Operation Rainbow member Gary Hanney, during a 2017 trip to China. (Contributed photo)

South Surrey pair join ‘Operation Rainbow’ on medical trip to India

Gary Hanney, Mandy Hadikin among group aiming to help youth in need

A pair of South Surrey residents leave Thursday for India, as part of Operation Rainbow Canada – a non-profit group that provides free reconstructive surgery for patients with cleft-lip and cleft-palate deformities.

Videographer Gary Hanney and nurse Mandy Hadikin are both members of the team that will travel to Hyderabad, India. In total, the group will include upwards of 20 people from a number of countries, including Cambodia and India – Vancouver plastic surgeon Colin White among them.

The Operation Rainbow group has performed previous goodwill missions in impoverished regions across the globe, including a trip last year to China. In 2014, the team went to Cambodia.

This year’s trip is planned for 10 days.

“Cleft-lip and cleft-palate deformities are not just a cosmetic problem,” said White in a news release. “It causes medical problems as well. A child can have trouble eating, breathing and speaking because the roof of their mouth isn’t closed. They can be much more prone to infections because the bones and tissues are malformed.”

In India, it’s expected that “about 100” surgeries will be performed, and staff will assess more than 200 children.

For information on Operation Rainbow’s efforts, visit www.operationrainbowcanada.ca

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