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 Elle Draper

A smile for Juan

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I spend most of my life on the internet, marketing, writing and researching. Recently I stumbled across Una sonrisa para Juan (A smile for Juan), a platform that raises funds for a very special little boy, six year old Juan Barrios Picon.

A smile for JuanJuan’s twin brother died when they were both still in their mother’s womb. Juan remained in the womb for a further six weeks before being born prematurely at eight months with a number of ailments, including Laryngomalacia. This is where the soft immature cartilage of the upper larynx collapses inwards, causing the airway to obstruct. Although it is sometimes found in elderly people, this is more common in babies and young children.

Juan’s heart stopped when he was six months old, due to his trachea closing and the doctors fought to bring him back. He has cerebral palsy among other health problems. Little Juan does not ask for much. He wants just one thing, something most of us take for granted, he wants to be able to walk.

To achieve this, Juan needs lots of specialist equipment and a number of special therapies and treatments. Fortunately the treatments are available in Spain. Juan requires all kinds of therapies: rehabilitation, physiotherapy, speech therapy, hippotherapy, etc. There is a treatment called “Therasuit” in Seville and Alcalá de Henares (Madrid) which gives excellent results. The duration of treatment Therasuit was one month of three hours daily. This means that John and his parents need to stay in Seville and Alcalá de Henares which of course adds to the costs.

A number of people have been helping to raise funds to make Juan’s dreams come true. One such event is the upcoming 10 kilometre race at 11am on January 18 2015 in Alhama de Almeria. The race is raising funds for Una sonrisa para Juan (A smile for Juan) which is a platform organised to arrange various fundraising activities to get the much needed funds for Juan’s equipment and treatment. Registration for the race costs just €10 if you wish to run and there are various categories to cover all ages and abilities.

Una sonrisa para Juan has already organised other events including races and gala days. It all began in April 2013 and so far five events have been held.

The closing date for the race registration is January 15 and you can do this on on www.todofondo.net. Scroll down the home page and you will see the poster titled “Una sonrisa para Juan”. The website is in Spanish but you can use Google Translate to help you navigate.

You can find out more about Juan and the various fundraising activities on this Facebook group

Let’s help Juan spend his next birthday up on his feet.

15 Responses to A smile for Juan

  1. Jennifer January 5, 2015 at 5:36 pm

    You’re a good person. :)

  2. wandering educators January 5, 2015 at 5:39 pm

    Beautiful – so glad you shared this! Thinking of Juan…

  3. Elle Draper
    Elle Draper January 5, 2015 at 5:40 pm

    Not me… because I won’t be running ha ha! I don’t “do” running, it makes me spill my cocktails :D

  4. Elle Draper
    Elle Draper January 5, 2015 at 5:50 pm

    Thanks! They should raise quite a bit of money on the day – it would be good if Juan can realise his dream. x

  5. noel January 5, 2015 at 5:54 pm

    I shared this on my social media channels, I hope that they do get their target for this worthy cause

  6. Elle Draper
    Elle Draper January 5, 2015 at 6:16 pm

    Thanks for popping by Noel. I really enjoyed your market article. Souvlaki anyone?
    E x

  7. Alf January 5, 2015 at 10:05 pm

    Ooh get you with your cocktails, you’re such a snob. ;) I use the same excuse about beer! Seriously though, it’s heartwarming that complete strangers are willing to do stuff like this on behalf of complete strangers.
    I’ll have to use google translate ( my Spanish is still crap) to find out how to donate a few shekels or Euros.

    Alf xx

  8. JOSE January 6, 2015 at 12:41 am

    I am the alma mater of the platform “A SMILE FOR JUAN”. Elle thank you very much for your article full of sensitivity and safeguarding the privacy of John.

  9. Elle Draper
    Elle Draper January 6, 2015 at 8:26 pm

    It is our pleasure Jose!
    Elle x

  10. Elle Draper
    Elle Draper January 6, 2015 at 8:29 pm

    Ha ha ha. A slice of lemon in my voddie and coke and I’d call it a cocktail ;) Proper Pompey Posh! :P
    I was just really touched by the story and when I discussed it with Alan, we wanted to help. I have also popped something in the local paper for them too. Oh and if all goes to plan… there will be more news to come. ‘Citing!
    I think the link is just to register for the race but I will see if I can find another way for people to donate direct if they would like to.
    E x

  11. JOSE January 7, 2015 at 1:01 am

    The platform A SMILE FOR JUAN thanks you for your comments.
    If anyone wants to work for the cause and make a small donation, there is a FILA 0 where they can.
    The data are:

    Concept: A SMILE TO JUAN
    Account Number: 332724000396 3058-00-21

    Thank you very much for your help.

  12. Tawanna January 10, 2015 at 3:10 am

    Shared this. I love it when Bloggers take a second from their regularly scheduled programs to help promote programs and organizations that help critically ill kids and those with special needs. But guess I’m biased since I’m a mom of both.

  13. Elle Draper
    Elle Draper January 10, 2015 at 6:57 pm

    Hi Tawanna – thanks for popping by.
    As much as we (and by “we” I mean my husband) can be feisty online, we are big softies really. It takes us only an hour or so to do something like this… but because we have a good following, the benefits along the way are endless. We have more planned in the coming months to help Juan – so do pop in again.
    Love to you and yours x

  14. Mary @ Green Global Travel January 15, 2015 at 10:44 pm

    Thanks for sharing Juan’s worthy cause!

  15. Elle Draper
    Elle Draper January 16, 2015 at 12:38 am

    Such a brave lad – he deserves all the support we can give him.

    Thanks for popping by, Mary.

    E x

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