Soe, who is 15 years old, lives with his parents in Burma. His father is a day laborer, while his mother is a domestic worker. During his free time, Soe enjoys playing badminton When Soe was 10 years old, his mother noticed a small mass had appeared on his right knee. Over time, the mass increased in size. At the same time, Soe also began to experience occasional fevers, sore throats, and pain in multiple joints. The doctor diagnosed Soe with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). The doctor suspects that Soe is also suffering from osteochondroma in his right knee. This is a benign tumor, made up of bone and cartilage, that forms on the surface of a bone. Soe needs to undergo an MRI, which will enable doctors to correctly diagnose his condition, which will, in turn, help them to formulate an appropriate plan of treatment. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is seeking $681 to fund Soe's MRI, which is scheduled to take place on May 18th, at Mae Sot General Hospital. Soe's mother said: "He is my only son, and I am worried about his health. I am so happy BCMF will pay for my son’s MRI. Thank you so much to all the donors".
Khin is a 28-year-old woman who lives with her parents and three elder sisters in Burma. She is unemployed, but her family runs a small grocery store. Her elder brother works in a chicken factory across the border in Mae Sot, Thailand. In April, 2020, Khin started to feel dizziness, headache, and nausea. She also developed blurred vision and her eyes became more sensitive to light. At first, she thought she just needed eyeglasses, and went to an eye clinic in Yangon. The ophthalmologist tested her eye and suspected that her symptoms might be due to a brain tumour. She received multiple CT scans at hospitals in Yangon and she was diagnosed with a brain tumour, but her surgery kept being postponed due to COVID-19 and later the country's military coup. By late 2022, Khin's family were in debt and could no longer afford to pay for her surgery. Eventually, Khin decided to seek treatment at Mae Tao Clinic in Thailand, where she was told she may be able to receive free treatment. A medic from the clinic referred her to Mae Sot Hospital, where with the help of Watsi donors and BCMF, she received a CT scan. She was diagnosed with possible pituitary macroadenoma, and was told she would need surgery to remove the tumour. However, she would need to undergo a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in preparation for the surgery and to plan the best treatment plan. Currently, Khin's blurred vision is worsening. She can no longer see well, even during the day when it is bright outside. She also has pain in both of her eyes and sometimes around her eyes. She has a headache, which is more severe on the right side, dizziness, weakness and nausea. She has lost two kilograms within the past two weeks. Khin said, "I feel really sad as my vision is worsening with time. One time, I could not see my sister who was standing close to me. Thank you for supporting me. I believe they my vision will surely be fully treated. I am trying to encourage myself and stay positive amongst all of my difficulties.”
“I want to resume my schooling,” shares Bwe Paw. “My dream is to become a medic or a schoolteacher.” Bwe Paw is an 18-year-old girl from Burma. When she isn’t dreaming about her future career, Bwe Paw enjoys watching movies with her friends and playing volleyball. Lately, though, health concerns have made it hard for Bwe Paw to relax. In 2013, she started feeling pain in her stomach. Although Bwe Paw took medications from a local pharmacy, the pain only worsened, and she was soon experiencing dizziness, blurred vision, and fatigue as well. After making several long journeys to multiple clinics, Bwe Paw was eventually diagnosed with a benign tumor in her abdomen. Bwe Paw’s doctors say that she needs to have her tumor surgically removed in order to relieve these symptoms. Meanwhile, her condition’s impact on her life continues to worsen: she is losing weight due to eating and sleeping disturbances, and has had to drop out of school despite her high academic aspirations. Bwe Paw’s family cannot afford to pay for her surgery. The money they make as farmers is barely enough to sustain the daily needs of Bwe Paw and her three siblings. But with our help, she can receive the tumor removal surgery she needs. $1,500 will pay for her operation, as well as her lab tests and recovery time at Mae Sot General Hospital. Without the setbacks of pain and fatigue, Bwe Paw will be back on track to pursue her high hopes of working in medicine or education.
17-year-old Than Kyi lives in Mae Sot, Thailand. His parents moved from Karen State, Burma, five years ago to look for better job opportunities. Than Kyi was studying but he wanted to move to be with his parents, so he quit school and moved to Mae Sot. When Than Kyi was about 5 years old, he noticed a small growth on his upper right calf but did not worry about it because it was not painful. As he got older, the mass grew bigger. When he was about 10 years old, the mass was about the size of an egg and it started to get painful. His parents took him to a clinic in Mae Sot. After having an x-ray done, the doctor explained to the family that Than Kyi had an abnormal growth in his tibia which would need to be surgically removed. However, the doctor reconsidered and told them that since Than Kyi was still young it was better to wait before having the surgery. The doctor gave him an injection and some oral medications which made Than Kyi feel a lot better. Than Kyi did not have pain again until he was 14 years old. At this time the pain was so severe that it sometimes prevented him from sleeping. His parents again took him to the clinic in Mae Sot where he received the same injection and medicines as before. The pain abated but resumed a year later. He again visited the clinic and this time the doctor told his family that it was time for him to have surgery. Than Kyi’s parents could not afford to take him there. They decided to take Than Kyi to Mae Tao Clinic (MTC), a Watsi partner. Since then Than Kyi has been visiting MTC whenever he experiences pain. An x-ray that showed he has osteochondroma, a benign tumor that is an outgrowth on the surface of bones. He needs surgery to remove the tumor and relieve his current symptoms. Than Kyi's father shared that he has lost some customers because he frequently has to bring his son to the clinic. However, he said that his son’s health is more important than his customers. “I want to get well soon so that I can help my father," Than Kyi shared. His father added: “I’m very worried about my son, especially for his future. He will someday have to be on his own to support himself and he might not be able to if his condition would not be fixed."
Soe is a 16-year-old student from Burma. He lives with his grandmother, sister, and two uncles in Karen State. His grandmother is a homemaker while he, his uncles and his sister are students. They sell betel nut and vegetables from their garden, and his aunt also sends them money every month. In his free time, he enjoys fishing. Yesterday around 8pm, Soe drove his motorbike to his friends house, with his friend driving another motorbike behind him. On the way there, he collided with another motorcycle driving on the wrong side of the road, head-on. Since the accident he has been semi-conscious but luckily his friend arranged for him to be brought to a hospital. He was then brought to Mae Sot Hospital and he was diagnosed with Intracranial hematoma and needs emergency to drain the blood. Soe's family is seeking treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. He is now scheduled to undergo emergency surgery on April 5th and their family is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. "I am very worried about him and I hope that my nephew will wake up soon. He is the oldest child and he looks after his grandmother," said Soe's aunt.
Hser is a 30-year-old midwife from Burma. She lives with her husband and eight other colleagues in the staff housing of the clinic she works at. Hser is a midwife, and her husband is a medic. In her free time, she enjoys going fishing with her husband and friends, weaving Karen clothes, and visiting the villagers nearby. Around June 2020, Hser felt she had a mass. Thinking it was not serious, she did not go to a hospital for treatment until April 2022. At the hospital, a doctor gave her medication for three months, but the mass did not decrease in size. Currently, Hser's experiences uncomfortable symptoms from the mass. Hser sought treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. She is now scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on March 8th. Hser needs help raising $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Hser said, "I am married, but I don’t plan to have children yet because my husband and I are both busy working as health workers for our community. So, I am very worried that I won't be able to have children anymore because of my condition. However, I have a loving and kind husband who understands me in every way, and he told me not to worry and feel sad. We cannot help but stay strong, helping and encouraging each other."
Khine is a 17-year-old girl from Burma. She lives with her mother, her older sister, and her uncle's family. She works as a domestic worker. Three months ago, she started to feel dizzy and have headaches. She had a CT scan at Mae Sot Hospital, which indicated she might have a brain tumor. Shine experiences headaches, dizziness, and sometimes vomits. She has also had seizures multiple times and weakness in her limbs. She has little appetite and has lost weight. Gradually, she is losing her ability to speak. Khine sought treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. She is now scheduled to undergo surgery to remove the tumor on February 3rd. She is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Her uncle said, "Although I am a man, I have cried for my niece. I even thought about selling one of my organs (for money), one of my kidneys perhaps, because we cannot afford to treat her. Thank you to all the donors for helping my niece. After she is treated, I want her to have a happy family, with a husband and children. I cannot wait to see my niece happy."
Saung is a 23-year-old woman, originally from Burma, who moved with her husband to Thailand in search of better job opportunities. Initially, Saung was a domestic worker in Tak Province, while her husband worked as a day laborer. After a while, Saung moved to Bangkok, where she could find higher paying jobs. Saung's husband followed her to Bangkok, but fell ill and was hospitalized, shortly after his arrival. When his health didn't improve, a friend suggested that Saung's husband should go to a clinic in Mae Sot for care. Saung went with her husband to look after him, and neither of them has worked for some time, as Saung's husband continues to receive treatment. In October 2022, Saung began to experience pain in her lower abdomen and pelvic area. While pain killers have helped, tests revealed that Saung has a tumor outside of her uterus. Because of the recurring pain - which keeps her from eating or sleeping appropriately - Saung sought help from our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, to secure the care that she needs. Now, she is scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on November 30th, at Mae Sot General Hospital. She is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care, which will relieve her of pain and do away with the stress of her condition, while enabling her to return to work. Saung said: “If there are no donors for me, I will not be able to receive treatment. The doctor also told me that if I don’t receive treatment, the pain will still come back, and I will not be able to work happily. I felt hopeless at first, and I don’t know where to look for more money to borrow to pay for my surgery. Now, when I heard that there will be a donor for me, I feel less worried."
Hla is a 43-year-old woman from Thailand. She lives with her husband, daughter and son in a village in Thailand. They fled from across the border in Burma seven months ago because of fighting in their area. She used to be an agriculture day labourer but stopped working a month ago since her condition is worsened. Her husband is also an agriculture day labourer and her son is a student. Two years ago, Hla felt a small mass in her breast. The mass was not painful so she need not seek treatment. A few months ago, the mass started to increase in size and became painful. Currently, Hla still feels pain and feels stressed about her condition and also worries if her condition can be treatable or not. Fortunately, Hla sought treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. She is now scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on September 11th. She needs $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Hla said, "I am very happy that I will be able to receive surgery soon. I hope that I will be able to work again after my surgery."
Mi is a 58-year-old mother from Thailand. She lives with her husband and her three daughters. She supports her family by working as a homemaker. Her husband does not work because he is ill. Her eldest daughter is an accountant, her second eldest daughter is a homemaker, and her youngest daughter does not work because she is attending school. Some of Mi's favorite activities include cleaning her house and growing vegetables in her garden. In February, Mi started experiencing pain in her left breast. After examining the area, she noticed a small mass. Over time, the mass increased in size and the pain worsened. She currently still experiences pain in her left breast. Although she takes medication, it only alleviates her pain temporarily. Because of this, she cannot cook or clean, and her daughter has had to take over the household chores. Fortunately, Mi sought treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. She is now scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on July 12th. She is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Mi shares, “I want to get better soon. Then my second eldest daughter can find work so that we can pay back our debt. I want to live happily with my family for the rest of my life.”
Phyo Ko is a 33-year-old man, living in Thailand with his wife and two young children. Originally from Burma, Phyo Ko and his family moved to Thailand in 2009, in search of better job opportunities. Phy Ko's wife stays home with the children, who are too young to go to school, while Phyo Ko works as a construction day laborer, earning under $12 a day. In early 2021, Phyo Ko and his friend were at work at a construction site, when scaffolding fell onto Phyo Ko's left hand and thigh. Initially, he used oil made from traditional medicine to ease the pain. However, a month after the accident, Phyo Ko noticed that there was a mass on his left leg, so he sought medical attention. The first doctor he visited could find nothing wrong, and sent Phyo Ko back home. His mass continued to grow in size, and the pain increased, making it impossible for Phyo Ko to continue working, so once again, he went to the hospital. This time, there were no doctors available to see him because of the pandemic. Finally, in April, Phyo Ko was able to receive a CT scan, thanks to our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund and the Watis community. The CT scan revealed a hematoma, which requires surgical intervention. On June 16th, Phyo Ko will undergo surgery at Mae Sot General Hospital, to have the mass removed from his thigh. After the procedure, Phyo Ko should be able to walk, stand and work without pain, something he is unable to do now. Burma Children Medical Fund is seeking $1,500 to cover the costs of Phyo Ko's surgery. Phyo Ko said: "I would like to receive surgery soon so that the pain will go away. Before I received the CT scan, I was told that my leg could be be amputated because the mass on my leg is very big. However, after the CT scan, the doctor told me that they could remove the mass without amputation. I was so happy to hear this. I want to work and earn an income for my family after surgery."
Thu Zar is a 21-year-old woman who lives with her parents, three sisters, and three nieces in Mae Sot near the Thailand-Burma border. Her family moved from Shan State in Burma to Thailand in 2008 in search of better opportunities. She used to work at a logistics company until two weeks ago when she quit due to her condition. Her parents run a small shop from their home, and her oldest sister is a cleaner at a restaurant. One of her other sister’s is unemployed and her third sister as well as her three nieces all go to school. In 2015, Thu Zar felt a small mobile mass in her chest. She did not feel any pain at the time and forgot about the mass. In 2019, she attended a workshop about reproductive health at her school, run by Mae Tao Clinic (MTC). During the workshop she remembered the mass and later when she was alone, she checked to see if it was still there. She felt the mass and thought that it had increased in size, but she did not experience any pain. The next day, she told the workshop trainer about the mass. The trainer told her to go to MTC for treatment. However, Thu Zar decided she did not want to take time off from school to go to the clinic, since she thought the mass was not causing her any pain or discomfort. Now, Thu Zar's condition has worsened and causes her great pain. She can only sleep on her back, because if she sleeps in any other position she experiences immense pain. Thu Zar sought treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. She is now scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on June 9th to heal her condition. She is raising $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Thu Zar is very worried about her health and told us, "I feel very sad and depressed with this condition."