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Mission of Hope


Mary Lou, Don and Shauna Vollmer share a moment in Africa.

Don & Mary Lou Vollmer offer
medical assistance in Ethiopia

In a primitive Ethiopian hospital last summer, Mary Lou Vollmer was overwhelmed with emotion following surgery to treat a cleft palate on a beautiful little brown-eyed native. Overcome with appreciation for the corrective surgery, the baby’s mother knelt, kissing the ground at Mary Lou’s feet.

“It was amazing,” says Mary Lou, a dental hygienist who assisted in the surgery as part of a medical mission she participated in last summer with her husband, Don. The couple’s daughter, Shauna, organized the mission.

Shauna Vollmer King, an Oxyfresh Director, is president and founder of the nonprofit International Medical Relief (IMR) and has been organizing medical mission trips for 10 years. This is the first time Don and Mary Lou, Oxyfresh Regional Directors and Advisory Board members, accompanied their daughter.

Don, a dentist, and Mary Lou were part of a team that traveled to Mekelle, Ethiopia, to assist with dental and medical care for hundreds of impoverished locals. “How these people survive with practically nothing — while maintaining a positive outlook — is absolutely amazing,” Don says.

IMR dentists treated more than 200 patients at Mekelle and the remote village of Wukro. The group traveled to Africa with Oxyfresh toothbrushes to share with the natives, teaching children how to brush properly and clean their tongues with Oolitt® Tongue Cleaners, which were donated by long-time Oxyfresh Distributor Deepty Patel. IMR team members also received Dental Travel Kits donated by Oxyfresh.

The volunteers worked 15-hour days, with plastic surgeons performing over 90 surgical procedures, mostly repairing cleft palates on patients ranging from four months to teens. “It was just such an incredible and rewarding experience,” Mary Lou says.

Left: Don and Mary Lou Share Oxyfresh Toothbrushes and tongue cleaners with children at an orphanage in Wukro, Ethiopia.
Right: Don, Mary Lou and Shauna with the entire IMR team.

Lifestyle of Choice

The mission to Africa capped a six-week adventure for Mary Lou and Don. They traveled from their home in Castle Rock, Colorado, to Salzburg, Austria, for a family wedding, then on to Dresden, Germany, and England. Next, they boarded the luxurious Queen Victoria II for a two-week cruise through Estonia, Poland, Russia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Belgium.

The couple credits their Oxyfresh business for giving them the freedom travel extensively. “We love discovering the treasures of the world,” Mary Lou says.

“Without our residual income, trips like this would not be possible,” she said. “We were gone six weeks and not only did our Oxyfresh checks keeping coming, we qualified for the Builder’s Bonus!”

Mary Lou adds, “That’s what is so amazing about this company. It gives you a lifestyle choice; the freedom to do what you want to do when you want to do it. And when you succeed, you are rewarded in so many ways.”

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