Menno SchellekensMONTHLY DONOR
Menno's Story

Menno joined Watsi on May 25th, 2016. Five years ago, Menno joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Menno's most recent donation traveled 5,100 miles to support Saroh, a strong 17-year-old girl from Burma, to fund heart surgery.

Impact

Menno has funded healthcare for 60 patients in 11 countries.

All patients funded by Menno

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

Khaing is a 27-year-old woman from Thailand. She lives with her husband and a three-year-old son in a village in Tak Province. Originally from Karen State, Burma, they moved to their current home three years ago in search of better job opportunities. Her husband is a day laborer and she is homemaker. Ten years ago, Khaing started feeling like her nose was blocked and that she could not breathe well. She also had a runny nose and saw a small mass in her nostril while looking at her reflection in the mirror. At the time, Khaing did not go to see a doctor because she could not afford to pay for treatment, and she thought that she would feel better over time. However, four years ago she noticed that the mass had grown. Khaing went to her local hospital in Burma, where the doctor confirmed she had a mass in her nostril and gave her medication for a week. She did not go back to her follow-up appointment as she had run out of money. She then tried to treat herself with traditional medicine unsuccessfully as the mass continued to increase in size. In the beginning of May 2020, Khaing developed a severe headache and pain in her nose. The area around her nose also became swollen. She went to Mae Tao Clinic for treatment, where the medic found large masses in both of her nasal cavities. She was then taken to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) for further investigation. At MSH, she received an x-ray of her nose and the doctor told her that the masses were large and surrounded by a lot of pus. After a CT scan, the doctor diagnosed her with a nasal polyp and scheduled her for surgery on December 28th, 2020. Currently, the area around her nose is swollen and painful. Her nostrils feel itchy, her nose is blocked, and has to breathe through her mouth. She still has a headache, though since she received pain medication from the doctor at MSH, this has been less severe. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On December 28th, Khaing will undergo an endoscopic sinus surgery. Once recovered, she will be able to breathe normally again and her quality of life will significantly improve. Now, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Khaing shared, "I really want to have surgery and feel better. I am not scared because I believe that the surgery will help me be free from headaches and breathe well again."

$1,500raised
Fully funded

Peter is a 46-year-old man from Kiambu County in Kenya. He works mostly in construction sites as a manual laborer. Peter is the second born in a family of eight. He was hit by a motorbike while crossing the road on July 27th, 2020. He was taken to a nearby hospital where an x-ray confirmed he had sustained a fracture of his left femur. An ORIF surgery was recommended but he could not afford the cost of surgery. Peter had been on traction to help treat his fracture since his admission at a government hospital. A recent standoff between the county government and health workers led to a go-slow, which has prompted patients like Peter to seek treatment elsewhere since they cannot access care currently. Peter came to our medical partner's facility and saw the surgeon who again also recommended an ORIF procedure. Peter hopes that he finally has the life-changing surgery that will restore full functionality of his leg and enable him to go back to work. If not treated Peter’s fracture may fail to unite or mal-unite leading to loss of function of his left lower limb. He is not able to personally raise the amount required for surgery given that he is a casual laborer with minimal income.  Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On October 19th, Peter will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. The surgery will allow him to walk with ease and reduce the instance of complications. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. “I have been in hospital and unable to provide for myself since the accident in July. I hope that the operation will enable me to walk again so that I can fend for myself once more,” Peter said.

$1,049raised
Fully funded

Eliana is a young girl from Tanzania, and the the firstborn in a family of three children. She is a very friendly and talkative girl. Eliana was born healthy and growing up for her was normal until when she was two years old. Her parents noticed her left leg was swelling and she would limp when walking. They thought she had fallen and hurt herself, so they took her to a local dispensary where pain-relieving medication was prescribed. Eliana's parents are small-scale farmers who depend entirely on what they harvest for their daily living. They shared that seeking proper treatment for Eliana was not possible due to their financial challenges. Over the next two years, her condition has worsened causing both legs to be deformed and making her walking difficult. Eliana now struggles to stand and can’t walk more than four steps without complaining of pain or falling down. This has resulted in her crawling most of the time in order to move from one place to the other. Eliana has been scheduled to have both of her legs corrected but her parents cannot afford her treatment cost and they are asking for help. Eliana has been diagnosed with bilateral flourosis, with her legs swollen on the upper side of her knees. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Eliana. The procedure is scheduled to take place on September 24th. Treatment will hopefully restore Eliana's mobility, allow her to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease her risk of future complications. Eliana’s father said, “My daughter is struggling to stand and walking is now becoming close to impossible. Please help her get this treatment, we are unable to afford the treatment cost.’’

$880raised
Fully funded