Seily is a seven-year-old girl who lives with her parents in rural Guatemala. She is a happy kid who loves to make friends. Seily is in the first grade at school, where she studies in the mornings. She then returns home for lunch and a short nap so that she has the strength and energy to do homework in the afternoon. Seily's mother is a housewife, and her father is a taxi driver. Seily has asthma and often has trouble breathing. Fortunately, our medical partner will provide medication to keep her airways open and help her breathe easily. This treatment will allow Seily to live and play without wheezing. Her treatment will begin on February 21. Seily's family cannot afford this treatment, so our medical partner, Wuqu' Kawoq, is requesting $422 on their behalf. "I am happy to receive this kind gesture for my daughter. I am so grateful, and I hope that Seily can get better with the help of God, the donors, and the doctors," says Seily's mother.
Victoria, a 46-year-old woman, lives in Guatemala with her husband and six children. She supports her family as a textile weaver, while her husband sells textiles and handcrafts in a nearby town. To supplement their income, they farm corn in a small plot of land. “Victoria has rheumatoid arthritis,” our medical partner, Wuqu’ Kawoq (WK), explains. “Over the past year, it has gotten so bad that she has had to stop working. This is compromising her family’s ability to earn enough money to care for their children.” Rheumatoid arthritis is a debilitating chronic disease that causes inflammation in the joints. In most cases, patients with this condition experience some form of deformity--diminishing the ability to use their hands or feet. “Victoria is constantly in pain and believes that Wuqu’ Kawoq is her last hope,” WK tells us. “Without intervention, she will continue to live in constant pain and her ability to move and complete daily activities will become near impossible over time.” For $425, Victoria will receive treatment for her rheumatoid arthritis. WK will provide medication and regular follow-ups to monitor her condition, allowing her to get back to her family and work. With access to appropriate medication and medical attention, Victoria will be able to complete daily tasks easier and get back to her job to support her family. “My daughters have been helping me, but I want them to feel free to live their own lives and not have to constantly care for me,” shares Victoria. “I just want to get better so I can help my family."
Ixbalan is 16 years old and currently lives with Lupus - causing many debilitating symptoms. When she has flare-ups, she feels intense joint pain, has nose bleeds, and feels very weak. She has had to stop studying because her symptoms are so bad, and has had to give up some of her favorite activities--such as making crafts and embroidering. Ixbalan lives with her mother and siblings in a rural mountainous community in Guatemala in a one-room adobe house with a tin roof. She likes to spend her free time listening to music on the radio, eating melon and estofado (a pulled pork dish) and playing soccer when she feels up to it. She likes to attend mass with her family every Sunday. Her mother supports the family by selling food, which only provides enough money to buy the basic necessities for her family. The medications that Ixbalan needs in order to be healthy are not only incredibly expensive, but also not available in the basic pharmacy in her community, making it difficult for her to get the treatment she needs to be a normal teenager. This treatment, which costs $367, will provide Ixbalan with the medications and personalized in-home medical attention she needs to feel better and be able to attend school again. Her dream is to finish school, so she can get a job--which she is excited to do once her symptoms are under control. We are confident that Ixbalan can live a healthy and productive life once she receives this high-quality care. "We were so worried," Ixbalan's mother shares. "At first she had a lot of strange symptoms. She was weak, we thought she was going to die. They told us she had cancer. We were all so scared. Thanks to God this isn't cancer, but it is still a very strong sickness. We started to buy some medicines but with the little that I earn I cannot continue buying more because they are so expensive. Now she is not taking any medicine because we don't have money and she is already starting to feel bad again. Thanks to you all for all of your help, for those who are going to donate so Ixbalan can get better."
Petronilla is a 52-year-old woman with rheumatoid arthritis. When she was 27 years old, Petronilla began to have pains in her hands and arms, so she consulted with a doctor at a local health center, who diagnosed her with arthritis. Since then, Petronilla's condition has worsened over time. Petronilla has severe pain and swelling in her joints and extremities every day. This pain prevents her from doing the things she enjoys and carrying out her daily activities, such as braiding her hair and washing her family’s clothing. Petronilla lives with her husband and five children in Guatemala’s rural highlands. Petronilla's first and most beloved profession was weaving and embroidering traditional indigenous women’s clothing. Because of the effects of arthritis, however, Petronilla has given up that work. She now owns a shop, where she and her daughter prepare and sell homemade tortillas. Though Petronilla’s arthritis continues to worsen, she and her family do not have the economic resources to purchase the medications that would help her. This treatment will provide Petronilla with the medications she needs to manage her arthritis. She will no longer have pain while completing her daily tasks. With her arthritis under control, she will be able to live her life without pain and continue to support her family and live happily. Petronilla says, “More than anything I want the pain to go away. I want to be able to wash clothing again, to weave and embroider again. I hope that this treatment will help me be able to do the things I love.” Our medical partner is requesting $629 to fund Petronilla's travel, lab testing, and medication. She is scheduled to begin treatment on August 7.
“I hope my child can grow better,” says Tomas' mother. Tomas, an 18-month-old boy from Guatemala, is acutely malnourished. “He has a cough and fever and frequent bouts of diarrhea. His mother says that they cannot afford to buy fruit, vegetables, or protein sources (like eggs) for their children. His immune system is weak and his height for age and weight for age are far below average. He is at risk for the long-term effects of malnutrition and permanent physical and mental stunting that will affect his ability to succeed academically and in the work force. Without intervention, his immune system will continue to weaken and he will experience the effects of stunted mental and physical development,” explains our medical partner, Wuqu' Kawoq (WK). Indigenous Guatemalans are one of the most marginalized and vulnerable populations in the world. They live in rural areas and suffer from high rates of food insecurity. The poorest indigenous Guatemalan villages have the highest rates of stunting in the world. $270 funds a multifaceted intervention for Tomas' malnutrition. “He will receive micronutrient and food supplementation as well as medications to treat his fever, cough, and gastrointestinal infection. This will help him to hold on to/absorb the calories he consumes. A physician will evaluate him and if his health falters during the program he will receive all necessary medical attention to help him recoup lost weight. We believe this treatment will help him to gain both height and weight, strengthen his immune system, and help him get back on track to develop to his full potential,” describes WK. Tomas likes to play with his little car and plastic boxes, and eat squash and zucchini. He is always smiling and likes to share toys with his sister. Let's help him get back on track, and fund this treatment!