Ten-year-old Sara is in fifth grade, where her favorite subject is math. "I dream that I will be a math teacher one day,” she shares. In her free time, Sara likes to play soccer with her brothers. Her family lives in Guatemala in a small adobe house. Sara has epilepsy. She started getting seizures when she was just five years old, and they have gotten progressively worse since then. Her seizures last up to four hours, making it difficult for her to study, play, and be a normal little girl. Her family is worried about her, so she can never be left alone, making it difficult for her mother to work and run errands. In order to clarify her condition and identify the cause of her seizures, Sara needs to undergo a series of diagnostic tests, including an MRI. She also needs anti-epileptic medications to reduce her seizures. But her family cannot afford these much-needed measures, as they currently struggle just to make ends meet. Her father is a day laborer in coffee plantations, and does odd-jobs when coffee is not in season, while her mother manages the household and takes care of Sara. But for $967, we can fund the medications and diagnostic tests that Sara so urgently needs. Her seizures will improve, allowing her to go to school every day without the fear of having a seizure, and she will be able to become more independent. "We hope that one day Sara will be able to live a normal life without the seizures she has been suffering from,” Sara’s parents told us.
Alex is a six-year-old boy from Guatemala who started to have seizures two years ago. Since then, he has had a seizure almost every day, lasting for a couple of minutes. He also is unable to talk or move his left arm. His doctors believe that his seizures are likely caused by a stroke that he had in-utero. Alex had brain surgery when he was only a few hours old to remove the resulting clot and the part of his brain tissue that had died due to lack of blood flow. In order to be sure that this caused Alex's seizures, his doctors need to perform an MRI. This will provide a clearer diagnosis and a better idea of how much Alex's life will be affected by the complications he had as a baby. Alex lives with his family in an adobe house with a tin roof. His mother cooks and cleans for the family, as well as takes care of Alex, which is a full-time job. His father works doing odd jobs, never having a steady income. This means that paying for the medications and work-up Alex needs is out of reach for them. $1,044 will give Alex an MRI and full diagnostic workup. This will allow his medical team to understand the cause of his seizures and the extent of the damage caused to his brain from his stroke. They will also design a treatment plan to help reduce the number of seizures Alex has and improve his quality of life.
Maria lives with her family in Guatemala. She has two sons and a seven-year-old daughter. Her husband works as an agricultural day laborer, and Maria weaves and manages the household. For four years, Maria has been experiencing seizures. Recently, she began taking medication, which has been largely effective, allowing her to live seizure-free. However, the cause of her seizures is still unknown, and her life remains negatively impacted by her condition. She frequently experiences painful headaches and feels tired. To determine the cause of her seizures, our medical partner, Wuqu’ Kawoq, needs additional diagnostic information. Maria is scheduled to undergo testing on January 20. She will receive a full diagnostic work-up, including labs, an MRI, and a consultation to determine the cause of her seizures. Then, our medical partner's team will develop a personalized treatment plan to reduce the frequency and length of her seizures. This will improve Maria's quality of life. While Maria and her husband work hard, they are unable to pay for this expensive diagnostic workup. Wuqu' Kawoq is requesting $1,044 to fund her procedure. "I want to see my children grow up well, and then to see my grandchildren," says Maria.
Alfonso is a 23-year-old- young man who lives with his parents and siblings in a humble house in a rural indigenous community in the mountains of Guatemala. Alfonso used to work as a teacher in an elementary school, teaching math. Unfortunately, he has been sick recently, with unusual nodules on his neck and a recurrent cough. Alfonso's medical team has been unable to find an underlying cause of Alfonso's conditions. Recently, he felt so bad that he had to be hospitalized. He began to have seizures, and now his medical team thinks that he may have tuberculosis that has affected his brain. He needs an MRI to confirm this as the cause of his seizures, and to help his medical team develop a personalized and effective treatment plan. $1,044 will cover the costs of a full workup, including an MRI, to determine the cause of his seizures and give him the medications he needs to be able to manage his seizures and get back to work. Alfonso says, "I want to keep fighting so I can feel 100% again. What I want most is to go back to work, giving classes. That is my passion."
Meet Carlos, a 10-year-old boy who lives with his parents and two younger sisters in rural Guatemala. He is a curious and kind young boy who loves school, especially learning about numbers, and playing soccer with his neighbors. His mother is expecting another baby in the coming months, and to help his mother, Carlos often does a few chores: sweeping and washing dishes when he comes home from school. He hopes to keep studying and to become a policeman when he grows up. Unfortunately, Carlos has been getting seizures for about five months, and his family does not know why. His condition constantly interrupts his life and worries his family. He’s still attending school, and his family does not want seizures to impede his ability to pursue the future he wants. In order to discover the cause of his seizure and provide the best treatment possible, Carlos’s medical team needs more diagnostic information. Meanwhile, his growing family wants him to get better, but they do not have the economic resources to pay for the expensive testing that he desperately needs. On January 23, Carlos will be receiving a full diagnostic work-up, including labs, an MRI, and consultation with our physicians to determine the cause of his seizures. Then, our medical team will be able to develop a personalized treatment plan to reduce the frequency and length of his seizures. This will allow Carlos to be able to attend school normally. Most importantly, it will give his parents peace of mind, knowing that he will no longer have seizures when he is in math class or on the soccer field. His parents need help to raise $1,044 to pay for this testing. Carlos's mother, Ingrid, says, "I would like to see my son grow as a happy kid, and I have a lot of hope that he will be cured, so he can play and run like all the other kids." Our support will give Carlos the healthy and happy childhood he deserves.
18-year-old Luis lives in rural Guatemala with his mother. He has been living with epilepsy since he was two years old. Luis was a healthy child until he contracted a fever that left him unable to walk or get up from bed. The illness confined him to a wheelchair and resulted in seizures that still occur three to six times a week. Since then, Luis has tried many medications and treatment strategies with little success. On October 14, 2016, Luis began a series of diagnostic tests––including labs and an MRI––with physicians at our medical partner, Wuqu' Kawoq (WK), to determine the cause of his seizures. The WK medical team will develop a personalized treatment plan to reduce the frequency and length of his seizures. Hopefully, this plan will improve Luis's quality of life. Now, Luis's mother needs help to pay for this $1044 treatment. “I dream my son will get better," she shares.
Jose is a nine-year-old boy who lives with his mother and older brother in rural Guatemala. Jose is in second grade and loves math. His teacher, Elena, has been particularly supportive of Jose and is a great inspiration to him. One day, he hopes to become a teacher like her. Jose’s mother is a single parent who works cleaning homes to provide for her two sons. Last June, Jose was in a bike crash. He hit his head and was hospitalized for seven days. Since then, he has been experiencing seizures. His family is very worried that his condition will worsen. With the help of our medical partner, Wuqu' Kawoq, Jose is scheduled to begin treatment on February 6. He will receive a full diagnostic work-up, including labs, an MRI, and a consultation with our medical partner's physicians. Then, our medical partner's team will develop a personalized treatment plan to reduce the frequency and length of his seizures. His family needs help to pay for this $1,044 care. This treatment will allow Jose to return to school.
Billy is a seven-year-old boy with Down Syndrome. Billy lives with his family near Lake Atitlán in rural Guatemala. He has always been a caring boy and is adored by his whole family. Billy’s father works every day in the countryside as a day laborer, and his mother is committed to taking care of her children and the family’s household needs. This year has been the first that Billy has had the opportunity to attend school. At the beginning, it was difficult for Billy to adjust to the classroom and his peers, but now Billy gets along well with his classmates and particularly loves the songs they sing in class. Approximately one month ago, Billy began to get epileptic seizures. This has brought a great deal of stress to Billy’s family, who worry about their son’s safety. Billy’s mother is very nervous about Billy’s condition because he has had seizures while in school. Billy’s family wants their son to have as normal of a life as possible, but they do not have the economic resources to provide Billy with the treatment needed to control his seizures. With the aid of Watsi funding, Billy will receive a full diagnostic work-up, including labs, an MRI, and consult with our medical partner's physicians to determine the cause of his seizures. Then, the medical team will be able to develop a personalized treatment plan to reduce the frequency and length of his seizures. This will allow Billy to be able to attend school normally. His treatment is scheduled for May 1. Billy's treatment will cost $1,044. Through the help of Watsi donors, we will be able to fund his treatment. Billy’s mother says, "I want Billy to have a normal life and for him to be included and not discriminated against in the community. I know it is difficult but I will achieve it.”
Rosa is a ten-year-old girl who lives with her family in Guatemala’s rural highlands. She is the youngest of her three siblings, and she loves to play with her nine-month-old niece. Rosa’s father works as a day laborer, and her mother weaves and sells traditional Mayan textiles. Recently, Rosa has been learning how to shape and make tortillas, and in the future she wants to learn how to weave just like her mother does. Rosa has been getting seizures for the past five years of her life. She cannot play as much as other children her age, and she no longer can go to school. In the past, Rosa has received natural and herbal medicines from healers in her community. Now Rosa’s parents are searching for other means of treating her seizures. Her seizures cause her headaches and other harmful symptoms. Rosa and her parents came to our medical partner, Wuqu' Kawoq, and learned that she needs to receive a full diagnostic work-up, including labs, an MRI, and consult with physicians to determine the cause of her seizures. Then, the medical team will be able to develop a personalized treatment plan to reduce the frequency and length of her seizures. Her treatment will begin on May 30. This will hopefully allow Rosa to go back to school, and it will bring Rosa and her parents happiness and peace of mind knowing that her condition is manageable and controlled. Rosa’s family wishes for nothing more than for Rosa to feel well, but they do not have the economic resources to purchase medications that would control Rosa’s symptoms. Therefore, they are asking for help to fund the $1,044 to get Rosa her treatment. Rosa says, “I hope that I can receive medication so that I can have a better life.”
Heidy is an 8-year-old girl from Guatemala's highlands who has suffered from seizures for her entire life. Her father works in the countryside doing agricultural work, while her mother cares for Heidy at home and sells handmade bracelets in the local market. Heidy loves when her older sister sings to her and shows her stuffed animals. Due to her persistent seizures, Heidy has experienced developmental delays. Moreover, she struggles with her eating and is severely underweight. Heidy suffers from seizures on a daily basis, and, without medication, her health will continue to decline. As Heidy's family cannot afford to pay for medications that would halt her seizures, our medical partner, Wuqu' Kawoq, is requesting $1,044 to help fund a full diagnostic examination and appropriate medications for Heidy. With the development of an appropriate treatment plan, the length and frequency of Heidi's seizures will hopefully be reduced, not only relieving Heidy's mother of her worries, but also improving the quality of Heidy's life as a whole.