To Haiti and Back: A Family Affair

By Adam Mankoski July 14, 2010

Among the army of volunteers already in the trenches at Hopital Sacre Coeur when the “North State for Haiti” team arrived in Milot, was sixteen-year-old, Bay Area teenager, Rebekah Ryan.

Rebekah, who begged her mom to send her alone to Haiti after the January 12 earthquake, shook the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince, is an enthusiastic, one-woman relief aid organization, ready to dive into tending wounds, clearing rubble or sanitizing drinking water.

But her mom laid down the law when Rebekah got the aid-work bug. “I am not, not, not taking you to the airport,” was Dr. Katie Ryan’s natural parental response to her daughter’s call-to-action. Katie pulled a “mom” maneuver on Rebekah, citing dangerous conditions and sketchy accommodations in her refusal to sate her teen’s inner-aid worker.

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