Operation Walk Carolinas

CHARLOTTE — Operation Walk Carolinas will host its first fundraiser of 2020, the Winter Warmer Market, on Saturday, February 1, at The Hobbyist Charlotte in Charlotte’s NoDa neighborhood to benefit its spring medical mission to Honduras.

The Winter Warmer Market will include beer, wine and coffee specials and a chance to shop with local vendors while sipping. Market vendors will include Johnny Fly, Rowan’s Haberdashery, TAYFLOWER, Woffle Dog Beds and more. The event will be held from 2 to 6 p.m. and is open to the public.

Proceeds from the fundraiser will help the Operation Walk Carolinas medical team, made up of 50 volunteer providers from OrthoCarolina, Atrium Health and Novant Health, travel to Honduras to perform joint replacements for people there. Specialized medical care like joint replacements is rare in countries such as Honduras. Honduran people have relatively little or no access to life-changing surgeries such as hip and knee replacements — which in many cases can leave them unable to walk or facing a lifetime of debilitating pain. The country of Honduras has a population of approximately 9.2 million with thousands of patients waiting for joint replacements.

“The reason that we go to great lengths to travel to these countries and do this work is because of the people. Patients who couldn’t walk before surgery are now mobile and able to work, spend time with their families, provide for those families, and do the things they love,” said Bryan Springer, MD, Operation Walk Carolinas co-founder and hip and knee surgeon with OrthoCarolina. “We work closely with our national Operation Walk colleagues to determine which destinations most need our care.”

Last year’s mission

The Operation Walk Carolinas team traveled to Panama in 2019 and performed 60 total hip and knee replacements on 54 patients. They have also made previous trips to Honduras and Cuba.

While in Honduras in 2020, the Operation Walk Carolinas medical team will also host professional education training for local physicians about advanced orthopedic treatments and care.

“It’s common to take healthcare for granted, especially specialized surgeries, when you live somewhere with easy access and many doctors,” said Julie Woodside, MD, a surgeon with OrthoCarolina and owner of The Hobbyist Charlotte. “The Winter Warmer Market is our way to support our local community and have fun while rallying around a very serious international need.”

For more information, visit opwalkcarolinas.org and thehobbyistclt.com.