Stefan joined Watsi on May 10th, 2013. Six years ago, Stefan joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Stefan's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Milka, a 48-year-old mother from Kenya, to fund a mastectomy to prevent her cancer from spreading.
Stefan has funded healthcare for 79 patients in 13 countries.
Stefan has funded healthcare for 79 patients in 13 countries.
Milka is a 48-year-old woman. She is the mother of three children, between 6 and 26 years. She works harvesting tea at a tea plantation, while her husband gets jobs working at construction sites. Their income is not enough to pay for life-saving surgery, and they do not have medical coverage. Milka woke up one morning at the beginning of February this past year and discovered a lump in her right breast. It was painless at first, but later became painful. She went to a clinic in her local area, but was referred to a bigger facility that offers cancer care. She came to Kijabe Hospital this month where she had an ultrasound, mammogram, and a core biopsy that revealed cancer. Milka has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Without treatment, the cancer may spread to other organs. Doctors recommend a mastectomy, a surgery to remove breast tissue, to rid her body of breast cancer and to prevent the cancer from metastasizing, or spreading. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1110 to cover the cost of a mastectomy for Milka. The procedure is scheduled to take place on November 8th. After treatment, Milka will hopefully return to a cancer-free life. Milka says, "I might be scared that I am losing my breast, but I know it is important to stop the cancer.”
Hsa is an 18-year-old living with his parents, three brothers and a sister, in Burma. Two of his siblings are still in school, while the remainder of his family work as subsistence farmers. Hsa, however, is currently unemployed, and enjoys playing various sports with his friends. Hsa has cataracts in both of his eyes, making it difficult for him to see clearly. Thanks to assistance from our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Hsa is scheduled for cataract surgery on October 11th, at Maharaj Nakorn Chiang Mai Hospital. During the surgery, doctors will replace Hsa's own lenses with intraocular implants, enabling Hsa to live a more independent life. Now, Hsa needs your help to fund this $1,500 procedure. Hsa said: "I wish to see again so that I can look after myself. Then my family will no longer need to assist me with everything."
Meet Venesa, a beautiful two year old girl. She was born at home with a swelling at the lower part of her back, and with legs that were not straight like other babies their family knew. The day after she was born, Venesa's parents took her to the hospital, where she was diagnosed with spina bifida and clubfoot. The family was advised to wait until Venesa turned nine months old, before having her undergo the surgery that she needs. Although surgery was deemed urgent, when Venesa was finally old enough, her parents couldn't afford to pay for it. Then, about a year ago, Venesa was diagnosed with hydrocephalus. Venesa's mom shared that shortly after this last diagnosis, Venesa's father abandoned the family and is not involved in helping support them any more. Venesa's mother used to work at a salon, but after Venesa's birth, she has been unable to work. They are now living with Venesa's grandmother, who does what she can to help. Without surgery for her spina bifida, Venesa risks paralysis of her lower limbs, infection of the exposed nerve tissue, and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,151 to cover the cost of Venesa's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on September 14th, at BethanyKids Kijabe Hospital. This procedure will hopefully spare Venesa from the risks associated with her condition, allowing her to experience a strong and healthy life. Venesa’s mother says: “Since she was born, I have no peace knowing that I can’t afford her treatment.”
Naw Ywa is a 29-year-old woman who lives with her husband, sister-in-law, and three nieces in a refugee camp in Thailand. Naw Ywa is a homemaker, and she weaves and sells traditional Karen clothing in her spare time. Her husband also works as a homemaker and cares for his sister, who has a mobility impairment. Naw Ywa's three nieces all currently attend school in the refugee camp. This past March, Naw Ywa began to experience severe pain in her left pelvic area. This pain was accompanied by fatigue, dizziness, and trouble breathing. Although she did seek medical attention at the hospital in the refugee camp, she was only given painkillers, which temporarily alleviated her symptoms. After a few months of repeatedly being readmitted to the hospital without fully treating her condition, a doctor referred Naw Ywa to our medical partner's care center, Mae Sariang Hospital (MSH). On July 6th, she was brought to MSH and received an ultrasound. Her doctor diagnosed her with adenomyosis, a condition that occurs when the tissue that typically lines the uterus grows into the muscular wall of the uterus. She was also diagnosed with a five cm large myoma, which is a tumor that develops in or around the uterus. Her doctor has advised that she undergo a hysterectomy to remove her uterus and alleviate her symptoms. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund Naw Ywa’s total abdominal hysterectomy. The procedure is scheduled to take place on August 17th. Once completed, she will hopefully be able to live more comfortably and confidently. Naw Ywa shares, “Me and my husband want to have children, but we agreed with the doctor’s plan. I do not want to experience this pain anymore, and my husband also does not want to see me in pain.”
Jackson is a loving 4-year-old child. His father is a small-scale farmer who grows mainly food crops for his family to eat. His income is very limited because he must work on other people's farms in addition to growing his own crops. Jackson was diagnosed with windswept deformity. He learned to stand and walk at the age of one year. He was walking and playing without any challenges. But after a few months, his parents noticed his left leg was slightly bent inwards at the knee. Over a few months, his left leg became worse making him walk with a limp. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, Jackson has pain when he walks even for a short distance, making him not want to walk at all in fear of the pain. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Jackson. The procedure is scheduled to take place on July 8th. Treatment will hopefully restore Jackson's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Jackson’s mother says, “At the dispensary, they told us to feed him with foods containing calcium, but it never helped him. He was suffering but I could not afford to take him to a bigger hospital.”
Poeun is a 70-year-old grandfather with two daughters, five sons, and six grandchildren. He takes care of his grandchildren when his children go to work. Eight years ago, Poeun developed a severe ear infection. This infection caused the tympanic membranes, or the ear drums, in both of his ears to perforate. As a result, Poeun experiences hearing loss, pain, and discharge, and it is difficult for him to communicate clearly with others. Poeun traveled to Kien Khleang National Rehabilitation Centre, the care center of our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, to seek treatment. On June 7th, he will undergo a procedure on both ears, during which doctors will close the perforations. Children's Surgical Centre is requesting $914 to fund this procedure, and to cover Poeun's medications, supplies and inpatient care. Poeun says: "I hope after surgery my hearing improves and the pain stops."
Naw Mu is a 44-year-old mother of two children from Burma. She lives with her daughter and son. Her daughter goes to school, while her son stays home with her. Naw Mu used to work as a day laborer, but stopped working last year when her health began to decline. Since then, her sister, who works as a pastor, has supported the family. In the summer of 2018, Naw Mu was tying sheafs of freshly harvested paddy when she experienced a sudden shooting pain in her abdomen and chest, along with other uncomfortable symptoms. From then on, she experienced abdominal pain whenever she worked hard or lifted something heavy. For the next four years, Naw Mu visited many clinics and hospitals, and was finally diagnosed with an umbilical hernia and high blood pressure. She experiences dizziness, nausea, and abdominal and joint pain. She also has little appetite, and has difficulty sleeping or sitting for long periods of time. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), is helping Naw Mu access treatment. On April 8th, she will undergo hernia repair surgery at BCMF's care center. Now, she needs help raising $991 to fund her procedure and care. After recovery, hopefully her symptoms will subside and she can live comfortably. Naw Mu shared, "I was so happy when I heard that I have donors who could assist with the cost of my surgery! I really want to say thank you to the donors and everyone who helped me search for a donor."
U Chit is a 42-year-old husband and father from Burma. He lives with his in-laws, wife and son. His father-in-law works as a day laborer, while his wife and his mother-in-law are homemakers. U Chit used to work with his father-in-law, and also as a motorcycle taxi driver for extra income. However, he stopped working in January when his health worsened. When schools reopen, his son will begin kindergarten. A little over a year ago, U Chit began experiencing dizziness, fatigue, tightness in his chest and difficulty breathing when he exerted himself. A month later, he visited a local clinic where he was diagnosed with high blood pressure. However, in December 2021, U Chit lost a lot of weight and experienced night sweats in addition to his other symptoms. He was diagnosed with aortic valve regurgitation, mitral valve regurgitation and tricuspid valve regurgitation, and was placed on a waiting list to receive surgery. Because his condition is severe, the doctor recommended that he undergo surgery as soon as possible. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), is helping U Chit access treatment. On April 8th, he will undergo mitral valve replacement surgery at BCMF's care center. After recovery, his symptoms should improve. Now, he needs help raising $1,500 to fund his procedure and care. U Chit shared, "I gave up and I was ready to die before. There are a lot of heart patients waiting to receiving surgery. Since I heard that I could have surgery with the help of donors, I feel like there is hope that I will survive. I have to look after my family because my son is still young. I will always remember everything the donors did for me."
Lionel is a charming five-month-old baby from Colombia. He was born near the northern coast and his parents are from Venezuela. After he was born, they moved to Medellin due to his father's job. Lionel was born with clubfoot of his right foot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and wearing shoes as he grows older. Fortunately, Lionel's family traveled to visit our Medical Partner Clínica Noel where they can offer life-changing treatment. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on March 22nd. Our medical partner is requesting $1,422 to fund Lionel's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to learn how to walk and live a fully active life ahead. His father said: "I hope my little champion can get his surgery, I pray for his wellbeing. I just want his feet to be normal and hope to see him walking like any other child."
Htee is a 63-yeear-old woman who lives alone on near Thai-Burma border. Htee's daughter and son work in Bangkok and send 1,500 baht (approx. 50 USD) each month to help support their mother. Htee also has a good friend who will often help her when she is unwell, bringing her cooked food and accompanying her to her appointments. In her free time, Htee enjoys visiting with her friend, meditating, and going to the local monastery. Htee has a cataract in her right eye causing her vision to be very blurry. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to help fund lens replacement surgery for Htee. This surgery is scheduled for February 14th and will help Htee see clearly and keep her independence. Htee shared, "When I recover from surgery, I will visit my friend. Later on, I want to move into the monastery where my friend's parents live. They are a monk and nun. I will be able to help them with cooking and cleaning and I can meditate there."
Tabitha is a mother of four children and shared that her husband passed away few years ago. She works hard to find jobs, mostly doing laundry for people, to provide for her family. Over the years, she has managed to take care of her four children with the limited income she gets from her work. Last November, Tabitha noticed a worrisome bump and consulted with her daughters who advised her to visit a hospital. She gathered some funds and visited a hospital nearby, but was not able to receive any help. She went to another facility that referred her to our Medical Partner's care center Kijabe Hospital. There doctors have told Tabitha that she needs an urgent surgery. Tabitha has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Without treatment, the cancer may spread to other organs. A mastectomy, a surgery to remove breast tissue, has been advised to rid her body of breast cancer and to prevent the cancer from metastasizing. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,110 to cover the cost of a mastectomy for Tabitha. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 14th. After treatment, Tabitha will hopefully return to a cancer-free life. Tabitha says, "I was very shocked when I learned about my condition and up to now, I do not know what to do as I cannot afford the surgery.”
Ma Zin is a 22-year-old woman from Burma. She lives with her older sister, who works as a seamstress in a factory. Her parents and older brother live in Burma as well. Her father is retired, while her mother works as a day laborer and homemaker. In 2019, Ma Zin began feeling tired very often. She also began having heart palpitations and occasionally difficulty breathing. She was examined by a doctor who gave her medication and referred her to a local hospital for a chest x-ray. The doctor diagnosed her with heart disease, and prescribed medication to treat her symptoms. However, in January of 2021, Ma Zin began experiencing greater fatigue and difficulty breathing. She quit her seamstress job due to her condition and visited a local hospital where she received an echocardiogram. She was diagnosed with atrial septal defect (ASD) and surgery was recommended. Fortunately, our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) is helping Ma Zin receive treatment. On December 19th, she will undergo an atrial septal defect closure at BCMF's care center. Now, she needs help raising $1,500 to fund her procedure and care. In talking about her dreams for the future, Ma Zin shared, "I want to become a designer in the future. I want to recover quickly so that I can go back to work. After I recover, I will learn how to design clothes and sew them myself. I will work hard for my family. I would like to see my parents smile and be happy. I would also like to live with my family in my village."