Rosemarie is a 38-year-old woman with two children. She enjoys cooking and spending time with her children. Eleven years ago, Rosemarie began to experience uncomfortable symptoms. She had difficulty swallowing and felt tightness around her neck. When she worked, she experienced shortness of breath and extreme fatigue. Over time, her symptoms have worsened and grown more frequent. There are times when she cannot perform simple household chores. Rosemarie's husband is a construction worker. Recently, her oldest son left school to begin working. Despite his help, they do not earn enough to support the family. Though Rosemarie wanted to seek medical treatment, the family could not afford hospital expenses. Finally, Rosemarie visited our medical partner, International Care Ministries. She underwent a series of laboratory tests and was diagnosed with a thyroid condition. She will undergo a thyroidectomy surgery on November 9. Now, Rosemarie needs help to fund this $1,500 procedure. She looks forward to recovery. She will return to work and spend time with her family. "I was praying fervently that I will be healed from this condition," says Rosemarie. "Now, it will be answered. Thank you, because you will help me for this surgery. My family and myself are grateful for this wonderful early Christmas gift to us. After the treatment, I will cook a very nice meal for my family and friends. Though we are not rich, we are thankful still that this life is worth living. Thank you so much."
Daw Kyi is a Burmese woman who has lived in Thailand for the past ten years. She teaches mathematics at a local school and lives in a dormitory with her students. She sends a portion of her earnings home to support her mother, who is in poor health. About two months ago, Daw Kyi started to experience lower abdominal pain. Believing the pain to be nothing more than a stomachache, she attempted to treat it with traditional medicine. Her symptoms did not improve. Daw Kyi was in pain and could not sit for long periods of time. Worried about her condition, she was not eating or sleeping well. For two months, she was unable to work. Finally, she visited our medical partner’s clinic, where she underwent an ultrasound and blood and urine tests. She learned that she had a large mass in her lower abdomen and that she needed surgery. On November 15, she underwent a total hysterectomy at our medical partner’s hospital, Mae Sot General Hospital. Now, she needs help to fund this $1,500 procedure. Daw Kyi spends her free time with her students, helping them with homework and studies. “If I am better,” she says, “I will work even harder for my students, for their future.”
Angelo, a 9-year-old boy, is the fifth of eight siblings. He enjoys playing with his younger sister. Angelo was born with an abnormal condition in a sensitive area. He underwent surgery when he was seven days old, but his family's financial limitations prevented doctors from completing treatment. For this reason, his activities are limited, and he often experiences indigestion and weight loss. Though Angelo finished preschool, his condition has prevented him from enrolling in first grade because school is too far from home. Angelo flew from his rural home to the city of Bacolod to receive treatment. On November 24, Angelo underwent corrective surgery. He will be monitored for two weeks and will undergo a followup surgery several months from now. Angelo's father works as a tenant on a farm, and his mother is a housewife. They cannot afford this $1,500 procedure, and they need our help. "I am so thankful for this opportunity that has come to us," says Angelo's mother. "I never thought that Angelo would be treated because of our financial situation...This has given us hope for Angelo and for his future. I am looking forward to Angelo being fully well, going to school, and fulfilling whatever dreams he has. I know he will have a better future."
Cristina is a 17-month-old girl from Guatemala, but she is only the size of a healthy nine-month-old. Her family cannot afford to give her a healthy diet, so she is not growing well or hitting her developmental milestones. For example, she cannot sit on her own. Cristina has been diagnosed with acute malnutrition. She has little energy to grow, and her immune system is weak and vulnerable to illness. She is also at risk of chronic disease and delayed development. Fortunately, she began malnutrition treatment on November 8, 2016. Cristina lives with her family in an adobe house. She was adopted by her biological aunt and uncle. Her uncle works as a tailor, and her aunt takes care of the household. While malnutrition can have devastating effects, it is also very treatable. Growth monitoring, micronutrients, and food supplementation will help Cristina recover. She will gain weight and grow taller to catch up with other children her age, and her immune system will grow stronger. Community health workers will teach her mother about creating a nutrient-rich diet from limited resources. Treatment will give Cristina a chance to grow healthy and strong. "We are so excited to have a little girl," says Cristina's aunt. "We want to give her the best. She came to us like a light, and we want her to be a good person when she grows up."
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