A lifelong dream to make a difference, not just in the Valley but also around the world, has come true for one Edinburg nurse.

Lifelong Edinburg resident Irene Robledo, an registered nurse, is currently volunteering in Haiti to support those in need following January’s devastating earthquakes, which officials predict killed anywhere between 171,000 to 300,000 people in Port-Au-Prince, the country’s capital.

“I have always wanted to something like this, so when the opportunity arose I did it,” Robledo said. “I have been blessed in my life, and I feel this is just one way of giving back to the community, for me this is how I can give back. God has blessed me with the gift to help those who are sick.”

Robledo joins the fourth group of doctors and healthcare professionals from the Rio Grande Valley organized by Hope International Medical Missions in Mercedes who have volunteered to provide care in the aftermath of Haiti’s 7.0 magnitude quake last month.

“We’re really there in the aftermath, to take care of those who are sick and take care of patients who have who wounds and will undergo surgery,” Robledo said. “The opportunity arose to help somebody that really needs the help. They have no other way besides volunteer help.

Robledo has been a nurse for 22 years, and has worked at Edinburg Regional and McAllen Medical Center. She is currently employed in the field of home healthcare. She is a 1994 graduate of the University of Texas-Pan American.

“It’s really exciting that people in the Valley have the opportunity to (help). … We see things on TV and our hearts go out to them,” she said. “To actually know there is a means and ways to do something, it really means a lot to me. To actually physically go out there, I’m looking forward to it.”