Menno SchellekensMONTHLY DONOR
Menno's Story

Menno joined Watsi on May 25th, 2016. Six years ago, Menno joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Menno's most recent donation traveled 4,100 miles to support Lydiah, a 39-year-old vegetable vendor from Kenya, to fund leg surgery so she can walk again.

Impact

Menno has funded healthcare for 69 patients in 12 countries.

All patients funded by Menno

Gatguon is an 8-week-old baby girl from a remote area of South Sudan. The civil war in South Sudan has made it difficult for many to access healthcare and treatment, including Gatguon's family. Gatguon was born with swelling in the back of her head. Upon referral to Old Fangak Clinic, the doctor diagnosed Gatguon with spina bifida, a type of neural tube defect in which the spine does not properly close around the spinal cord. Without treatment, Gatguon is at risk of lower-limb paralysis, infection of the exposed nervous tissue, development of tethered cord syndrome, and possible developmental delays. Gatguon urgently needs spina bifida repair surgery to correct the condition and reduce risk of infection. Unfortunately, this treatment is not available for her in South Sudan. Dr Jill Seaman and her team at Old Fangak Clinic facilitated Gatguon’s travel to Kenya – a long and difficult journey for a sick baby. Now, doctors at our medical partner's care center in Kenya will perform the surgery she needs. Gatguon’s parents have two kids. Her mother is a stay-at-home mom and her father is a vegetable farmer. They are hopeful that baby Gatguon will be treated and that they will continue taking care of her and loving her unconditionally. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Gatguon's family raise $1,151 to cover the cost of spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on April 20th and will hopefully spare Gatguon of further complications and allow her to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Gatguon’s mother shared, “We hope that our child will be treated.”

56%funded
$654raised
$497to go

Bo is an eighth grader who lives in the school dormitory during the school year. During his free time, he likes to play the guitar, cook, and garden. He recently had his arm is amputated to help treat his bone cancer condition, so he is no longer able to play guitar anymore. His parents and his siblings live on the Thai-Burma border. His brother and his mother are day labourers while his father is retired. In May 2021, Bo began to experience pain in the top of his left forearm, close to his shoulder. In June 2021, the top of his left forearm began to swell until it spread towards his shoulder. The swelling grew very large, encompassing his left shoulder and upper forearm. Bo was in a lot of pain and could not use his left arm. Doctors diagnosed him with bone cancer and amputated his left arm to help stop his cancer from spreading further. He has also undergone chemo treatment after his amputation and now his doctor wants to do an MRI to assess his prognosis and plan for any further treatment that may be needed to protect his health. An MRI is an imaging procedure that uses magnetic fields and radio waves to produce images of bodily organs. This scan will hopefully help doctors diagnose his condition and formulate an appropriate treatment plan. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $814 to cover the cost of Bo's MRI and care, scheduled for March 11th. Bo said, "Since I finished my surgery and finished chemo injection, I am able to continue my studies without any pain. I hope that I will be able to continue my studies until I gradate from school."

69%funded
$565raised
$249to go

Natinael is a sweet toddler who loves to play with toys. He loves birds especially looking at the doves where he lives with his mom. Natinael's mom shared that he is shy and always wants to be at her side. She is a single mom and has been raising Natinael on her own with help from her family. Natinael was born with birth condition called Bladder Extrophy, which means that his bladder is open to air and at great risk of infections and injury. He needs surgery to help heal his condition, but his mother is unable to afford the cost. She is very much worried and concerned by his health and wants to do whatever she can to make sure he grows up healthy. She shared, “At first I did not know about the gravity of his condition. Then when I went to the hospitals they said they can’t do the surgery and they referred me to another hospital. I was in so much distress. I thought ‘what is this disease that the doctors refer it to another hospital.’ One doctor explained the condition to me and that was my lowest time of my life. I couldn’t eat or drink or sleep. All I could do was cry. I asked God why this happened to me." Fortunately someone referred her to an organization that knew our medical partner's care center BKMCM Hospital where doctors can perform the surgery he needs. Natinael's mom says, "If he heals, I hope I will work hard and raise him well and give him good education. I did not go to school and that makes me to want to send Natinael to school more. I'd like to spend the rest of my life with him protecting him.”

$1,500raised
Fully funded

Myint is a 57-year-old man who lives by himself in a village in Burma. His wife lives in Thailand, but since she lost her work due to COVID-19, she hasn't been able to send back money for basic things like she usually does. They are in a hard postion because she also cannot come back to Burma because she doesn’t feel safe because of civil war that has started. Myint is a day labourer who earns 3,000 kyat (approx. 3 USD) per day. His monthly income of 100,000 kyat (approx. 100 USD) is not enough to cover his daily expenses nor pay for basic health care. Last month, Myint went out fishing and he caught a catfish. While he tried to hang the fish, the catfish fell onto his left instep. The catfish’s fin which is poisonous injured his left instep. He went to small clinic and got treatment. But his wound did not improve and instead he had swelling and it become infected. The village clinic doctor told him if the wound is not improve to go to see the specialist. Since he didn't have money, Myint went to visit a monk to seek the treatment. The monk gave him traditional medicine (an herb) for the wound. However, after using the traditional medicine for one month, his foot continued to worsen. Eventually, his friend recommended that he seek treatment at Mawlamyine Christian Leprosy Hospital (MCLH). At the hospital, the doctor examined his foot and saw that he had developed an ulcer. The doctor said that they would need to perform surgery on his ulcer to clean it properly and remove any damaged or necrotic tissue. When Myint told the doctor he had no money to pay for the surgery, the doctor referred him to our Medical Partner Burma Children Medical Fund for assistance accessing further treatment. Currently, Myint’s left foot is swollen and the skin around his ulcer is discoloured. He cannot sleep well at night due to the pain. He also has difficulty sleeping due to worrying about his foot and his economic situation. He is worried that if his leg has to be amputated, he will not be able to earn money to support his family. He's trying to remain hopeful and told us, “In the future I would like to grow and sell mushrooms so that I can support my family financially.”

$694raised
Fully funded

Saroh is a 17-year-old girl who lives with her parents, two younger brothers and a younger sister in a village in Burma. Her sister and brothers attend school while Saroh has never gone to school due to her health. Saroh’s parents are farmers and they grow rice. Saroh was around five or six months old, when her mother noticed that when Saroh tried to roll over, her lips, toes and fingers would turn blue. Saroh's mother was unable to take Saroh to a clinic or hospital because they did not have enough money to do so. When Saroh was 5 years old she would often become tired when playing with her friends. Her lips, toes and fingers were also still blue. On a recommendation from a family friend, Saroh’s mother brought Saroh to a free clinic where she was referred to a hospital for further investigation. Following diagnostics exams, Saroh’s mother was told that Saroh was born with a heart condition. In order to get treatment Saroh would have to be transferred to a hospital that was very far. Without enough information or money to travel and pay for treatments, Saroh and her mother traveled back to their village. Saroh was then treated with traditional medicine which according to Saroh’s mother seemed to stabilize her condition. In the middle of 2019, Saroh started to experience back pain. She also felt more tired and had difficulty breathing. Her mother did not know what to do as they had no money to bring her to a hospital or a clinic. Saroh’s mother asked their friends if they knew of a way that Saroh could receive treatment. In May 2020, Saroh’s uncle told his friend about Saroh’s condition. That friend happened to be a former staff member of our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) and told Saroh’s uncle about how BCMF could help. BCMF agreed to help Saroh access the treatment she needs, and is requesting $1500 to fund her cardiac surgery. Now staying at the patient house in Chiang Mai, Saroh is learning how to read and write with the help of BCMF staff who teaches here during her free time while waiting for her treatment. Saroh said, “If I feel better, I want to help my mother with household chores. In the future, I think I want to go to Bible school and become a missionary. I am very thankful to all the donors who are willing to help pay for the cost of my treatment.”

$1,500raised
Fully funded