From 1956 to 2004, Tom and Elaine Coleman provided much-needed medical care to some of the poorest people in Africa. The first clinic in Ginde Beret, central Ethiopia, was a small wooden shed. It grew after hundreds of people from all over Ethiopia arrived to be treated for broken bones, leprosy, tumors, intestinal diseases, cancer, gunshot and arrow wounds, and other ailments.
Tom and Elaine's journey has been chronicled in a documentary film, "The Tom Coleman Story," which premiered this April in Cambridge, Minnesota. I attended the celebration prior to the showing with my parents, since Tom is a relative. We were astonished to learn people to this day in Ginde Beret fondly remember Tom and Elaine for all their good work.