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Burbank-based nonprofit seeks to help local children in need of surgery

Burbank nonprofit Mending Kids is offering free surgeries to children who are in need of minor cosmetic surgeries. Doctors working with the nonprofit will conduct the surgeries in July.

Burbank nonprofit Mending Kids is offering free surgeries to children who are in need of minor cosmetic surgeries. Doctors working with the nonprofit will conduct the surgeries in July.

(Burbank Leader)

A local nonprofit is looking to help more than a dozen children who are in need of surgery.

Mending Kids is currently accepting applications for free surgeries for children who require cosmetic, orthopedic or general outpatient surgeries that are too expensive for some families to afford, said Cristina Farrut, director of patient services for the Burbank-based nonprofit.

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For the past 10 years, Mending Kids has provided free surgeries internationally to children in 57 countries, either by sending a team of volunteer surgeons or organizing trips for families to go to a neighboring city or country where they can seek medical attention.

It is the fourth year that Mending Kids has focused a more regional effort, providing free surgeries to those living in or near Southern California.

Applications will be accepted until mid-June. In July, officials will choose 20 children who will receive their surgeries, based on a first-come, first-served basis and their specific needs.

“Most of the surgeries that we receive are orthopedic surgeries, plastic and reconstructive surgeries, removal of lumps and bumps, general pediatric surgery or urology surgery,” Farrut said. "[The surgeries] help the kids with their self-esteem and bullying from school. It’s very important for kids to feel good about themselves.”

Farrut added that the nonprofit does not perform surgeries related to cancer, organ transplants or any major surgery that requires an overnight stay at the hospital.

Mending Kids will be teaming up with Specialty Surgical Center of Beverly Hills, which will perform the surgeries.

The surgeries are funded by money raised at events and from private donors, Farrut said.

The nonprofit has been around for about 30 years, first starting as an organization called Healing the Children with headquarters in Santa Clarita. In 2006, a local Southern California chapter separated itself from the main organization to form Mending Kids, Farrut said.

For more information, call Mending Kids at (800) 516-8723 or visit mendingkids.org.

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Anthony Clark Carpio, anthonyclark.carpio@latimes.com

Twitter: @acocarpio

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