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Rick Lavine


Born on October 1

Rick's Story

Rick joined Watsi on May 12th, 2015. Two years ago, Rick became the 1272nd member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 2,024 more people have become monthly donors! Rick's most recent donation supported Grace, a farmer from Kenya, to fund a thyroidectomy.


Rick has funded healthcare for 26 patients in 10 countries.

All patients funded by Rick

Mya Htay

Meet Mya Htay, a 41-year-old woman from Burma. Mya Htay lives with her father, her 15-year-old nephew, and her 11-year-old niece. In September of 2015, Mya Htay began experiencing particularly heavy bleeding. She also began to experience back pain and cramps in her lower abdomen. As she was tied up working in Bangkok to support her family, she never sought treatment in Burma. In November 2015, the symptoms were still present. Mya Htay visited a hospital in Bangkok to get checked out. There she received an ultrasound test that uncovered a 6 cm uterine mass. The hospital referred her to a gynecological specialist, who presented her with the option of having surgery or leaving it alone and hoping it goes away on its own. She was prescribed some vitamins and was given a follow up appointment; however she didn’t attend because she went back home March of 2016 to see her family and rest. According to her: “It is hard and very expensive to get complex surgeries in Burma and Burmese hospitals can only do minor treatments." Mya Htay returned to back to work in April 2016 due to financial hardship, even though she was still unwell. Her whole body was tired, she was experiencing joint pain and abdominal pain, had no appetite, and began to see the mass protruding from her skin. Mya Htay’s sister-law is a staff member of Mae Tao Clinic (MTC), a Watsi partner, so she decided to make the trip up to Mae Sot. In order to cover the fees for the trip, the treatment, and support the family while she unable to work, Mya Htay’s sister borrowed 1,000,000 Kyat (approx. 1000 USD) at 5% interest. The trip costs 10,000 kyat (approx. 10 USD) and took approximately three hours. MTC then referred her to the Watsi program for treatment funding. All of Mya Htay’s symptoms are still present, and now her blood pressure is getting dangerously low. Not only does her condition prevent her from working, she is unable to do daily tasks around the house like she used to. She is exhausted and feels too much pain to clean or take care of her family. Mya Htay is quite stressed about not being able to provide for her family because of her condition. Mya is a strong, hard working and independent woman. In her spare time, she loves to unwind by reading magazines. Her dream is to one day own her own home. $1,500 will fund the surgery Mya Htay needs to recover. "After surgery, I am hopeful that I can return to work and pay back my debt," she said.

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Two-month-old Gregorio lives with his parents and older sibling in Guatemala. “Gregorio is acutely malnourished due to his mother's lack of breast milk,” our medical partner, Wuqu’ Kawoq (WK), tells us. “His mother is not able to produce enough breast milk for him to survive, meaning that he weighs even less than when he was born.” While Gregorio’s mother takes care of the children during the day, his father leaves their home early every morning to chop wood on the mountain and sell it in town. Despite the long hours of hard work, his father earns very little money and can afford only very basic foods like tortillas. As a result, the family is unable to buy formula for Gregorio. “Gregorio’s mother has been supplementing the little milk she makes with water, which depletes Gregorio’s electrolytes and puts him at risk of seizures and permanent brain damage,” WK continues. The inability to produce breast milk—known as lactational failure—is a serious condition for a newborn baby without access to formula. Fortunately, treatment for Gregorio is possible. “Formula will give Gregorio the nutrients, calories, and protein he needs to grow,” WK explains, “His mother will receive one-on-one motivational nutrition education to prepare her to give him solid foods and teach her how to prevent future malnutrition.” $1,016 pays for a one year’s supply of formula and six months of micronutrient support for Gregorio. Funding also covers the cost of a case manager and a nutritionist to help Gregorio’s mother coordinate his care, plan his meals, and monitor his progress. With treatment, “Gregorio's immune system will grow stronger, saving his life and helping his family to be much less stressed economically,” says WK.

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