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.
Juan’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.