Jimmy Francis has been in pain for years.

“My pain is in my lower back, which is now running down through my legs,” said Francis.

To make matters worse, the last few years his teeth have been falling out. Francis works as a salesman in the auto industry and not having a bright smile has hurt his paycheck.

 “First impression when you are in sales is 90 percent of the game,” he said. “I mean I can hide it by not talking but it has affected my income drastically in the last three years.” 

Francis cannot afford the medical or dental plans his company offers. He joined the thousand other residents who came to Florida’s first ever Remote Area Medical free clinic Saturday at Manatee Technical College in Bradenton. 

Stan Brock started the event 30 years ago for sick people in the Amazon. There, the nearest doctor was a 26-day walk.

Since then, with the help of volunteers, Brock has been bringing free medical care to people all over the world. However, in recent years he has found it is Americans who are really in need.

“Now it’s sort of morphed to an operation here in the United States, the world’s richest country, where some people might as well be 26 days on foot for the opportunity they have to get the care they need,” said Brock.

Around 2,000 area residents will receive dental and medical treatments during the two-day event, which would be about a million dollars in health care costs.

“First come, first serve, we will be able to give you the treatment you need,” said Brock.

Richard Conard, a retired Manatee County physician, brought the event to Bradenton, devoting nine months to bringing nearly 800 doctors, dentists and nurses together. His dream is to change health care rules in legislation and have greater care in Florida.

“Literally what you see here could be replicated every two to three weeks to four weeks in needy communities throughout the state of Florida,” said Conard.

The event  continues into Sunday. However, it is first come, first serve.