“On a return trip in 1983 to Ecuador, where Walker had served his church mission, he saw a woman he had baptized coughing up blood. Her tuberculosis could be cured with a $200 treatment, but she couldn’t afford it. Walker, who had spent four times that much on his airfare, considered giving her the money, but didn’t. Three years later, she died.
“That was a crushing realization for Walker.
“By 2004, he was a physician in Las Vegas and determined to help improve the health of members in developing nations. With the aid of more than 30 LDS stake (regional) presidents and other leaders in Mexico, Guatemala, Ecuador, Peru and Brazil, Walker spent years collecting data on the health problems, particularly malnutrition, of Latter-day Saint children in Latin America.
“From the data, he concluded that hundreds of thousands of ‘faithful and active Latter-day Saints’ lived in ‘dire poverty,’ including thousands of children who have annual cases of severe, preventable disability, and 900 annual preventable deaths.
“Walker established the Liahona Children’s Foundation to provide a ‘caloric and vitamin supplement’ to those suffering from malnutrition.
“It began small but now his nonprofit — which changed its name two years ago to Bountiful Children’s Foundation — is actively serving ‘nearly 20,000 children and many of their mothers in 16 countries,’ according to its website. ‘In 2019, the foundation provided more than 1.8 million supplements to recipients across 200 communities.’
“Walker’s church mission and prayer played a big role in what motivated him.
“One night in 2004, he was discouraged by some responses to his malnutrition project, which seemed overwhelming to launch without more help.
“As he slept, a figure came to him in a dream and said, ‘Don’t give up.’
“Brad Walker, with his family, started the Bountiful Children’s Foundation to fight malnutrition in developing nations.
“He woke up two more times that night, Walker recalls now, and each time the same figure told him not to forsake the project. That was almost 20 years ago, and now his malnutrition effort is stronger than ever.
“That, he says, is faith.”