Mark joined Watsi on May 3rd, 2016. Six years ago, Mark joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Mark's most recent donation supported Regina, a middle-aged farmer from Kenya, to fund a mastectomy to fight her breast cancer.
Mark has funded healthcare for 427 patients in 13 countries.
Mark has funded healthcare for 427 patients in 13 countries.
Regina is a small-scale farmer from Kenya. She rears cattle on a rented piece of land. She has two cows from which she gets milk for sale. Her husband is unemployed, and the income Regina earns is not sufficient to cater to all the family's needs. Regina first experienced a painful lump in her right breast in early August when she was taking a shower. She immediately went to a local health facility for a check-up and was later referred to a local government hospital in Olkalau town, situated several kilometers from her home. She has since had several tests including a mammogram and a CT scan. The result revealed the presence of cancerous cells. She opted to visit Kijabe Hospitals’s breast clinic after a referral by a friend. After a review, doctors recommended a partial mastectomy and she needs financial assistance to go through the surgery. Without treatment, the cancer may spread to other organs. The mastectomy, a surgery to remove breast tissue, aims to rid her body of breast cancer and to prevent the cancer from metastasizing. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1110 to cover the cost of a mastectomy for Regina. The procedure is scheduled to take place on November 2nd. After treatment, Regina will hopefully return to a cancer-free life. Regina says, “This is shocking, but I know God will give me strength to overcome the cancer.”
Elenita is a 60-year-old woman from Philippines. She previously worked as a Registered Midwife but lost her job during the pandemic's peak. She's now reliant on her four children for her daily basic needs. In January, Elenita began to experience troubling symptoms, including lower back pain that's radiating down to her lower extremities. She sought a medical checkup and was told to have an ultrasound and CT scan. The tests revealed that she was suffering from gallstones. These are small stones that are usually made of cholesterol that causes inflammation of the gallbladder. Elenita has been advised to undergo a cholecystectomy, the surgical removal of the gallbladder. If left untreated, her symptoms will continue to worsen and put him at risk for further health complications in the future. After seeking treatment through our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines (WSFP), Elenita is scheduled to undergo a cholecystectomy on February 17th. A portion of the cost of the procedure is being supported by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and WSFP is raising the remaining $1,128 to cover the cost of Elenita's surgery and care. Elenita shared, "Thank you, WATSI and World Surgical Foundation Philippines! You are such a blessing and I will never forget how you save my life. If in the future you will need my service as a midwife, I'm more than willing to help out."
Lang Heang is a 62-year-old active grandmother. She has a rice farm with her husband, who is the assistant chief of their commune. She has one son, two daughters, and three grandchildren. At home, she enjoys listening to the news and monks praying on the radio. One year ago, Lang Heang developed a cataract in her right eye, causing her cloudy vision, light sensitivity, and frequent tearing. Household tasks and cooking for her family are difficult for her due to her declining vision. When Lang Heang learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for three and a half hours seeking treatment. On October 3rd doctors will perform a small incision cataract surgery, and will implant an intraocular lens in her right eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly again. Now, she needs help to fund this $253 procedure. Lang Heang says, "I hope after surgery I can see well again, go back outside more and keep planting rice."
Esther is a 22 year old woman, living in Kenya. She is currently in her final year of school, pursuing a course in hospitality. Esther is supported by her mother, a widow, who runs a small grocery. Two weeks ago, Esther slipped on a staircase and broke her left ankle. At the local facility where Esther was initially taken, she was administered pain medication. An X-ray was performed at a second facility, and it was recommended that Esther undergo surgery to repair the fracture. Esther chose to visit the doctors at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, and now she is scheduled for surgery on January 5th, at AIC Kijabe Hospital. While Esther is currently unable to walk without support and without pain, the scheduled fracture repair surgery should restore her mobility. Now she needs your help to cover the $979 cost of the procedure. Esther says: “I am unable to go to school due to the fracture. I cannot walk and need the surgery to be able to use my leg again.”
Judith is a farmer from Uganda, who lives with her two children and her husband in a two room rented house. She grows beans, maize and potatoes for home consumption. She did not proceed past primary school after losing her father, who was the breadwinner of the family, to a road accident. During her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family. Judith is currently expecting her third child. Her doctors recommend that she deliver via a caesarean section because of the risk of her two previous deliveries. She is not able to raise the money needed for surgery and appeals for help. By performing a C-Section delivery, doctors can best ensure the safety of both mother and child. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Judith undergo a C-Section on January 5th. This procedure will cost $252, and Judith needs your support. Judith says, “I request your support towards this surgery. The two previous surgeries have been a burden to my family."
Jayden is a 10 month old baby boy, living with his single mother in Tanzania. Jayden was born with a right clubfoot, and with the fingers on both of his hands fused together. Jayden's father has left the family, so Jayden's mother moved to live with her parents. Her parents have suddenly passed away, leaving Jayden's mother alone to care for her child. Because she is only able to work intermittently - taking care of other people's homes - Jayden's mother is unable to pay for the full, necessary treatment for Jayden's clubfoot. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, will be able to help Jayden access the care that he needs to correct his twisted right foot. On November 4th, Jayden will undergo clubfoot repair surgery at Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre, which will enable him to wear shoes, and to walk with ease as he grows. African Mission Healthcare Foundation is seeking $935 to cover the cost of this procedure and his care. Jayden’s mother says: “I am so grateful that you are willingly helping my son to have a better life.”
Alex is a sweet baby from Kenya and the youngest in his family of five children. His parents own livestock but, because of an ongoing drought, they have had to sell some of their livestock to provide food for the family. Alex has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of this condition, Alex has been experiencing an increasing head circumference. Without treatment, Alex will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Alex receive treatment. On November 16th, he will undergo a procedure to drain the excess fluid from his brain, which will decrease intracranial pressure. This treatment will help Alex as he develops into a strong, healthy young boy. AMH is requesting $720 to cover the cost of this surgery. Alex’s mother says: “It has been a very hard time for me as I have to stay with him all the time because of his condition. I want to help in the provision for my children.”
Ibrahim is a new baby from Kenya and the youngest of three children. He lives with his family in their ancestral home. Ibrahim's mother had to stop working to take care of him, and his father makes ends meet by working casual labour jobs in addition to his small income from their farm. Their family does not have medical insurance. Ibrahim was diagnosed with hydrocephalus at birth. His parents took him to six different hospitals, but were not able to get his condition cured. They shared that they ran out of money and stopped going to hospitals for some time. After gathering more funds, Ibrahim's father took him to a private hospital, where the doctor referred him to our medical partner's care center BethanyKids Hospital and gave them money to pay for their travel to BethanyKids. Ibrahim has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of his condition, Ibrahim has been experiencing an unusually large head. Without treatment, Ibrahim will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $720 to cover the cost of surgery for Ibrahim that will treat his hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on October 19th and will drain the excess fluid from Ibrahim's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, Ibrahim will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. Meanwhile, Ibrahim and his mother are being housed in our partners’ patient house in Nairobi as they await the surgery date. Ibrahim’s father says, “It has been very hard for us since Ibrahim was born as we have not been able to take care of our other children. We are really looking forward to when he will be treated for us to have some peace of mind.”
Lwin is a 37-year-old wife and mother who lives with her husband and son on the Thai-Burma border. Lwin and her husband work as day labourers in a temple as a cook and gardener. In her free time, Lwin likes to garden and enjoys growing vegetables to eat and to donate to the temple. Lwin also likes to watch Thai movies. One night in March 2021, Lwin had a rapid heartbeat and felt dizzy. Lwin could not sleep that night so her husband brought her to a clinic the next day. The doctor referred her to Mae Sot Hospital in an ambulance, where she underwent diagnostic tests, but never received a diagnosis. Lwin was given medication to stabilize her condition. During her follow-up appointment in June 2022, Lwin received an echocardiogram and was diagnosed with mitral valve stenosis. The doctor then referred her to Chiang Mai Hospital for further treatment. Currently, Lwin suffers from shortness of breath and heart palpitations. Lwin reports her arms and legs feeling heavy and trouble sleeping. Lwin has little appetite and she has to sleep propped up on pillows. On January 13th, Lwin with receive surgery to improve her condition. Our medical partners, Burma Children Medical Fund, are helping Lwin raise $1,500 to cover the cost of this life altering surgery. Lwin shared, "I will never forget the donors who will help pay for my treatment cost. When I recover fully, I want to learn how to sew so that I can open a shop from my home and work as a seamstress."
Meet Ann, a very bright, friendly, and cheerful 14-year-old girl who lives with her mother in Kenya. She is currently in class six and aspires to be a surgeon after completing her studies. One of her favorite activities is reading. Her mother is a single parent who works selling samosas, a fried or baked pastry, in their hometown. Ann was born with a bow-legged impairment. She began therapy at the age of two, but she had to stop attending her sessions due to financial constraints. As a result, her condition has worsened. She shares that this has affected her mobility, studies, and self-esteem. A year ago, Ann underwent a successful multiple osteotomy surgery, which cut and reshaped her leg bones, with the help of amazing Watsi supporters. Now, she requires a second procedure to fully treat her condition in both of her legs. Ann is scheduled to undergo an angular deformity correction procedure on August 29th at our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is seeking $1,224 to fund this surgery. This procedure will allow Ann to walk easily, engage with her friends more comfortably, and continue on with her studies. Ann's mother says, "I wish to thank the donors for their great support towards my daughter's treatment. We were desperately looking for funds for her surgery. May the almighty God bless you. After her treatment, Ann will be able to walk comfortably."
Bizuayehu is a beautiful and cheerful girl from Ethiopia who loves to talk and play with her mother. She asks a lot of questions and she is eager to learn about things. She especially loves dolls. Her mother washes clothes and makes injera (a traditional Ethiopian food) for a living. Bizuayehu's father abandoned her mother when she was pregnant. She shared that there was a time when she couldn’t pay for her rent and was out in the streets for several months. This led to malnutrition for both of them but they were able to recover with help from the hospital's nutrition program. She is now living on her very limited income from making injera and washing people’s clothes in the neighborhood, and with support from another organization. Since birth, Bizuayehu has had a bilateral inguinal hernia. The bulge is usually visible when she cries, coughs or strains. She also gets irritable and has reduced appetite. Fortunately there is a cure and on October 6th, she will undergo hernia repair surgery at our medical partner's care center. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $591 to fund Bizuayehu's surgery. Once completed, this procedure will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably and confidently. Bizuayehu's mother says, “Once my child gets better and cured she can join a daycare and I can do a better job to earn a better income. And I hope she will do well at school. I would like to thank BKMCM for all the support I got. I would also like also to thank our donors for this surgery. I don’t know what I could do if it was not for you and all the people at different times who supported me and encouraged me. I have been supported and gone through so many challenges, but I have had people by my side. I am thankful to God for this blessing.”
Sovannareach is a cheery and playful two-year-old boy from Cambodia. Although he has no siblings, he loves playing with other children around his home! When Sovannareach was just seven months old, he was accidentally burned by hot water on his right hand. Due to the incident, burn scar contractures have developed, meaning the skin surrounding the burn has tightened. Since this occurred around his fingers, it is now difficult for him to use his right hand. When Sovannareach's family learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, they traveled for three hours seeking treatment for their son. On July 14th, surgeons at CSC will perform a burn contracture release surgery to help him be able to use his hand easily again. Now, his family needs help funding this $495 procedure. Sovannareach's parents shared that they hope their son's hand will heal well so he can regain use of it in the future.