“I have come to believe more and more in fate because when you don’t expect something and suddenly it happens and comes to you as a great help both morally and financially.”
The life of Sharadkumar Dicksheet, M.D., was frought with many difficulties: a partially paralyzing car accident that left him in a wheelchair, terminal cancer in the larynx, and two severe heart attacks leaving him with only 17 percent residual heart capacity. Despite the challenges in his own life, Dicksheet continued his annual missions to provide free corrective surgery for children and infants who suffer from facial deformities.
In 1968, Dicksheet founded The India Project-Plastic Surgery Camp. Since that time, he traveled to India each year to perform surgeries on children. To date, The India Project has performed more than 98,000 surgeries. These surgeries have had a direct effect on over 10 million people in India who are related to and friends of the children Dicksheet serves. During the 2003-04 five-month season, Dicksheet and his team performed surgeries on 18,155 children with facial deformities.
The prize money awarded to Dicksheet gave the India Project the ability to purchase additional medical supplies and expand its outreach by opening five additional campsites and reaching 1,700 more children with facial deformities. Sadly, Dr. Dicksheet passed away in 2011 after a life full of dedicated service to children.