Please visit the above link for information regarding a medical mission sponsored by The Luz Fund to the hometown of Luz and her family in Juanjui Peru.


Welcome and many thanks for visiting the weblog of Luz Estephanie Machiavello del Castillo. Luz will be returning to Tampa in January 2018. Her appointment at Shriners for 2018 will be January 17. There is a good possibility that Luz' sister, Giuliana, may also accompany her. Luz has grown since we last saw her in March 2017. Hilmer has said that she is excelling in school. Please take note of the article below on the right to see how you can help make her visit more comfortable. You will be able to see updates on Luz and her progress as she proceeds along the path that will again enable her to grow in the confidence and stature of a beautiful little girl. Stay tuned.

Please remember that posts are listed in reverse order with new posts at the top of the page. To read older posts you need to scroll down the page.

*Click on photos for a larger view

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Goodbye Luz

Although today was a happy day, Luz was headed back to Peru, there were many tears. Yesterday, as they were packing many bags with clothing and gifts, Luz announced to everyone that when she leaves she did not want to see anyone crying. This, from a 5 year old little girl. If you have been following the entries in this blog since Luz arrived in Tampa, you are already aware that this kind of comment from Luz is not surprising. Her leaving also leaves a rather large hole in many hearts in the Tampa area.
Luz, whose name translated means 'Light', has been the light of our lives here in Tampa for the past nine weeks. If you did not have chance to visit with her, watch her, play with her, take her to the ice cream shoppe, shopping at Publix, the flea market, WalMart, you missed an opportunity that could very well remain with you forever. I know all of us here in Tampa as well as those we have met, through Luz, will not soon forget her. This is how we receive our compensation for all the work we put into this humanitarian work that we love. The best part is, Shriner's Hospital has accepted her as a patient as she grows and needs a new arm to match that growth. Over the next 13 years, we get to watch her grow and mature from a little five year old girl, playing with her "Dora the Explorer" doll into a young lady.
As we left for the drive to Tampa Airport, everyone was fine. We did our best to smile as kisses and hugs were passed to all who could not make the trip. Our little princess finally held back long enough and her tears flowed freely. She regained her composure and the rest of the day went well. Eli received a call from Hilmer that their plane to Lima was delayed in Miami but that they were finally ready to leave at 7:00 PM. When Eli and I got back to the house, Joanne was waiting for us. Gosh the place was quiet. Now, as I sit here and type this final entry into Luz' blog I think of the past nine weeks and how fast they seemed to pass. But our little girl will be back again next year, and we are already looking forward to it. I can't help but think of the words to a soft blues song by Joe Williams, the lyrics go like this: "Now she is gone and my heart is yearning, but a man ain't supposed to cry".

Monday, August 13, 2007


I always wanted to meet a pretty girl, with dimples,
who would laugh at my jokes.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Luz Second Visit to Shriners

Luz was a little more relaxed today. Such a strong little girl, especially for a 5 yr old. I guess the traumatic events she has undergone thus far have strengthened her beyond her years. Claudio and Angelica, our CardioStart bicyclists, have come through Tampa on their way to Alaska for a ride back to Colombia. Luz now has an Aunt Angelica, and they get along just fine. Angelica is a trained Physical Education Instructor and has worked in Rehab with children previously. What an extended family Luz is developing. We are all looking forward to the next 13 years and years beyond.

In the first photo, Angelica reads a story to Luz as we wait for the Ortho-Tech.

In photo #2, Luz and Kerryleena get their first look at her new arm. Bryan, one of Luz best friends, shows off the prosthesis. Luz confided to Eliana afterwards that she was expecting a new arm just like her old one. But she is happy that she will not need to go through another surgery.
The last photo is reward time, Watermelon Ice Cream with Gummy Bears at an Ice Cream Parlor in Brandon. Luz' next appointment at Shriners is July 30. Please continue to remember Luz in your prayers. Her attitude is amazing. She is totally enjoying her visit to Tampa. Please also remember you can comment to these messages by using the comments link at the bottom of each entry. Luz would be happy to hear from you.

Saturday, July 7, 2007


Many of you may already be aware of Luz' and her story. For those reading this for the first time I will present a short summary.
CardioStart International was in Lima, Peru, in March 2007, when we were directed to Luz, who was in a ward after being run over by a motorcycle taxi in her home village. The accident severed her right arm. It took 14 1/2 hrs for Luz to get to the Hospital Del Nino in Lima. Despite successful efforts to re-attach, and many days in the OR, infection set in and amputation was required.

Contact with Shriners Hospital in Tampa resulted in an opportunity for Luz to obtain a prosthesis. American Airlines provided air transportation for Luz and her Dad from Lima to Tampa. She arrived June 25 at TIA. Luz and her Dad, Hilmer, are staying at CardioStart House in East Tampa while she undergoes the procedures which will result in her new arm.

We will use this weblog to solicit funds for Luz and to keep you informed of her progress. If you wish to help with the expense of Luz and Hilmer while in Tampa and support for her Mama and siblings back in Juanjui, please consider a small donation. Instructions for contributing are posted at the top right side of this blog. Whether or not you can support financially please remember Luz in your daily prayers.