Harry (MD) and Echo (PA) are founders and executive directors of The Luke Commission, registered as a non-government organization in the Kingdom of Swaziland and a non-profit charity in the United States.
The couple founded The Luke Commission, named after Dr. Luke in the Bible, in 2005 after visiting Swaziland in 2004 where the VanderWals saw the devastation of HIV/AIDS throughout rural Swaziland.
In 2002, Harry graduated from Wright State University’s Boonshoft School of Medicine, Dayton, Ohio. That year he was inducted into Alpha Omega Alpha. In 2006, Harry completed the Combined Internal Medicine-Pediatrics residency program at Wright State.
Harry was honored by Wright State University in 2008 as the Young Alumnus of the Year. He currently serves as an Associate Professor for the Boonshoft School of Medicine. Harry grew up in Rutherfordton, North Carolina.
Echo attended Physician Assistant school at Kettering College of Medical Arts, graduating in 2000 with distinction. She practiced in surgery until the birth of the couple’s triplet sons and then practiced in pediatrics while Harry finished his residency.
Echo spent her childhood in Bonner County, Idaho, and the couple’s stateside headquarters is in Sagle. Today, however, Swaziland is now their home, living in Sidvokodvo with their 13-year-old sons Luke, Jacob, and Zebadiah, 10-year-old son Zion, 2-year-old daughter Hosanna and son Gilead born in August 2014.
Both Harry and Echo graduated with highest honors from Cedarville in 1996, each with a Bachelor of Arts degree in biology. In 2011, Harry and Echo were honored by Cedarville University, Cedarville, Ohio, as Alumni of the Year.