I would like to thank Stan Brock and his crew who came all the way from Tennessee with semi-trucks full of equipment, and all the other hundreds of wonderful, selfless volunteers who put on the RAM -- Remote Area Medical -- free medical clinic weekend at Manatee Technical College on Nov. 21-22.
What an extraordinary event! Free healthcare for all on a massive scale. Absolutely incredible. Everyone there was in non-stop motion all day long, going out of their way to be of assistance.
On Nov. 21, they gave out over 800 tickets for care, and I was No. 490. I received free of charge: a complete, thorough eye exam; two pairs of perfect eyeglasses, one of which is in a YvesSaintLaurent designer frame made in Italy; a flu shot; a medical checkup; a referral card for a test at a local medical office who has guaranteed free follow-up care; a voucher for a free mammogram at a local diagnostic center; a bag of fresh produce, and a bagged lunch.
I am a 58-year-old widow and really needed and appreciate all of these things.
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Last Sunday I arrived at about the same time, just after 3 a.m., hoping to get dental work done that day, but at 4:30 a.m. it was announced that all 400 tickets they had allocated were gone. I didn't know of this planned reduction in the tickets for Sunday or I would have camped out in the parking lot all night, like many others did.
Nevertheless, I'm extremely grateful for the care I received on Saturday, and I understand they will be back next year for three days, Nov. 11-13. So I will be back, too.
In this Thanksgiving time, I'm so thankful for the kindness, generosity, and hard work put forth to help all those in need.