Hnin is a determined 5-year-old girl from Burma. In her free time, she likes to draw pictures. Hnin lives with her grandmother and brother in Mon State. She goes to kindergarten, her brother goes to primary school, and her grandmother is a washerwoman. Hnin's parents, who work as day laborers in Thailand, also send them money every month to help support basic needs. Hnin was born with club foot of her left leg. With the help of Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), she underwent casting at Mawlawmyine Christian Leprosy Hospital (MCLH) to straighten her foot. Hnin's family was told to bring her back when she was five years old as she would need another surgery to fully correct her clubfoot. Currently, Hnin still has a cast on her left leg. When she walks, she walks on the side of her left foot. Because of this, she cannot play on the playground or keep up with her friends. Without treatment, Hnin's condition will continue to cause her discomfort and will further limit her movement. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the cost of surgery for Hnin, which is scheduled to take place on November 18th. This procedure will elongate her Achilles tendon, allowing increased motion at the ankle joint. Hnin said, “My left leg is so heavy with the cast, but I am not scared to have the operation on my leg. I want to have surgery."
Kyaw is a 80-year-old man who lives with his wife and his sister-in-law in Mon State, Burma. Kyaw and his wife are retired, while his sister-in-law is paralyzed. They are supported by Kyaw’s brother-in-law, who is a monk, and his niece, who owns a small food shop. In his free time, Kyaw likes to meditate while using prayer beads and he enjoys going to the temple. He also likes to listen to old Burmese songs and the news. During the first week of October, Kyaw began to experience severe pain in the sole of his right foot and now he cannot put any weight on that foot. He has to use a stick when he walks, and his wife has to support him. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is helping Kyaw receive treatment to heal his condition and help him walk again. On October 13th, he is scheduled to undergo a procedure to drain the abscess. This procedure will cost $760, and he and his family need help raising money. His wife said, "Thank you to the donors and the organisation (BCMF) for paying for my husband’s surgery.”
Mi Mi is a hardworking 40-year-old woman from Burma who lives alone and likes to read religious books in her free time. She previously worked as a domestic worker, but she had to stop once her condition worsened. Four months ago, Mi Mi's left foot became swollen. She gradually developed a painful abscess on her left foot. She attempted to treat herself with traditional medicine, but it only worsened the abscess. Despite her desire to seek treatment at a clinic or hospital, her financial constraints prevented her from doing so. She is currently unable to walk due to the pain and pus in her foot. She also experiences pins and needles in both of her legs and has difficulty sleeping at night. Fortunately, neighbors arranged for her to be brought to our medical partner's care center, Mawlamyine Christian Leprosy Hospital (MCLH). At the hospital, doctor examined her left foot and diagnosed her with cellulitis, a bacterial skin infection. Mi Mi is scheduled to undergo a procedure to drain the abscess on July 26th at MCLH. Our medical partner is requesting $760 to fund this procedure, which will cover medication, supplies, inpatient care, physical therapy, and travel to the hospital. After surgery, Mi Mi's symptoms will hopefully be alleviated, and she will be able to walk again. Mi Mi says, "When I learned a charity organization will help pay for my treatment cost, I felt very happy. I want to say thank you to all the donors and everyone else who has helped me."
Daw Tin is a strong, hardworking 60-year-old woman from Burma who enjoys cleaning her home, visiting her local Buddhist temple, meditating, and praying. She lives on her own and supports herself by working as a day laborer, herding goats and collecting firewood to sell. However, her siblings have been supporting her since her recent injury because she is unable to work. This past May, Daw Tin stepped on a nail protruding from a wooden board while herding her neighbor’s goats. Over time, the wound on her right heel turned into a painful ulcer, and she could no longer work or walk. She was able to undergo wound debridement surgery in July thanks to donations collected from her community. However, her doctor told her that she would need to have a second surgery in order to fully heal her condition. Without treatment, Daw Tin is at risk of developing severe damage to underlying bone and tissue. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $851 to cover the cost of a local rotation flap procedure for Daw Tin, which is scheduled to take place on July 28th at BCMF's care center. During this procedure, surgeons will rotate a partially attached piece of skin onto the wound. This will allow for optimal vascularization, or the ability to grow blood vessels to improve oxygen and nutrient supply, as well as optimal tissue reconstruction. Daw Tin says, "I was so happy to hear that I would receive surgery with the help of donors and the organization. Without your help, I could never receive surgery."
Mo is a 72-year-old woman who lives with her friend and friend’s grandson in Burma. During her free time, she enjoys selling vegetables that she foraged. She and her friend are both domestic workers, but Mo had to stop working two months ago due to her worsening condition. Once she stopped working, they began having difficulty purchasing food for themselves. However, Mo shares that her neighbors kindly started providing them with donated food, helping them get by. One day while washing clothes, Mo noticed that her lower left leg and foot were swollen and in pain. Over time, she developed multiple ulcers on the swollen area. She eventually stopped working and sought medical treatment at a nearby village clinic. However, the medication she received unfortunately did not help her condition, and she could not seek treatment elsewhere due to financial constraints. Over time, the ulcers became larger and more painful, preventing her from putting any weight on her left foot and walking. Her condition is also causing her to experience weakness, difficulty sleeping, a decreased appetite, and emotional distress. After a worried neighbor took a picture of Mo and posted it on Facebook explaining her situation and requesting the assistance of donors, a charity group saw the post and traveled to Mo’s house. One of the group's members is a doctor and recommended that she visit a hospital due to her leg being badly infected. The charity group members brought her to our medical partner's care center Mawlamyine Christian Leprosy Hospital (MCLH). There, Mo underwent a physical examination and was diagnosed with chronic ulcers due to Buerger’s disease, a condition that affects blood vessels in the body, causing them to swell. This can prevent blood flow and lead to clots forming. Her doctor recommends that her left leg, which has began turning black from the knee down, be amputated as soon as possible due to it being severely infected. Mo shared that neither she nor the charity group have enough money to fund her needed surgery. Fortunately, a doctor recommended Mo to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, who is helping her receive treatment. On August 4th, surgeons will perform a leg amputation, which will hopefully alleviate Mo from her pain and discomfort. Now, she needs help to fund this $1,500 procedure. Mo shares, “At first, I felt hopeless, and I would cry every day and night. I had no one that I could ask for help. I am no longer able to bear this pain. I want to say thank you to everyone who has helped me.”
Khin is a sweet and loving grandmother from Burma who helps her family manage their household. She lives with her daughter, her two sons, her two daughters-in-law, and her beautiful granddaughter. One of her daughters-in-law will give birth in the coming days, and her other daughter helps manage the household along with Khin. Both of her sons work as day laborers. Some of Khin's favorite ways to spend her time are praying and playing with her sweet six-month-old granddaughter. This past February, Khin's small toe on her left foot was amputated at our medical partner's care center, Mawlamyine Christian Leprosy Hospital (MCLH), due to a severe ulcer. In July, she developed another ulcer near where her small toe was amputated. Because of her condition, Khin is experiencing pain and swelling in her left foot. She also has little appetite and difficulty sleeping. She currently cannot put any weight on that foot, meaning she has not been able to walk. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is helping Khin receive treatment. On July 15th, surgeons will perform a debridement, a surgery that will remove the damaged tissue from her foot, to help her walk and live free of pain. Now, Khin needs help funding this $694 procedure. Khin shares, "I want to be healthy because I am old, and I don’t want to make any problems for my family. Thank you so much to all the donors who are supporting my free treatment. I hope that my condition will heal fully after surgery. I just want to live happily with my family for the rest of my life."
Daw Moe is a 43-year-old mother from Burma who likes to listen to music in her free time. She lives with her husband and her two children. Both of her children had to stop going to school two years ago when she could no longer afford to pay for their school fees. Her husband sometimes works as a day laborer, and since unenrolling in school, her son now also works as a day laborer. Daw Moe has a cow, and they earn money by selling the cow’s milk. She would also help support her family by managing all of the household chores, but she has been unable to do much for the past five months due to her condition. Since then, her son and daughter have stepped up to help. Daw Moe has dealt with pain on the sole of her right foot since the end of January. The pain was initially caused by a blister, but even after seeking medical care at a hospital and treating the wound, the pain returned. She went back to the hospital about two months ago due to severe pain, and the doctor diagnosed her with a chronic ulcer. They gave her medications and cleaned the ulcer, but this did not heal her condition. The doctor told her that in order to properly heal, she would need to undergo a debridement, which is a procedure to remove any damaged or dead tissue. When she told the doctor that she could not pay for the surgery, the doctor referred her to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), for assistance accessing further treatment. Currently, Daw Moe’s right foot is in pain and swollen. She cannot walk and needs help using the restroom. To get around, she uses a wheelchair because she does not feel comfortable putting any weight on her right foot. She struggles sleeping at night because she feels saddened about her condition. She also can no longer help with household chores, so her son has to handle everything while her daughter looks after her in the hospital. Fortunately, BCMF is helping Daw Moe receive treatment. On July 8th, surgeons will perform a debridement to help relieve her pain and allow her to walk again. Now, Daw Moe needs help to fund this $694 procedure. Daw Moe expresses, “I feel pity on my son as he has to do everything when I am admitted at the hospital. He is also the sole bread winner, as my husband hardly works. I hope that I will get well soon so that I can go home and help him.”
U Tin is a 36-year-old man, living with his mother on the western coast of Burma. U Tin’s mother is retired and helps with household chores. U Tin works in a photo studio, printing photos and wedding invitations. Through this, his monthly income is just enough to pay for their basic living expenses. One year ago, U Tin started to experience pain in his lower left abdomen. Thinking that the pain would go away, U Tin relied on traditional medicine and pain medication. In February, the pain increased, but U Tin could not afford to seek treatment at a hospital. Instead, he purchased more pain medication from a pharmacy, which helped ease his discomfort somewhat. However in April, the pain became so severe that he could no longer work. He borrowed money from his friend, and went to a hospital. The doctor examined him, and diagnosed him with an inguinal hernia. When the doctor told him the surgery would cost 1,200,000 kyat (approx. $1,200 USD), U Tin told the doctor he could not afford to pay such a sum, and he returned home still feeling unwell. A few days later, U Tin told his neighbour about his problem, and she suggested that he seek treatment at Mawlamyine Christian Leprosy Hospital (MCLH), where care is more affordable. He followed his neighbour’s advice, and went to MCLH, where the doctor confirmed his diagnosis and the need for surgery. When U Tin explained that he could not afford to pay for the surgery, the doctor referred him to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, for assistance in accessing the treatment he needs. Currently, U Tin is experiencing severe pain, and he cannot sit or stand for any length of time. Fortunately, he is now scheduled for surgery on May 24th, and Burma Children Medical Fund is requesting $807 to cover the cost of U Tin's hernia repair treatment. U Tin said: “I would like to recover. I am worried that I will not be able to work and take care of my mother. When I recover, I will go continue to work [at the shop] and pay back the money I borrowed from my friends.”
U Nyan is a 62-year-old man who lives with his wife in Mon State, Burma. He used to work as a tricycle taxi driver as well as a day labourer but since he had stroke around three months ago, he stopped working. His wife also had a stroke and cannot work. They have a daughter who works across the border in Bangkok, and she sends them some money every three or four months. However, the amount that her daughter sends is not enough for U Nyan and his wife for their daily expenses and they shared that, occasionally, their neighbor also gives them food. Recently, U Nyan noticed a small lump on his left elbow, which rapidly became enlarged and painful. Currently, U Nyan is in a lot of pain and cannot sleep. After seeking treatment at various clinics and hospitals, U Nyan was finally referred to Mawlamyine Christian Leprosy Hospital (MCLH) where he was diagnosed with an abscess around his left elbow joint and scheduled for surgery on May 9th. When he told the doctor that he could not afford to pay for his surgery, the doctor referred him to our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund for financial assistance accessing surgery. He has already borrowed about $350 so far to help with his diagnosis and treatment, and people in his community have pitched in to support him financially. Our medical partner is helping him raise $760 for his surgery. “After surgery I want to go home and look after my wife. I want to listen to sermons, meditate and do good deeds,” shared U Nyan.
Yoon is a bright and loving 12-year-old girl. She lives with her mother and uncle in Karen State of Burma near the border with Thailand. She was a student in grade three but stopped studying in August 2020 when she was no longer able to walk. Yoon enjoys painting pictures and reading books. In the future, she wants to go back to school and continue her studies. She helps out her mother with household chores. Her uncle is unemployed whereas her mother is an agricultural day labourer. One day at home, Yoon fell down when she tried to stand up to go to the bathroom. Her feet felt painful and were pointing downwards. After that, she did not try to stand up again and would move around her house on her knees. Her mother would have to carry her to the bathroom. Due to their financial situation, her mother was not able to seek treatment despite being very worried for her daughter. Over time, Yoon noticed that her feet were increasingly pointing downwards and were stiff. Her legs would feel painful and were also stiff. Sometimes, she could not stretch out her legs due to feelings of tightness and pain. Her mom shared that she would cry whenever her legs pained, and she would have to wait until the pain lessened by itself. Additionally, her hands began to weaken until she could not hold food with her hands. At the same time, her speech became slurred and her voice became hoarse. On June 17, Yoon arrived at our medical partner's care center, Mawlamyine Christian Leprosy Hospital (MCLH), and was admitted that same day. She received a physical examination and was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and tightness of Achilles tendon in both of her legs. The doctor recommended she receive surgery on both of her feet, which would help her walk again, and scheduled the procedure for June 21st. When Yoon’s mother told the doctor that they cannot afford to pay for surgery, the doctor referred Yoon to Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) for assistance accessing further treatment. Our medical partner, BCMF, is requesting $1,500 to cover the cost of an Achilles tendon lengthening procedure for Yoon. This procedure will elongate her Achilles tendon, allowing increased motion at the ankle joint. Without treatment, Yoon's condition will continue to cause her discomfort and will further limit her movement. Her mother said, “I cried almost every night when I saw my daughter in this condition. She always cried and complained about her feet. She always asked me to bring her to the hospital to get treatment. Whenever she asked me, I felt very sad and I would cry in secret. I want her to get treatment, but I cannot afford to pay for it. Due to COVID-19 and the current fighting in Burma, I cannot make enough money or save it. Often, I would only eat fishpaste and rice, but give her meat so that she can have something nutritious. When I heard that she has donors who will help her receive treatment, I felt very happy and thankful to BCMF for this kindness. I never thought she would receive such an opportunity. It makes me so happy that I do not know how to express it in words.”
Khin is a 40-year-old woman who enjoys growing flowers and vegetables in her free time. She lives with her husband, son, and four daughters in Burma. She is a homemaker and takes care of her youngest daughter while her husband sells snacks in front of their home. Her son works in a teashop and her three oldest daughters currently attend primary school. Khin shares that she hopes to run a fruit shop to further support her family once she recovers. When Khin was 22 years old, she developed an ulcer on her right heel that made it difficult to put weight on her foot and walk. Fortunately, she received multiple skin grafts and the ulcer eventually healed. However, the ulcer returned in 2019, and despite receiving the same treatment as before, she was only able to walk with a limp after surgery. Last April, Khin began experiencing severe pain on her right heel once again. She eventually sought medical attention and was told by her doctor that she has cancer in her right lower leg. Her doctor advised that she have her leg amputated below her knee, but due to financial constraints, she could not proceed with the surgery and returned home. After three months, the pain continued to worsen and Khin visited our medical partner's care center, Mawlamyine Christian Leprosy Hospital (MCLH), to request painkillers. After examining her leg, the doctor at MCLH told her that she would have to have her lower right leg amputated to prevent the spread of the cancer. Just as before, Khin refused the amputation. The doctor then referred her to the oncology department of Mawlamyine General Hospital and recommended that she receive a biopsy to confirm her diagnosis and need for surgery. The biopsy revealed that she has skin cancer. Khin decided that she wanted to proceed with the amputation despite being unable to fund the cost. The doctor admitted her that same day and fortunately referred her to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), for financial assistance accessing treatment. On September 1st, surgeons at MCLH's care center will perform a leg amputation. Now, BCMF is requesting $1,500 to fund Khin's life-changing procedure. Khin shares, “I just came to MCLH for painkillers, and I did not know that the doctor would help me through donors. When I heard that I could have surgery with the help of donors, I felt so happy and my stress was relieved. My family also encouraged me to have the amputation so I can live a longer life with my children. I would like to say thank you to the donors for giving me a chance to live longer with my children.”
Myo is 40-years-old and lives with his two sisters, two nephews, and two nieces in a village in Burma. He was a fisherman but stopped working when he started to experience problems on his left foot. As a result, his sisters support their household. One year ago, Myo noticed that his left big toe was itchy and swollen after he came home from fishing. Soon enough, it developed into an ulcer. Without enough money to go to a clinic or a hospital, he used traditional medicine and bought pain medicine to clean the infection. However, each time Myo would clean the ulcer, it would heal but returning a month later. Four months after he first developed the ulcer, the recurrent ulcer worsened until he could no longer walk without support from his sister. Eventually, he saved enough funds to visit a health clinic. When the ulcer still did not heal, he went to a second clinic and was referred to our medical partner's care center, Mawlamyine Christian Leprosy Hospital (MCLH). At MCLH, the doctor tried to first clean and treat the infection. When that did not work, the doctor told him that they would have to amputate his left big toe and referred Myo to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) for assistance accessing treatment. On January 13th, Myo will undergo treatment to amputate his left big toe so that his infection can finally be treated and not spread to other parts of his body. For the treatment, BCMF is requesting $1,500 to help cover the costs. Hopefully, he will be able to return to fishing and other activities he previously enjoyed soon. Myo is hopeful that things will be better after surgery and shared, "When I recover, I will find work and support my sisters’ families.”