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Dover doctor helps Ethiopian girl change her life

HELP WITHOUT BORDERS: A Newton-Wellesley Hospital anesthesiologist, Dr. Jim Alpers of Dover has twice traveled to southern Ethiopia on humanitarian medical missions sponsored by Waltham-based Wide Horizons for Children. As part of the medical team, he participated in dozens of operations to remove large, benign goiters that develop due to a depletion of iodized salt in the mountainous Sidama region.

Despite the volume of patients, however, Alpers never forgot Aster Degaro. Then 11 years old, she cried when medical team members were forced to turn her away three years ago because they could not safely remove the nearly 7-pound teratoma, or tumor, from her neck at the clinic.

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