Blake joined Watsi on March 12th, 2013. Five years ago, Blake joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Blake's most recent donation supported Bo, a bright young student from Thailand, for tumor removal surgery so he can use his arm again.
Blake has funded healthcare for 64 patients in 12 countries.
Blake has funded healthcare for 64 patients in 12 countries.
Bo is a 16-year-old student. He's in eighth grade and lives in the school dormitory in the Tak Province during the school year. His parents and his siblings live on the Thai-Burma border. His brother and his mother are day labourers while his father is retired. During his free time, he likes to play the guitar, cook, and garden. In May 2021, Bo began to experience pain in the top of his left arm, close to his shoulder. In June 2021, the top of his left arm began to swell until it spread towards his shoulder. The swelling is now very large, encompassing his left shoulder and upper arm. Bo is in a lot of pain and cannot use his left arm. He cannot lift it, nor carry anything due to the pain and the swelling. Bo sought treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. Bo is now scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on August 18th. He is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. "I want to become a policeman one day but I do not know if this will be possible," said Bo.
Benjamin is a father of a four-year-old child who works as a motorbike (boda-boda) driver, earning about $3.70USD per day. His income is also inconsistent and depends on the availability of customers. He is the sole breadwinner for his family. Unfortunately, he has no active medical insurance coverage and has had to rely on relatives and friends to settle hospital bills. Benjamin is full of smiles but finds it difficult to sit up while sharing his story. He opts to talk while lying flat on his back. Benjamin is currently immobile, unable to sit and walk, as a result of a road traffic accident from the beginning of the month. When the 25-year-old hitched a ride on his friend's water truck, the vehicle lost control and he was thrown out the window. He immediately experienced severe back pain and lost consciousness. The accident left Benjamin with multiple fractures and wounds that will require several fracture repair and spine surgeries in order for him to sit, walk, and be able to continue with his normal routine roles again. After stays at various hospitals and numerous referrals, Benjamin arrived at our medical partner's care center, Kijabe Hospital, for care on July 17th. One of the obstacles to treatment he had faced at other hospitals was a long waiting list that meant a delay in much-needed care, but fortunately Kijabe is able to offer his needed care more urgently. At Kijabe Hospital, the doctors recommended a spinal fusion procedure for him to help regain his mobility. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $1,500 for Benjamin's critical surgery, scheduled to take place on July 26th. Benjamin shares, “I just sleep on my back and cannot even sit or walk. I cannot work and fend for my family. I need this surgery to get back to my Boda-boda job and raise my family."
Robson is a friendly and calm baby. He is the youngest sibling of the family, and they all live in an urban settlement in Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya. Robson's mother takes care of their family and home while his father used to be a cook, but was laid off due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While his mother was outside washing clothes, Robson was in his grandmother’s grass-thatched house in their village. Suddenly, a mattress caught fire, causing burns on Robson's face and fingers. The burns led to contractures on the fingers, so that Robson is unable to hold things and use his fingers well. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMH), is helping Robson receive treatment. On July 17th, surgeons from the care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery. Now, AMH is requesting $840 to help fund this procedure. “I hope and pray that with the assistance accorded to my son, he will be able to hold things and start crawling with support as he learns to walk,” Robson’s mother told us.
Hamza is a 4-year-old boy from Ethiopia and the sixth child of his parents. He loves to play football. He joined school but had to stop going as a result of his condition. Hamza's father died a year and a half ago and his mom runs a small business selling charcoal in their village. His three older siblings do small business as shoe shiners and daily workers. Hamza's mom shared that most of the time, their family eats twice a day because their income can't afford three meals a day. Hamza has been diagnosed with an abdominal mass called Neurofibomatosis. This causes swelling and a change of the shape of the abdomen. It also causes abdominal discomfort, pain, and bloating. Doctors have done a CT scan and identified a mass is on the wall of his abdomen that needs to be removed. His mother shared: “Hamza wants to learn and I want him also to go to school. I hope after the treatment he'll be as healthy as others and go to school.”
Phuon is a 27-year-old tuk tuk driver. He's married and has three sons. In his free time, Phuon shared that he enjoys listening to romantic music and pop songs, playing volleyball, and relaxing at home. On March 14th, Phuon was shocked on both hands in an accident with electrical wires. This badly damaged the tissue and after three days in a government hospital he ran out of money to cover treatment. He is in pain and cannot use his hands to hold anything. When Phuon learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled for two and a half hours seeking treatment. On April 22nd, surgeons at Children's Surgical Centre will perform a debridement procedure to remove the dead tissue to preserve and return the function of his hands. Now, he needs help to fund this $787 procedure. Phuon shared, "I hope after surgery I can use my hands again and get back to work to support my family."
Rickshadez is a young student and the third of four children. He's a very active and clever boy. His parents sell clothes in Nairobi to earn a living. They live in a small house on the same property where they work. In the middle of last year, Rickshadez began to experience swelling on one side of his lower abdominal area, and his father brought him to the doctor. Rickshadez was diagnosed with cryptorchidism, a condition in which one or both of the testicles remains undescended. If left untreated, Rickshadez has an increased risk of developing hernias, testicular cancer, and fertility problems in the future. This condition can be healed through corrective surgery, which will help prevent these potential complications. Rickshadez will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). Fortunately, he is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on March 25th. AMHF is requesting $561 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Rickshadez’s mother says, “We are not blessed enough to raise the required amount for Rickshadez’s surgery.” With some financial help, Rickshadez can undergo this surgery to heal the swelling and protect against future risks.
Lonyori is a 6-year-old child from Tanzania. He is the first born child of two in his family. Lonyori has a young sister, Mengori, who also has a similar health condition. Lonyori's parents are small scale farmers of maize and vegetables. They make extra income by selling these crops and also working casual laboring jobs when they can. Lonyori was diagnosed with bilateral genu valgus, or knock knees. His legs bow inward so that his knees touch. 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 is unable to walk for a long distance and he complains of pain after a long day. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Lonyori. The procedure is scheduled to take place on February 9th. Treatment will hopefully restore Lonyori's mobility and allow him to walk comfortably again. It will also prevent his risk of future complications with his legs. Lonyori’s uncle shared, "My nephew is struggling a lot and his parents can’t afford this treatment cost. They are struggling to make ends meet, and they did not have enough to travel to this hospital with Lonyori, so I helped to bring him. Please help my nephew get this treatment.”
Godfrey is a 49-year-old manual labourer from Kenya. He currently lives alone since separating with his wife. Godfrey has one daughter who lives with his mother. He works hard in order to support his family. Though Godfrey completed secondary school, he did not attend college, so he started working casual jobs. He mostly works at construction sites. On January 12th, as Godfrey was working, he fell from the first floor of a building under construction and badly injured his right leg. He has sustained a fracture, it is difficult for him to walk, and he is in chronic pain. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On January 28th, Godfrey will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help him walk easily again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. Godfrey shared, “I am so desperate and just don’t know where to go for help. If not for my friend, I would have just stayed in the house with my sick leg. I plead for help so that I can be well to go back to my work to support myself and my daughter."
Shanel is a 9-year-old girl from western Kenya. She is a talkative girl in class two who loves reading and playing with her friends. Shanel is having challenges because of her congenital condition called genu varum, where her legs curve outwards by the knees. This causes her pain and limits her mobility. Shanel has never been treated due to lack of funds to pay for her treatment. She was brought to Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center Cure International Hospital, where doctors recommended she undergo a right distal femoral and tibial osteotomy procedure. Since Shanel's treatment has been delayed, she cannot have both legs corrected at the same time. Once her right leg has fully recovered, she will be reviewed for treatment of her left leg. Shanel's family is still struggling to meet the cost of her care. Shanel's mother is a waiter at a local hotel in their village. She earns limited income that is only sufficient to pay rent for their one-roomed house and meet the daily needs of her three children. Shanel and her family appeal for help. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On January 11th, Shanel will undergo an angular deformity correction procedure on her leg. Once recovered, she will be able to walk and move normally again, and return to playing with her friends. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,224 to fund this procedure. Shanel's mother shared, "I am humbly requesting for support from well-wishers so that my daughter can walk well like other children."
Victor is a five-year-old boy from Kenya. He is the firstborn child in a family of three aged between 5 months and 1 year. He is a kindergartener and a happy boy. On November 24th, Victor was playing with his friends when he accidentally fell down and sustained an injury on his right hand. His father found him on the road crying, and brought him to the hospital. Doctors conducted an x-ray, which revealed a fracture on his right supracondylar. Because he was in pain, and could not move nor lift his hand, Victor was admitted to the pediatrics ward awaiting surgery. Unfortunately, the procedure Victor needs is costly for his family, who lacks a stable income. His father is a casual labourer who looks after people’s cattle, and his mother is a housewife. Victor's family has been able to raise some money, but needs additional support to raise the amount needed for his treatment. On November 27th, Victor will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. Now, Victor's family needs $801 to fund the cost of his care. Victor’s father shared, “I want to see him happy, not in pain, be healthy and have a good life."
Mary is a businesswoman from Kenya. She is married and is a mother of three adult children. Two months ago, while relaxing at home, Mary felt a lump in her breast with a burning sensation. She ignored it at first, but it gradually became painful. Worried, she visited Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center Kijabe Hospital in mid-September for medical attention and care. After review, doctors ordered a CT scan and a core biopsy, which confirmed her worst fear - that she had breast cancer. The biopsy test found an infiltrating ductal carcinoma, but luckily she had no metastasis yet. Doctors recommend she undergo a mastectomy procedure as soon as possible to prevent the spread of the deadly cancerous cells. Although she is struggling to come to terms with the shocking news, Mary's main worry now is the high, unaffordable cost of the surgery. She runs a small kiosk that generates little profit each day. Her husband is a small-scale farmer who owns one cow. The family relies on the proceeds from their eatery and milk sales to survive. Sadly, they had to sell their only cow to raise money for Mary’s treatment. However, the money from the sale is barely enough to cover the cost of mastectomy surgery. Her kids do not have stable jobs, and Mary says they are struggling. She has no national health insurance or any medical coverage, and is thus appealing for financial help. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $857 to cover the cost of a mastectomy for Mary. The procedure is scheduled to take place on October 23rd. After treatment, Mary will hopefully return to a cancer-free life. Mary shared, “I am shocked that I was diagnosed with this deadly cancer. But I am more worried that I am unable to afford the only procedure that can stop the spread of the disease. I wasn’t prepared for a procedure of this magnitude. I appreciate any support you can provide.”
Chetra is a 8-year-old student from Cambodia. He lives with his mother, who is a farmer. His parents divorced a few years ago. He is in the second grade at school and shared that he enjoys reading and art. And, since he is an only child he said he also loves playing with his friends at school. When he is not at school, he and his friends like to play soccer. In May 2020, Chetra fell from a tree, causing a fracture to his left humerus. His mother immediately took him to a traditional Khmer healer before seeking further help. Over time, the pain in his elbow grew worse. Now it is difficult for him to use his hand, and he cannot bend his arm. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, can help. On September 25th, Chetra will undergo a fracture repair procedure, which will cost $465. This procedure will allow the bone to heal, so that he can use his hand and arm again. Chetra said, "I hope I can stop feeling pain in my arm and use it well again."