gemma mendel
gemma's Story

gemma joined Watsi on March 28th, 2013. 14 other people also joined Watsi on that day! gemma's most recent donation supported Ry, a carpenter from Cambodia, to fund cataract eye surgery.


gemma has funded healthcare for 12 patients in 7 countries.

patients you have funded

“I hope my son will be able to walk again so he can start going to kindergarten like his brother,” shares Ezekia’s mother. Ezekia is a five-year-old boy from Tanzania. Before falling ill, he was very active and loved playing around with his twin brother. Now, however, Ezekia is living with hydrocephalus—a condition in which the normal flow of cerebrospinal fluid is blocked, causing a build up of excessive fluid in the ventricles of the brain. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF), tells us, “Ezekia can barely walk without support. He involuntarily shakes his head continuously, and the weight of his head is getting heavier for his body to support. If not treated, Ezekia will lose his vision, stop walking and completely become dependent.” AMHF explains, “Ezekia’s mother is now a single parent after her husband left her because of their son’s condition. She works hard to take care of her two children, but she does not have a reliable job. She holds a range of jobs, from garden work to selling fruits, just to earn something for her family. She needs financial support so that Ezekia can get the treatment he needs.” With $690 in funding, Ezekia will receive surgery to place a shunt in his brain. This shunt will divert the blocked cerebrospinal fluid to another area of his body where it can be absorbed normally. Following surgery, Ezekia will regain his vision and be able to move independently. Ezekia will be able to play with his brother and go to kindergarten just like his mother dreams.

Fully funded

Meet Cho Than, a 53-year-old seamstress and mother from Burma who enjoys planting vegetables in her garden. Known within her community for her generosity, Cho Than often gives the vegetables that she grows to her neighbors and friends. Cho Than has a myoma, more commonly known as a uterine fibroid. Fibroids are benign tumors that grow within the muscle tissue of the uterus, or womb. They can be very small (invisible to the naked eye) or very large (melon-sized) and can present as a single mass or a cluster of several masses. An estimated 80 percent of women have uterine fibroids in their lifetime. While some women who have fibroids have no symptoms, others experience heavy periods, abdominal pain, or constipation. “Cho Than experiences severe pain in her back and lower abdomen,” shares our medical partner, Burma Border Projects (BBP). “She has difficulty urinating and it is painful for her to do so. Her condition makes it impossible for her to work and requires her daughter to care for her and support her financially.” The recommended treatment for Cho Than is a total hysterectomy and oophorectomy (surgical removal of the uterus and ovaries). $1500 covers the cost of the surgery as well as a seven-day hospital stay and one outpatient appointment post-surgery. “With surgery, Cho Than will be able to live without pain,” reports BBP. Cho Than looks forward to being healthy again and hopes to be able to return to work as a seamstress. She dreams of owning a small house where she and her daughter can live peacefully.

Fully funded

Ofelia is a sociable 61-year-old woman from the Philippines. Our medical partner, International Care Ministries (ICM), shares, “Since all of her kids are already married, she devotes her time helping in the tasks in their local church.” Three years ago, Ofelia experienced sudden weight loss and was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism. This condition is caused by the overproduction of a hormone in the thyroid. According to ICM, “She experiences sore throat, choking sensation and palpitations often thus affecting her daily activities and her ministry in their church.” Ofelia has undergone treatments in 2013 and 2014. However, her physician has now advised her to undergo a thyroidectomy—a surgery to remove the thyroid gland. Unfortunately, Ofelia and her husband cannot afford this treatment, as Ofelia does not work and her husband only earns $70 a month—barely enough for their daily expenses. ICM continues, “Her children also can't help with her surgery because they, too, have financial difficulties.” For $525, we can help fund Ofelia’s thyroid surgery, providing medication and a three-day hospital stay as well. The surgery will help correct her hormonal imbalance and eliminate the symptoms and discomfort Ofelia is currently experiencing. “She is very excited to undergo surgery so that she can continue to serve in their local church and sing without any difficulty,” adds ICM. “I’m always praying that there could be somebody who could help me with my surgery. It would be a great help if you could be God’s instrument to answer my prayer,” shares Ofelia.

Fully funded