Every year, registered nurse Mary Taylor leads a group of students on a trip to help provide medical care to people in Malawi, a country in East Africa. In 2016, the student trip was put on hold due to concerns about the Ebola virus—but that didn’t stop Mary.

Thanks to the dedication of a team made up entirely of IC health care professionals, the trip went on.

In Malawi, where tuberculosis, malaria, and HIV/AIDS are prevalent and resources like gasoline and medicine are scarce, people walk for miles to visit the small street-side clinic where Mary and her team volunteer.

The idea for the trip began while Mary was working toward a degree in community health education at IC, fitting courses and fieldwork into her schedule as a full-time nurse at the college’s Hammond Health Center. During an internship in Malawi in 2008, she worked with local health care providers studying malaria, the leading cause of death of children under five.

Years later, when a young mother rushed her child to the clinic with symptoms of malaria—a high fever, drowsiness, and rapid breathing—Mary was ready. She quickly supplied the appropriate treatment.

While not everyone can be helped and not every patient can be cured, Mary says that it is important to have the bigger picture in mind.

"Even if we save one life, it is worth the trip."