About Us

Why is any organization founded?
Organizations are founded because one or more people have a passion for a cause. The Fundação Esperança, a Brazilian nonprofit that has been providing health and education along the Amazon for over 30 years, was losing its funding from its long standing American counterpart, who had a change in philosophy, leadership, and vision.

Dr. Bill Chase, Ron Bertagnoli, and Dr. Daniel Weiss were passionate about the work of the Fundação Esperança, and could not bare to think what would happen to the thousands of people who are effected by the Fundação Esperança. Thus, the (3AO)was founded in 1999 in Adrian, MI to support the activities of the Fundação Esperança.
The Original Founder: Luke Tupper
Fr. Luke, a former Navy and Marine Corps doctor, first witnessed the medical deprivation of the children of South America while traveling to the South Pole aboard a U.S. Navy icebreaker. After five years of Military service, Dr. Luke started a residency in plastic surgery at the University of Chicago. Haunted by the memories of the children, he resigned his residency and entered the Franciscan Order. After his ordination, Fr. Luke was assigned to Brazil and began the overwhelming task of bringing medical care to people in the region. Without money, medicine, vaccines, or equipment, Fr. Luke was determined to reduce the appalling infant mortality rate which approached 50% in some isolated villages. Help poured in form the United States and Europe. 

In 1972, a medical clinic, the Clinica Dos Pobres (Clinic of the Poor) was completed. The Clinica Dos Pobres became the cornerstone of the Fundação Esperança. Over the years, other buildings have been constructed to house the burgeoning training programs, including a dental clinic, laboratory, operating theater and recovery rooms, classrooms, and living quarters for students and medical volunteers. Luke passed away on September 18, 1978. He was killed in a motorcycle accident while continuing his studies at Ohio State University. Though Luke may be gone, his legacy of compassion and caring continues.

That good feeling you get by writing a check to your favorite charity could be your brain patting itself on the back.

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