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Kids Come First: IFC Medical Cost Share & Cancer Aid

March 11, 2015

We encourage our readers to support the IFC by joining the club, taking a Home Tour, or making a donation. You can help them to the change lives of many Vallartenses who lack economic resources.

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico - How would you feel if your child were disabled or sick, the cost of treatment was about $10,000 pesos, and you didn't have the money to help? The child would just have to suffer.

Puerto Vallarta's International Friendship Club (IFC) has a special program that encourages IFC members to help a local Mexican family apply for the Patrocinio Medical Cost-Share Program. The program focuses primarily on children under 18 in medical need whose families lack resources.


The IFC member should come to the office for the application form, which explains the steps involved in securing approval of financial assistance. A written diagnosis of the medical condition from their doctor will be required as well as some personal information on the child in question and their family.

The sponsoring member of IFC will bring that paperwork to the office to apply for assistance. Once approved the IFC will pay 80% of the approved medical costs to a maximum aid of $8,000 pesos, once the proper paperwork from the medical provider has been received.

Marco works as a security guard at a condo building near the Marina and his wife, Marianna, is a maid in the same building. Their combined incomes are about $6,000 pesos a month and rent is $2,500 pesos. That leaves $3,500 pesos a month for food, bus fares to work, clothes and school supplies for their two children. There is nothing left at the end of the month.

Antonio, their 7-year-old son is profoundly deaf and his education, family life and friendships suffer as a result. He needs two hearing aids. Each one costs $11,000 pesos, so a total cost of $22,000. Marco's brother, who is single and has some savings, will pay for one hearing aid but that leaves $11,000 pesos for Marco and Marianna to find.

In this case, IFC's Medical Cost-Share Program will pay $8,000 of the $11,000 and a very generous IFC member will provide the family with the balance of $3,000 pesos. Once completed, 7-year-old Antonio will be able to hear normally and enjoy life in the same way that other kids can.

The program requires an IFC member to serve as sponsor or patron to guide the process. And what a great program this is! If you know a local family with a child in need, we encourage you to become an IFC member and then contact the IFC office for information on the Medical Cost Share Program.

IFC Supports CANICA ... Kids with Cancer

IFC helps poor kids with cancer by supporting CANICA, a local organization that was formed in 2003 to help families with very little money cope with treating and caring for children with cancer. CANICA is part of the International Confederation of Childhood Cancer Parent Organizations.

IFC offers financial aid each month to CANICA to help with the costs of sending young cancer patients with a parent to Guadalajara for treatment, arranging for them to stay at a hostel, receive chemotherapy and other treatments as well as psychological support for both the child and the parent. Some children are unable to eat a normal diet so CANICA provides supplementary foods.

Last year the IFC also helped to buy optical prostheses for an 11-year-old girl who had lost her sight to cancer and whose eyes had to be removed to stop the spread of the disease. She and her family are very happy that she now looks like the other children of her age, even though she will never regain her sight.

The IFC continues to support medical treatment for kids with cleft palates, more than half a dozen education projects, a number of local charities, and a basic nutrition program in a very poor area of town. We urge our readers to support them by joining the club, taking a Home Tour, or making a donation. You can help them to change lives in this town that may be paradise for many of us but can be much more difficult for those who lack sufficient economic resources.

The International Friendship Club is a registered charitable organization in Mexico listed as Club Internacional de la Amistad de Puerto Vallarta A.C. It is located at the northeast corner of the Rio Cuale Bridge above the HSBC Bank, Colonia El Centro, Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico, 48300. Phone: 322-222-5466. Website: ifcvallarta.com Email: ifcvallarta(at)gmail.com