AMERICAN FORK, Utah — Most of the people in Ryan Wilcox's life already knew he is a devoted father and caring pediatrician.

What they didn't know about is his work as a humanitarian missionary for the LDS Church.

\"It's so exciting to have the little kids come in, and they always love to say, 'We saw your video,' and the parents, I've had many get so emotional and say they didn't know that I do all those other things,\" Wilcox said.

Due to the \"I'm a Mormon\" ad campaign, it's not just Wilcox's patients who now have a look into Wilcox's religious life; it's millions of people across America, which Wilcox simply called a \"humbling\" experience.

Wilcox is a private practice pediatrician in American Fork who also helps run a level II NICU, and his wife, Gretchen, is a labor and delivery nurse. Although they had both previously been involved in the program as volunteers, the Wilcoxes have served as humanitarian missionaries for the church for the past two years, specializing in teaching neonatal resuscitation to doctors and nurses in Brazil and Africa.

\"By using my talents, I am able to help save the lives of babies all over the world,\" Wilcox said in his profile.

One particular experience that served as evidence of his service came while he was running a training course in Brazil last year.

\"I had a doctor come up to me at the end of the week crying and basically just told me, 'Last week we watched a baby die at our clinic because we didn't have the proper equipment, and now thanks to the church, I'm never going to have to sit there and watch another baby die,'\" Wilcox said.

Although it has been rewarding to see the impact, this service has come at a cost to his family. As the parents of 12- and 8-year-old daughters, it has been a sacrifice for Wilcox and his wife to leave their children for up to 14 days, three times a year. Wilcox believes, however, that the ad campaign has helped address the matter within his own family.

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\"I think the biggest thing … that's been interesting just for (his daughters) is seeing the response we've gotten of how many people have commented to them, or they've been with us when people have said how much they've appreciated seeing the video,\" Wilcox said.

While many people may perceive the LDS community as tight-knit and exclusive, Wilcox said one of his biggest hopes is that his portion of the ad campaign clears the air about the service the church provides.

\"It doesn't matter what nationality you are, what religion you are,\" Wilcox said. \"Doing Christlike service is regardless of any nationality, financial status or anything like that, and Mormons are truly Christians who serve and help those around them.\"


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