Member Profile – Alka Patel – Volunteer

Hi, this is Alka and I am already anticipating the smiles of the children as well as their mothers post-surgery in Hansot.

As a mother myself, I know how worrisome it is when my son is not doing well, either physically or socially and I would like to help alleviate the pain of others.  This is what prompted me to become more engaged after meeting the ORC group for the first time at their 15th year anniversary celebration 3 years ago.  At the party, I was drawn to a video playing in the corner that was put together by Randy Mennie.  It documented ORC’s work over the years.  Right then and there, I had a whole new respect for the carefree partying people around me.  These guys do serious work and they are passionately committed to serving others!

My background is in bio-sciences manufacturing and my role as Operations manager of a biotech firm means that I have to be both analytical as well as efficient.  In my day job, I am in control of my surroundings so at first, I wasn’t quite sure as to how I can contribute without being a doctor or a nurse.  The first task that Doreen assigned to me was to organize and complete the carnet, which is a customs permit allowing ORC to bring medical equipment cross an international border for a limited period of time.  Going through both the Canadian and Indian bureaucratic channels was an interesting experience that took a bit longer than expected.  Having the encouragement and support of both Doreen and our local host, Dr. Champenaria allowed me to persist in obtaining the authorization. It is a responsibility that I happily undertake as my work as a supporter frees up our doctors and nurses’ time and attention so that they can focus on doing the best surgical work.

As my family is from the local area, I am looking forward to being a guide and translator for my team mates and showing them my favorite foods in Gujarat.Alka Patel_India 2015