Raising two children is certainly a difficult task, but imagine also hosting a 3-year-old girl from Ecuador who not once, but twice, traveled to America on a continuing and emotional medical adventure. Longtime Ahwatukee Foothills residents Danny and Kelly Carrizosa received 3-year-old Lidia in July 2006 through Healing the Children, an international non-profit volunteer organization that provides medical care to needy children throughout the world. After three successful procedures, Lidia is back with the Carrizosa family and in desperate need of help from the community. "Lidia was born with an imperforate anus and a severe cleft lip and palate," Kelly Carrizosa said. "She came to us the first time when she was 2-and-a-half and had all that fixed. While she was with us for those six months we developed an idea that she couldn't hear." After multiple examinations and a brain response test, Dr. Michael Fucci, an otolaryngologist and otologist/neurotologist in Gilbert, helped determine Lidia had absolutely no communication between her ears and her brain. "Dr. Fucci was pretty sure we could get a cochlear implant donated, so under that premise we brought her back to the U.S. for a one-year minimum," Carrizosa said. "Just this past week we discovered that because she is not a U.S. citizen, they're not willing to donate." Although the surgeon, operating room and hospital services will be donated, the implant will cost $27,000, and the Carrizosa family wasted no time in beginning to raise the funds. Kelly Carrizosa contacted Lions Clubs International, the world's largest volunteer organization, which she said has been instrumental in providing names of people to help. "We're just in the beginning of attempting to raise money," Carrizosa said. "But I will tell you that I put out an e-mail to several friends that I have just in Ahwatukee Foothills and, just on Saturday alone, $1,000 was raised." "I'm not going to Channel 3, and I'm not going to The Republic; my husband asked me not to," Carrizosa said. "He said, 'Let's keep it in the community because I think this is something we can do.'" To donate to the Carrizosa family and become a part of the journey to help Lidia hear, call (480) 759-0777, or mail donations to the Arizona Chapter of Healing the Children at 4025 E. Chandler Blvd., Suite 70A-23, Phoenix, 85048. Corinne Frayer can be reached at (480) 898-7917 or cfrayer@aztrib.com.

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