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Valley charity ships medical supplies to Cameroon

Project C.U.R.E. is shipping hundred of boxes of gloves, syringes, dressings, bandages and more to the International Community Reference Healthcare Complex in Buea, Cameroon. (Photo by Bob McClay)

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Volunteers in a Tempe warehouse are spending the days before Christmas getting ready to ship a 40-foot container of much-needed medical supplies and equipment to a Central African country.

Project C.U.R.E. (Commission on Urgent Relief and Equipment) is sending hundreds of boxes of gloves, syringes, dressings, bandages and more to the International Community Reference Healthcare Complex in Buea, Cameroon. In addition to those supplies, it's also sending 12 hospital beds and an X-ray machine.

"We collect donated medical supplies and equipment from valley hospitals, then we take those supplies and equipment and ship it to developing countries," said Project C.U.R.E. executive director Melissa Gable.

Project C.U.R.E. has already sent donated medical supplies and equipment to 15 countries this year.

"It is actually going to a healthcare center that is brand new," said Gable of the supplies' Cameroon destination. "It has 43 beds, but those 43 beds are going to serve 200,000 people."

Because of U.S. regulations, the hospitals would have been unable to use the goods here.

"A lot of what you see is stuff that maybe the hospitals have overstocked, or that they've opened a box and they can't reuse anything," said Gable.

Project C.U.R.E. has provided assistance to people in more than 120 countries since it began in the 1980s.

About the Author

Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I live in north Phoenix with my wife Rene' and my son Devin.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: My Dad took me to see Jimmy Dean at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in the 1960's. It was before the Coliseum was built. The only thing I remember is Jimmy Dean singing his big hit "Big Bad John."

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Shiloh Community Church in Phoenix. Devin is a high school student at Scottsdale Christian Academy. He plays on the baseball, football, and basketball teams and sings in the choir. Obviously, we keep busy trying to go to all his events! We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and long road trips. We like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.


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