Beth's body tells you that she is well-nourished, but her head isn't proportional to the rest of her body. Her head is larger than that of the average three-month-old baby because she has hydrocephalus, a condition associated with excessive fluid buildup in the head. This puts little Beth at risk of increased intra- cranial pressure and subsequent brain stem compression. Beth’s head began increasing in size at the age of one month. Her family took her to a local hospital where they were referred to someone else for specialized treatment. The situation was complicated further by the issue of money; the funds required for Beth's treatment were beyond what her parents had anticipated. Beth, her parents, and her four siblings live in a two-room house in eastern Kenya. Beth’s siblings are enrolled in school and doing well. Her mother is a housewife while her father, the sole breadwinner, is a security guard at a company near their home. The family managed to subsidize $52 of the treatment, but are not able to raise the rest of the funds required for Beth to get a shunt insertion. For $615, the shunt insertion will be possible. The shunt will drain excess cerebrospinal fluid from Beth's brain cavities into other areas of her body and thus will reduce the health risks associated with hydrocephalus. “I can’t even begin to express how depressing this is for our family," shares Beth's mother. "I just wish I can get someone to contribute towards Beth’s treatment and have it all behind us. She is such a jewel and giving up on her is not and will never be an option."
Since she was five years old, Sas has been dealing with the painful aftermath of a serious ear infection. Sas is a married 30-year-old woman from Cambodia who has two sons and farms to make ends meet. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), explains that her childhood ear infection "caused hearing loss, a perforated tympanic membrane, discharge, and pain. The infection developed into a cholesteatoma and she still experiences these symptoms." A cholesteatoma is an abnormal skin growth in the middle ear which causes unpleasant symptoms like the ones Sas is experiencing. Removing it requires surgery, which Sas cannot afford. "I am unhappy that I have daily ear pain and it is difficult to communicate with other people. Sometimes I can't do anything because of the pain," Sas says. In hopes of receiving care, Sas traveled for five hours with her mother to reach CSC for surgery. With our help and $809, Sas will receive surgery to remove the growth and treat the underlying ear infection. As a result of this surgery, CSC says, "her pain and discharge will stop and over time her hearing can improve."
Mario is a nine-month-old baby living in Guatemala with his parents and older brother. His mother cooks, cleans, and cares for Mario and his brother at home. His father works as a laborer, collecting wood to sell. Mario loves to play with the ball that he shares with his older brother. Mario's mother has noticed that he has not gained weight or grown in height as expected. She sought out further evaluation, and he has been diagnosed with acute malnutrition. He has not been receiving the calories and protein he needs, stunting his growth and weakening his immune system. He is at high risk for diarrhea, fevers, and coughs, all of which could contribute to his lethargy and decreased appetite. Without treatment, Mario could face long-term consequences such as low IQ, increased risk of chronic diseases, and lower earning potential as an adult. For $512, Mario can receive the treatment he needs to resolve his malnutrition. His treatment cost covers growth monitoring visits, food supplements, and medication to help him gain weight and develop properly. "I dream that my son can grow well and have good development," shares Mario's mother. "He may even then become a doctor for our community," she adds. Mario's treatment will strengthen his immune system, increase his overall caloric intake, and make it so he has more energy to play and learn. His mother will also receive nutritional education to help her optimize the diet he needs.
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Watsi, based in San Francisco, connects medical patients who can't afford the procedures they need with donors via the Web. The funds it collects go entirely to the patients, as the organization's own costs are covered separately.
Watsi lets people donate as little as $5 toward low-cost, high-impact medical treatment for patients in third-world countries. Watsi represents the next generation of charities...profiles of the patients are posted on the Watsi site, and the online community begins donating.
Watsi — one of the fastest growing non-profits in web history — puts up pictures and profiles of people around the world who need money for medical care. 'Anyone can go on our website, donate as little as $5, and 100 percent of that donation will directly fund medical care for a specific person.'
A pioneering way for individuals to donate money to one-off medical treatments in the developing world. The non-profit website allows visitors to make personal donations for as little as $5 to fund the treatment of their patient of choice.
The dollar amounts may seem small, but the way Watsi handles transparency could revolutionize nonprofits. All the money donated -- more than $200,000 so far -- goes directly to the treatment, from doctors' fees to transportation and referral costs.