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WOMEN HELPING WOMEN - the 10th annual benefit concert in Chestertown, Maryland

by Alison Qualter Berna

On Wednesday, March 18, my mother-in-law Maria Boria Berna will once again be honored at the 10th annual Women Helping Women benefit in Chestertown, Maryland.

Ten years ago, Maria started two clinics in rural Maryland, without much pomp or accolades. This incredible woman simply opened the doors of a local church and invited the poor, mostly Guatemalan immigrants, and those without healthcare, to come in and receive her free medical services.
As an OB/GYN, she saw mostly women in those first few years. Yet in time, word got out about her open mind, her empathetic spirit and her generous way. Soon, men were asking to see her to check on an illness or an injury, and a full scale general practice was born.

Maria’s only concerns are the short and long term well being of the patients she serves. She works many hours and drives quite a distance, to Marydel, to give of herself every week. She even changed the hours of activity to be more available to working people, which means she often works at night. Diabetes has become an epidemic among the population and thus she focuses on educating patients on a healthier diet and lifestyle.

Did I mention that Maria is 85 years old? She defies age and gives me, my husband and our children, hope of what our lives can be when we focus on the well being of others. Her life’s lesson is to be grateful for what we have and then share those gifts with those around us.
For that, we are forever grateful.

The concert on Wednesday night will include talent from all over the Eastern Shore, including our very own children Maddie (playing and singing Stay by Rihanna) and Sydney (playing and singing The Rainbow Connection).
Every year, it is a magical, musical night.
Proceeds from the concert will go to basic medical equipment and medicine to help those most in need and cannot afford care. To support this amazing cause, visit http://www.garfieldcenter.org/gcaevent/women-helping-women/

We will send an update next week!

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