Today is World Radio Day, a day in which we celebrate radio as a medium of communication worldwide. As an organization that strives to reach patients in some of the most remote areas of the world, we often rely on local radio stations to inform communities of our services. It is not uncommon for a patient to mention they heard about ReSurge on the radio as they are being evaluated for surgery.
Nowhere is this more common than in Ecuador, thanks to the help of a radio celebrity who is part of our very own ReSurge family—Javier from Radio Farra FM.
Javier (pictured right) was born in Ecuador with a bilateral cleft lip and palate. His parents were extremely poor, but never lost hope that their son’s condition could be cured. Javier’s mother spent her days trying to find someone that could help. She even managed to get her message on the local radio. Eventually, her efforts paid off and she was referred to ReSurge’s surgical outreach director, Dr. Jorge Palacios (picture left). Dr. Palacios performed more than a dozen surgeries on Javier and changed Javier’s life forever.
When Javier was a child, he was often ostracized because of the way he looked. With each surgery, Javier’s appearance changed and he recalls staring at the mirror with wonder at his new face. Like most children who are born with a cleft palate, Javier had to learn to speak correctly. “I didn’t want to speak the same as my parents and cousins, I wanted to speak better than them,” shared Javier. He spent hours practicing his speech in front of the mirror.
As an adult, driven by his curiosity about the radio field, Javier got a job at a local radio station as a janitor. He watched in awe, witnessing how radio personalities interacted with the public. One day, a staff member called-in sick and was unable to host his daily show. Javier offered to fill this role and after careful consideration the radio director gave him the opportunity. Javier spoke on the radio for the first time 15 years ago and hasn’t put the microphone down since. He is now the host of his own daily radio show in his hometown of Portoviejo.
Javier is extremely proud of his accomplishment but shared with us (in the video above) the greater goal that keeps him going every day. “I want to use my time on the air being the voice for others who are born like me,” said Javier. “I want them to know that they are not alone and refer them to Dr. Palacios/ReSurge so that their world can be changed as well.”
Everyday Javier brings music and joy into his listener’s lives. Many say his voice is laced with contagious optimism and enthusiasm. Javier is living his dream thanks to the help of reconstructive surgery and the unwavering support of his listeners.
Photo and footage by Darcy Padilla.