Karijn joined Watsi on December 13th, 2014. Seven years ago, Karijn joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Karijn's most recent donation traveled 5,600 miles to support Thu Zar, a 21-year-old woman from Thailand, to fund surgery to remove a large tumor.
Karijn has funded healthcare for 90 patients in 14 countries.
Karijn has funded healthcare for 90 patients in 14 countries.
Thu Zar is a 21-year-old woman who lives with her parents, three sisters, and three nieces in Mae Sot near the Thailand-Burma border. Her family moved from Shan State in Burma to Thailand in 2008 in search of better opportunities. She used to work at a logistics company until two weeks ago when she quit due to her condition. Her parents run a small shop from their home, and her oldest sister is a cleaner at a restaurant. One of her other sister’s is unemployed and her third sister as well as her three nieces all go to school. In 2015, Thu Zar felt a small mobile mass in her chest. She did not feel any pain at the time and forgot about the mass. In 2019, she attended a workshop about reproductive health at her school, run by Mae Tao Clinic (MTC). During the workshop she remembered the mass and later when she was alone, she checked to see if it was still there. She felt the mass and thought that it had increased in size, but she did not experience any pain. The next day, she told the workshop trainer about the mass. The trainer told her to go to MTC for treatment. However, Thu Zar decided she did not want to take time off from school to go to the clinic, since she thought the mass was not causing her any pain or discomfort. Now, Thu Zar's condition has worsened and causes her great pain. She can only sleep on her back, because if she sleeps in any other position she experiences immense pain. Thu Zar sought treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. She is now scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on June 9th to heal her condition. She is raising $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Thu Zar is very worried about her health and told us, "I feel very sad and depressed with this condition."
Loserian, a student, and the youngest of six children, is a happy young 18 year old living in Tanzania. For over six years, Loserian experienced pain and discomfort when he walked, because his legs bowed inwards, forcing him to use a walking stick for support. Four years ago, he received surgery through Watsi funding, that helped to correct the inward bowing of the legs. This enabled him to walk with ease and to carry out his daily activities, like going to school and playing. However, Loserian was recently diagnosed with bilateral femoral varus, which causes his legs to bend outward at the thighs. This condition typically results from contaminated drinking water. Once again, Loserian is experiencing pain and difficulty walking. His parents, who are subsistence farmers, do not earn enough to be able to afford Loserian's treatment, and therefore, they are seeking help to cover the costs of his care. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Loserian. The procedure is scheduled to take place on May 10th. Treatment will hopefully restore Loserian's mobility, allowing him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decreasing his risk of future complications. Loserian says: "After I had my surgery, walking became easy and normal and I was not having any challenges. But for the past few months, I have been feeling pain when walking and my legs are now bowing at the thighs."
Thaung is a 31-year-old man who is married with one daughter. His wife and him work together as agricultural day laborers. Thaung's monthly income is just enough to meet their daily needs. He shared that he had to borrow money for food from his neighbor when he was out of work due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the military coup in Burma, and he is working to pay them back. In October 2021, Thaung noticed a small ulcer and went to see a retired army doctor who lives in his village. He received some medication, and his ulcer healed. However, a few months later, the growth returned. Thuang and his family were able to fundraise through their church to visit a local hospital. Upon review, he was diagnosed with cancer and the doctor informed him that he would need to undergo surgery. Currently, Thaung is in pain and has difficulty working and sleeping. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), can help Thaung receive treatment. On April 11th, he is scheduled to undergo surgery. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Thaung shared, “When I recover from surgery, I will work hard to pay back my debt to the neighbors we borrowed money from. I want to live with my family for a long time, and I want to support my family as much as I can.”
Glory lives with her grandmother in the village to attend school, while her four younger siblings live with her parents in the city. She is currently in form four and would like to be newscaster when she completes her studies. Last December, Glory developed an infection on her right hand. This affected her studies to some extent, but she was determined to go to school to complete her final year. However, the wound has now contracted as it healed, making her unable to straighten her fingers. This injury has made it difficult to hold a pen well enough to write, but she has continued her studies as best as she can. Glory's family learned that she needs surgery to heal her condition and to be able to fully use her hand in the future. Her father could not afford the cost of the surgery out of his wages earned in his construction job. But, when he heard about the visiting plastic surgery team over the radio, he decided to seek help. Now, African Mission Healthcare is seeking support to fund her surgery, which will allow her better mobility in her hand. Glory says, “It was hard for me to accept that my finger would need to be amputated but the surgeons have assured me that it will help me use my other fingers better making carrying out daily activities easier than now. Especially in my studies.”
Ko Myo lives with his mother in a village in Burma. He used to be a motorcycle taxi driver but stopped working two months ago when his health deteriorated. His mother and wife currently care for him, washing clothes and working in a clothing factory in Yangon, earning income to support their family. With the help of Watsi donors, Ko Myo underwent his second round of laser treatment in January 2020, at Mae Sot Hospital in Thailand, to breakup stones in his left kidney. He was scheduled to undergo a third round of laser treatment however, when the Thai-Burma border closed in March 2020 due to increasing COVID-19 cases, Ko Myo was not able to go back to the hospital. He felt better until the first week of December 2021 when he started experiencing a lot of pain in his waist when he sat for a long time. With the border still closed and without enough money to go to a hospital, Ko Myo sought advice. He then went with our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, in Yangon to a clinic in January 2022 and was able to visit our partner's care center, Shin Par Ku Hospital. The doctor has told him he will need surgery on his left kidney to remove the stone and has scheduled him to have the procedure on February 6th. Currently, Ko Myo has little appetite and experiences pain in the left side of his back. He is eagerly awaiting surgery. He shared, "I pity my wife because she has to work hard and support me. Now, I am so happy that I will receive surgery soon," he said. "One day I want to open my own shop in the market and sew children's clothing."
Stuwart is a 5-year-old boy and the only child in his family. He's a playful and friendly boy who is currently having a hard time walking due to his legs bending outwards. Stuwart is still in class one and he loves counting numbers and drawing. His father works as a bodaboda driver to be able to support and care for his family. His income is not much but helps them make ends meet. Early this year, Stuwart started having pain in his knees when he woke up and tried to stand. This went on for a few weeks and when his parents saw how much he was suffering they decided to seek treatment for him at a local hospital. Stuwart was diagnosed with bilateral genu varus (knock knees). His parents were informed that Stuwart will need to have surgery to correct both of his legs and prevent them from becoming further deformed and causing Stuwart pain. At that time, he was supported by Watsi last July to undergo surgery. He has now developed a genu valgus where his legs are now bowing outwards. To help stop this, Stuwart needs another surgery to correct this condition. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, he has pain and difficulty walking. His parents are asking for help to support his secondary surgery. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Stuwart. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 7th. Treatment will hopefully restore Stuwart's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Stuwart’s mother says, “His legs were straight, but over the months he has been walking we have noticed his legs are now bowing outwards. We will be so grateful if our son can be supported again.”
Cornelius is a 15-year-old student and a social and friendly boy. He's the last born in a family of four children. Cornelius's mother is a widow and does farming on her small piece of land to earn a living and provide for the family. Cornelius has a condition on his right foot that inhibits his movements, makes wearing shoes hard, and causes pain while walking. Fortunately, Cornelius traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform surgery on December 6th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Cornelius's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk well, wear shoes and play with his friends and continue with his studies uninterrupted. However, his family is not financially able to fund the surgery and is appealing for financial assistance. Cornelius said, "I feel pain when I'm walking. I hope the surgery makes it less painful for me to be able to put on shoes and to walk well without straining anymore."
Naomi is a farmer and mom of five. She shared that she is shy and often quiet, but works hard as a maize farmer. She also helps on other people's farms to supplement their family's needs since she is a widow. She lost her dear husband while she was three months expectant in 2020 due to a short illness. She had to take up the responsibility of taking care of her family by herself, which hasn't been easy for her since her husband was the family breadwinner. She lives in a two-roomed house with her mother-in-law with her five children aged between 14 and 1 year. Around 16 years ago, Naomi began to experience troubling symptoms, including a neck mass that started to grow while she was still in primary school. Before coming to our partner's hospital, Naomi had tried other means of treatment like herbal medicine, which did not improve her condition. She was then advised by a neighbor who had been treated in our partner's hospital to come to seek medication. Naomi has been diagnosed with a multinodular goiter. A goiter is an abnormal enlargement of the thyroid gland. She was deemed fit for surgery earlier but she was expectant so her surgery was postponed until after delivery. One year later, she was ready for surgery but had no funds. Naomi has high blood pressure-like symptoms, gets tired easily especially while she is working, coughs frequently with persistent headaches and this has affected her general well-being. She needs surgery to prevent her symptoms from getting worse. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Naomi receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on November 11th at our medical partner's care center. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. This procedure will cost $936, and she and her family need help raising money. Naomi says, “My children look up to me, I want to be a strong mother for them. Please help me.”
Naw Day is a 31-year-old pregnant woman who lives with her husband and three-year-old son in a refugee camp in Northern Thailand. Naw Day works as a high school teacher, however since August 2021, schools have been closed in the refugee camp due to an increase in COVID-19 cases. She currently only works one day a week, where she helps clean the school. Naw Day and her husband are expecting their second child. Her doctor has recommended that she give birth through a scheduled Caesarean section to ensure a safe arrival for her baby. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) is helping Naw Day to receive labor and delivery care. On October 8th, she will deliver her baby via C-Section. Now, their family needs help raising $1,500 to fund a healthy and safe delivery for her and her baby. Naw Day shared, "Thank you for helping me."
Jade is an 18-month old baby girl from Haiti. She lives with her mother and father in a small city in Southwestern Haiti where her mother is a nurse at the local hospital and her father is a teacher. Jade was born with a condition called patent ductus arteriosus (PDA), in which blood leaks between the major artery and vein connected to the heart. This has led to heart failure, which has left Jade sick and short of breath. Fortunately, our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is helping Jade to receive treatment. On September 9th, doctors will use a catheter to plug the hole between the artery and the vein so that blood can flow normally. Now, Jade's family needs help to raise $1,500 towards the cost of Jade's procedure and care. Jade's mother shared, "thank you to everyone who is helping to heal our daughter's heart!"
Noemi is a cheerful three-year-old girl from Venezuela. Her family moved to Colombia two years ago, and she will start school soon. Noemi loves playing with dolls and painting. Noemi has clubfoot of both feet, a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Noemi's family traveled to visit our medical partner, Clínica Noel. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on September 28th. Now, Clínica Noel, is requesting $1,500 to fund Noemi's bilateral clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to walk more easily and wear shoes. Her mother shared, "it breaks my heart when she tells me she wants to walk and I see that she is not able to... she is starting school soon and I would love to see her walk and play with her new friends."
Joana is a 50-year-old primary school teacher from Malawi. She teaches a class of more than 80 children. She shared that she loves teaching because it makes her feel young and energetic. Joana is also a mother of two children of her own, ages 29 and 27. In March 2021, Joana visited a local clinic for a routine check-up and was diagnosed with a uterine mass. A total abdominal hysterectomy, or a procedure where both the uterus and cervix are removed, was recommended as treatment. If her condition is not treated, Joana is at risk of becoming severely anemic. After the surgery, it is expected that Joana will no longer experience the uncomfortable symptoms associated with her condition. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Joana to receive treatment. On June 5th, surgeons at AMH's care center will perform a hysterectomy. Now, Joana needs help to fund this $1,363 procedure. Joana shared, “I will soon be a grandmother and I want to be in good health so I can play with my grandchildren the way I play with learners at school. I appreciate your support to have this uterine mass removed."