Roanoke area volunteers provide medical care in Haiti through non-profit Project Starfish

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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ7) Non-profit Project Starfish Haiti is made up of a group of volunteers from the Roanoke area dedicated to providing medical care for the people in Haiti.

The non-profit started when a group of volunteers from the Roanoke area and beyond began traveling to help Haiti after the earthquake in 2010 and never stopped.

"We are just a group of caring individuals who want to help the Haitians improve their own healthcare," said Family Practice Physician Kathryn Sparhawk.

She is the vice president of the non-profit and sits on the board of Project Starfish Haiti.

"We decided we might be very small but we can go a long way."

She and a team of volunteers just got back this week from a 10-day trip where people lined up to get health care from them on the remote island of Ille a Vache.

In the United States it's common to see a clinic and a hospital in almost every town but in Haiti, it's a much different story.

"Really they live until they get sick and then they die."

If someone needs medical care on the island of Ille a Vache, it is an expensive trip to get to a hospital, and once there, a doctor may not even be available to help.

"It's something that shouldn't be happening at this time in life, it's as if we are in the middle ages."

For some on the island, the only medical attention they receive is from the Project Starfish Haiti volunteers.

"The gift of seeing someone who is so happy they can read their bible, or happy they got their cataracts taken off, it's amazing."

Their ultimate goal is to raise enough money to create a permanent community clinic.
If you are interested in donating or learning more about the non-profit click here