Health clinic for the poor needs help this holiday

JOHNS ISLAND, S.C. (WCIV) - A medical clinic on Maybank Highway has helped nearly 20,000 poor patients get medical care. The clinic runs solely on donations.

With it being the season of giving, the clinic is in the midst of its "We Care" campaign. It's one of three yearly events that the clinic depends on to stay in operation.

"In the years since it has formed, the patient load has increased," board of director's member Lee Glover said. "We provide tremendous service to those who aren't able to afford medical care."

The Barrier Islands Free Medical Clinic helps those in James, John, and Wadmalaw islands who don't have health insurance and meet the federal poverty guidelines.

The clinic has 31 volunteer physicians, 25 volunteer-registered nurses, and 32 medical office staff volunteers, as well interpreters.

"I'm a volunteer again and now a survivor of breast cancer," Mary Bull said. "But without them until this day I wouldn't have known it."

Bull was diagnosed with breast cancer in April 2010 and has made volunteering at the clinic a major part of her life.

It's a story told by so many volunteers, like 57-year-old Jacqueline Alarid.

"They have been a godsend to me because without them I couldn't get the help," she said.

Alarid, who battles multiple health problems, now volunteers to help those who are in the same position.

"I can relate to them," she said.

If you would like to donate you can send donations to:

Barrier Islands Free Medical Clinic c/o Donations

3226 Maybank Highway Suite 1-A

Johns Island, SC 29455