by Janalee Heinemann, IPWSO Vice-President
The approximately 400 families who take their children that have Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) to Dr. Moris Angulo know first-hand of his great love for our children and adults with the syndrome. They are his favorite patients, and when he walks down the hall at a New York state chapter conference, Dr. Angulo is like a rock star with children and adults running up to him with their arms out for a big hug. Besides running a very busy clinic, Dr. Angulo has support groups for the parents and hosts a big holiday party for the children and adults with PWS each year.
What most people do not know is that Dr. Angulo’s incredible support goes far beyond New York. He helps families from other states in the USA, and families from other countries, especially Spanish-speaking countries.
Having grown up poor in small town (El Tránsito) of El Salvador, Dr. Angulo has never forgotten what it feels like to be in desperate need. There were people that helped him so that he could go on and get his degrees both in genetics and endocrinology – thus he has paid it forward a thousand times over.
Dr. Angulo has paid his own expenses to travel to educate parents and physicians in countries such as Cuba, Honduras, Mexico, Chile, and of course El Salvador. He also helps many, many families and physicians via email, and has even hosted some families coming from other countries in his own home. Dr. Angulo has been able to obtain essential medications at times for people in developing countries, and recently, after seeing the only outdated microscope in the entire hospital in Honduras, he was able to convince his own hospital (Winthrop University) to donate a microscope, which he personally delivered.
When I asked Dr. Angulo recently if he ever plans to retire, he said, “No, not as long as I love my work – and I specially enjoy working with my Pee-Wee’s.” (His affectionate name for the children with PWS) We both spoke recently at the Albany hospital and New York chapter conference. The evening of the gala, watching all of the children and adults with PWS dancing, I said to Moris, “Look what a difference you have made in their lives!” Most of us want to do good in this world, but Dr. Angulo has put that “want” into action and has done good around the world.
Shine on, shine on Dr. Angulo. The world needs more people like you.