also has local surgeons who are committed to ending fistula in their communities, who need the surgical training to provide the best care. 

Thanks to Gillian and those who supported her, we are able to provide surgical care to cure these injuries and train more local surgeons in affected communities. For more information about what drew Gillian to mountain climbing, please see our interview with her here