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Here’s The Amazing Way This Mexican Doctor Is Helping Children Fight Cancer

Meet Dr. Sergio Gallegos Castorena, a pediatric oncologist at the Civil Hospital of Guadalajara in Mexico.

CREDIT: SERGIO GALLEGOS CASTORENA / YOUTUBE

Dr. Gallegos isn’t your typical pediatric oncologist.

CREDIT: DR. SERGIO GALLEGOS / FACEBOOK

Every day, Gallegos treats children suffering from leukemia, and he does this dressed as his patient’s favorite character.

CREDIT: DR. SERGIO GALLEGOS / FACEBOOK

“It’s something very surprising, the reaction of each child,” Gallegos told EFE. “They give me kisses, hugs, smiles.”

By wearing a wide variety of costumes, Dr. Gallegos is able to be more than just a doctor to these kids.

CREDIT: DR. SERGIO GALLEGOS / FACEBOOK

“A doctor can save a child’s life, but if he is dressed up as Batman, in the eyes of a child, he has superpowers,” Gallegos told Sputnik Spain.

Leukemia treatment can take several years, so it’s important for Gallegos to develop a strong relationship with the children that will spend countless hours under his care.

CREDIT: DR. SERGIO GALLEGOS / FACEBOOK

“The idea is that their doctor’s visit will become a special event,” Gallegos told Informador. “An event where they feel loved and feel special.”

CREDIT: DR. SERGIO GALLEGOS / FACEBOOK

Adding this level of care brings joy to the suffering children, as well as to the parents who are suffering just as much.

“The method that I practice allows the whole family to get distracted from the real tragedy,” Gallegos told Sputnik Spain. “Parents see that their kid is happy and that means a lot.”

CREDIT: DR. SERGIO GALLEGOS / FACEBOOK

Sergio understands what these children are facing. When he was 17 years old, Gallegos was diagnosed with testicular cancer.

CREDIT: DR. SERGIO GALLEGOS / FACEBOOK

At the time, Gallegos needed treatment that was not available in Mexico. His family went to the U.S. in search of a cure, which involved heavy amounts of chemotherapy.

During this uncertain time in his life, Gallegos said his favorite memories were of the clowns that visited him the hospital.

CREDIT: DR. SERGIO GALLEGOS / FACEBOOK

“Clowns came to visit me in the hospital,” Gallegos told Informador. “They brought joy and good humor. They helped me to forget my sufferings from chemotherapy’s strong side effects.”

This experience forever changed Gallegos’ path in life.

CREDIT: DR. SERGIO GALLEGOS / FACEBOOK

“I got a second chance. I decided to be happy every day and bring joy to people around me. So I went into medicine to treat children ill with cancer,” Gallegos told Sputnik Spain.

Since joining the hospital, Gallegos has helped more than double leukemia’s survival rate.

CREDIT: DR. SERGIO GALLEGOS / FACEBOOK

“Since my first day in 2007,” Gallegos told Sputnik Spain, “I cured 34 percent of patients from lymphocytic leukemia. Today, the number has increased to 85 percent. In fact, it’s not just costumes that do the job. Behind all the fun, there is a lot of hard work.”

“It is worth the effort for the joy, the smiles I see in them. It’s like we’re on the same team. They feel that I am with them in this struggle,” Sergio told EFE.

CREDIT: DR. SERGIO GALLEGOS / FACEBOOK

Dr. Gallegos takes so much pride in his work that it’s nearly impossible to find any photos of him in a regular doctor’s outfit.

With or without a costume, Dr. Sergio Gallegos is a real life hero.

CREDIT: DR. SERGIO GALLEGOS / FACEBOOK

“My motives for doing what I do can be summed up with one word: love,” Gallegos told Informador, “I love my patients.”


READ: After A Routine Surgery, This Latina Woke Up With A British Accent

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This Indigenous Village In Mexico Trains Their Children As Soldiers To Combat Gang Violence

Things That Matter

This Indigenous Village In Mexico Trains Their Children As Soldiers To Combat Gang Violence

via Getty Images

In the town of Ayahualtempa, Mexico, in the state of Guerrero, reporters see a shocking image whenever they visit. Children armed with guns, trained to defend themselves. The disturbing scene is meant to be shocking. The village of Ayahualtempa is under constant attack. A prominent heroin “corridor”, they are the victims of violence and carnage at the hands of gangsters and the cartel.

In order to gain the Mexican government’s attention, the Ayahualtempa villagers dress their children up as soldiers. Then, they invite the media in.

Ayahualtempa
via Getty Images

When reporters arrive, the children of Ayahualtempa dutifully line up and put on a performance. They march, they show how they would shoot a gun from one knee, or from flat on their bellies. They tell reporters that their mock-violent performance is “so the president sees us and helps us,” as a 12-year-old child named Valentín told the Associated Press.

Because the Mexican government doesn’t protect Ayahualtempa, the display of child soldiers is a form of protest for the small indigenous village. The people of this remote region of Guerrero want protection from the National Guard, and financial help for widows and orphans who have been made so from organized crime.

The villagers don’t trust local authorities, and for good reason. Guerrera is the Mexican state in which 43 teaching students were abducted and killed in an event that is known as the “Iguala mass kidnapping”. Authorities arrested 80 suspects in connection to the event. 44 of them were police officers, working in conjunction with a network of cartels.

Although the demonstrations function largely as a publicity stunt, violence is very much a part of these children’s lives.

via Getty Images

Parents train their children to walk to school with loaded guns, ready to defend themselves against violent gangsters.

The attention-grabbing antics have, to some extent, worked. On one occasion, the government donated some housing material. On another, benefactors gave the community’s orphans and widows scholarships and houses. But as soon as the periodic media storms die down, the federal government continues pretending Ayahualtempa doesn’t exist.

The hypocrisy of the government’s response is frustrating to many. “We’ve normalized that these children don’t eat, are illiterate, are farm workers. We’re used to the Indians dying young, but, ‘How dare they arm them!’” said local human rights activist Abel Barrera to the AP, with a heavy dose of sarcasm.

As for now, until the government moves to protect the community, they say they will continue their demonstrations. “They see that the issue of the children is effective for making people take notice and they think: If that’s what works, we’ll have to keep doing it,” said Barrera.

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Spanish Voiceover Actress For Jessie From Pokémon Dies And Fans Mourn

Entertainment

Spanish Voiceover Actress For Jessie From Pokémon Dies And Fans Mourn

Pokémon fans in Latin America are mourning the death of Diana Pérez, the Spanish-language voice of Jessie of Pokémon’s Team Rocket. The voice actress has been voicing the character since 1997.

Diana Pérez, the voice actress of Team Rocket’s Jessie, died at 51.

Lalo Garza, a famed voice actor in Mexico, confirmed the death of the Pokémon voice actress.

“Rest in peace Diana Pérez, a strong, cultured, intelligent, and very talented woman. You are good now, friend. Nothing hurts anymore. Have a good trip,” reads the tweet.

Pérez has been a staple in the Spanish-language Pokémon fandom for decades.

Pérez was more than just he voice of Jessie. The voice actress was the voice of multiple anime characters including Luffy in One Piece and Kagura in Inuyasha. In recent years, Pérez had started branching out to directing, producing, and other branches in the entertainment industry.

Pérez’s death is being mourned by Pokémon fans outside of the Spanish-language fandom.

Sarah Natochenny is the English voice of Ash Ketchum in the Pokémon series, Jessie’s mortal enemy. The death of Pérez has impacted the larger Pokémon community. Pérez was a pivotal part of the Latin American Pokémon community for decades and her loss has devastated fans.

Descansa en paz, Diana.

There have been no plans announced for a replacement to voice Team Rocket’s Jessie. No official cause of death has been released either. Our hearts and thoughts go out to Pérez’s family and the greater Pokémon community mourning her passing.

READ: I Was Today Years Old When I Found Out This Mexican Pokémon

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