Meet Whitney, a three-week-old baby girl from Kenya. Whitney has been diagnosed with spina bifida, a medical condition where there is an incomplete formation of the spine, leaving the spinal cord exposed. Whitney is unable to feed properly, and her limbs are weak. Left untreated, Whitney is at risk of developing an infection, paralysis on her lower limb, and tethered spinal cord syndrome. Whitney's parents brought her to a hospital associated with our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF), to seek specialized treatment. AMHF has scheduled Whitney for spina bifida closure surgery on June 2. The total cost of Whitney's medical bill is $1,097. Whitney's parents share with AMHF that they are hopeful their daughter will receive the help she needs.
Gustavo is an active 17-month-old toddler from Guatemala. He loves playing with his toy cars and older sister. He can be rather serious around strangers, but is always smiling with people he knows. Gustavo was recently diagnosed with malnutrition, a condition that occurs from consuming too little protein, calories, and nutrients. In the short term, malnutrition means Gustavo has little energy to grow, and that his immune system is weak, leaving him vulnerable to diseases that could further compromise his growth. If left untreated, he may also face the long-term consequences of malnutrition, such as increased risk of chronic illness and a lowered IQ. Concerned for his well-being, his mother took Gustavo to our medical partner, Wuqu' Kawoq, for treatment. Beginning June 12, Gustavo will receive micronutrients and food supplementation, as well as regular growth monitoring. Community health workers will also teach his mother how to create a nutrient rich diet using limited resources. The $492 requested will cover all expenses of his continued treatment, allowing him to gain weight, strengthen his immune system, and catch up with other children his age. "I am very grateful for the help my son is going to receive," says Gustavo's mother.
12-year-old Dachka lives in a small town in the Dominican Republic with her mother, father, and two younger sisters. She is in the sixth grade and hopes to become a doctor one day. Dachka was born with a cardiac condition called coarctation of the aorta, in which the aorta is abnormally narrow. As a result, the heart must pump harder to push blood, resulting in high blood pressure and risking heart failure. Although Dachka is not Haitian, our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is collaborating with their partners in the Dominican Republic to offer treatment to Dominican children. She will undergo cardiac surgery at our medical partner's care center. First, Dachka will undergo a full cardiac assessment on February 17. This assessment will include physical exams, labs, and an overnight stay at the hospital. Haiti Cardiac Alliance is requesting $1,500 to fund these procedures. Funding for Dachka also covers the cost of medications and social support for her and her family. Gift of Life International is contributing $7,000 to cover additional costs associated with Dachka's surgical care. "I am excited to have my surgery," Dachka says, "so that I will no longer feel tired all the time and will have the energy to play with my friends."
Meet Francis, a four-month-old baby boy from Kenya. When Francis was born, his parents didn't notice that anything was amiss. About three days later, though, they noticed an abnormality. At their local hospital, a doctor diagnosed Francis with hypospadias. This is a congenital condition in which the urethral opening is abnormally placed. If Francis is not treated, even simple functions like passing urine will prove a lifelong difficulty, and he could become infertile. On top of this, he would also likely experience social stigma due to the sensitive nature of the abnormality. Hope for Francis lies in a surgical procedure that can correct his condition. However, Francis’s parents do not have the funds to pay for their baby’s surgery. “I opened my kiosk recently and I do not make much,” shares Francis’s father. “I know it would take me years to raise the funds needed." But we can help. By raising $700, we can pay for Francis’s operation (set to take place on May 30), as well as his week-long hospital stay. Let’s help this family rest easy knowing that their baby will get to experience a healthy, happy childhood.
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