Kees van MarenMONTHLY DONOR
Kees' Story

Kees joined Watsi on November 13th, 2015. Six years ago, Kees joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Kees' 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.

Impact

Kees has funded healthcare for 82 patients in 11 countries.

All patients funded by Kees

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."

64%funded
$973raised
$527to go

Ko Kyaw lives with his wife and two daughters in the border region of Tak Province in Thailand. He is a homemaker while his wife works as a day laborer. He plans to send his older daughter to a Thai school in the new school year, but his younger daughter is still too young to go to school. In early 2021, Kyaw was still living in his village in Myawaddy Township in Burma but it has been a very challenging time for his community ever since the military coup. He and his wife were injured in an emergency involving the local soldiers who came to their area. Luckily other villagers came to their rescue and Kyaw was treated for fractures on both his upper and lower leg, where a metal rod was inserted to help him heal. Now the bone in his thigh is misshapen and doctors have diagnosed osteomyelitis (infected bone). His doctor told him that in order to heal, he would need to have the metal rods replaced in both his upper and lower leg. Currently, Kyaw’s left leg is in a lot of pain. He can only bend his leg slightly and needs to use crutches to get around. With his leg in pain, Ko Kyaw spends most of his time helping out with household chores he can do and teaching his oldest daughter how to read and write in Burmese. He feels frustrated that since his leg was broken, he cannot support his family. Our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund is helping to pay the cost of his treatment and is raising $1500 to cover his surgery, which will take place on May 10th. “I feel upset that I cannot support my family as the head of the house,” he said. “We only have my wife’s income. We do not have our own house to live in. I want to say a lot of things but I cannot express what I want to say. I never thought that I would lose my house, my possessions and that my leg would be in pain.”

67%funded
$1,005raised
$495to go

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."

66%funded
$999raised
$501to go

Darensky is a 10-year-old student from Haiti. He lives with his mother and grandparents in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. He is in the third grade and likes building things and making crafts. Darensky has a cardiac condition called patent ductus arteriosus and tracheal ring. Two holes exists between two major blood vessels near his heart; blood leaks through this hole without first passing through his lungs, leaving him weak and oxygen-deprived. The treatment that Darensky needs is not available in Haiti, so he will fly to United States to undergo surgery. Many years ago he had one hole closed so this is the second surgery he needs, and his family has been waiting for this moment for a long time. Fortunately, on March 10th, Darensky will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will close the remaining hole that leaks blood between his two main blood vessels at the same time. During the surgery, he will also have a muscular blockage removed from his trachea that affects his ability to breathe. Another organization, Akron Children's Hospital, is contributing $12,000 to help pay for surgery. Darensky's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and followup appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Darensky's family overseas. HIs mother told us: "I am very happy to know that after this surgery my son will finally be able to run and play normally!"

74%funded
$1,112raised
$388to go

Angel is 10-month-old baby girl. She lives in a small rental house in Nairobi, Kenya with her parents and older sibling. Angel’s parents do not currently have stable jobs. Her mother used to sell fruits, however had to stop to take care of Angel. Her father, now the sole wage earner of the house, is a tailor but does not earn much. The earnings they receive are just enough to take care of the family. As a result, they can not raise the money that is needed to cater for Angel’s hospital bill. Angel has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. Over the December holidays, Angel and her family visited her grandparents, however during this time she became persistently unwell, which caused her parents' concern to grow. They took her to a facility nearby and along the way her grandmother noticed that her head looked bigger than normal, and her eyes were not as they used to be. Upon arrival, the doctor immediately referred them to another specialist. facility in Nairobi. She was then examined and booked for surgery in April of this year. After returning home, the parents continued to watch as Angel grew weaker day by day. A family friend heard about their child’s condition and referred them to our medical partner's care center, BethanyKids Hospital. On arrival, she received another examination and was promptly scheduled for a shunt insertion surgery. If not treated, Angel will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $720 to cover the cost of Angel's surgery to treat her hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on February 9th, during which surgeons will drain the excess fluid from her brain. This will relieve the pressure inside her head, and greatly improve her quality of life. With proper treatment, Angel will have the chance to develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Angel’s father says, “This is a condition that we have never heard of before and didn’t know how to go about getting her care. It is very difficult for a parent to see their child in a situation when they do not have finances to help them.”

$720raised
Fully funded

Clement is a small-scale farmer from Kenya. He was born and raised in a small village called Bugar where most of the people living in the area are farmers or find other casual jobs. He is married and has six children: two girls, and four boys. He did not attend school and communicates only in his mother tongue, called Keiyo. His family lives in a small mud house with a thatched roof and grows their food from their small farm, which mostly consists of maize and beans. Last week, Clement sustained a severe injury on his right leg after he was involved in a road traffic accident while going to the market. He was a passenger on a motorcycle that lost control and fell into a ditch leaving him and the rider with severe injuries. They were rushed to a nearby hospital where they received first aid and were later referred to our medical partner's care center for treatment. An X-ray revealed an open right tibia fibula fracture. Quickly Clement was rushed to the operating theatre for surgical debridement of wounds and casting. He was admitted to the hospital and is awaiting fracture surgery. He is unable to walk and is in great pain. Clement likes spending his days on his farm and as the breadwinner of the family, he's now feeling distressed because he can’t provide for them due to his condition. He is worried about the obstacles his family would face if his leg is not treated, having also been diagnosed with arthritis. The family doesn’t have funds to pay for his surgery and he's appealing for support. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On January 6th, Clement will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will reduce his pain and help him walk easily again. After complete recovery, he will be able to resume his work and support his family. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,145 to fund his treatment to help him heal. Clement says, “I want to be pain-free and healthy. I hope to be happy again and have a good life. My family needs me the most.”

$1,145raised
Fully funded

Duncan is a 23-year-old mechanic. He's a lively man who likes cracking jokes with friends to cheer everyone up. Duncan is the second born in a family of six and he is married with two children. He lives in a rented house at his local center with his family. He completed his high school studies but did not proceed to college because of a lack of school fees. He has always had to do a lot to take care of his siblings and provide for their needs, like school fees. Duncan learned mechanical skills from his local center by watching what the mechanics there were doing. He now hopes to study mechanical engineering to improve his skills but he is unable because of the financial burden he has of taking care of his siblings and young family. Despite this, he is still hopeful that he will manage to do so in the future. Two days ago, Duncan was involved in a severe accident and sustained a fracture on his right leg. He was riding a motorcycle in the evening from his place of work when it lost control and fell into a ditch. He was rushed to a nearby health facility for immediate care from where he was referred to our hospital. An X-Ray confirmed a right femur fracture. He also has chest pains hence needing hospital admission for management and to plan for his surgery. He is unable to walk, has pain, and feels all he can do is lie in bed and wait for help. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On October 8th, Duncan will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This surgery will relieve him of the pain and help him walk again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1145 to fund this procedure. Duncan says, “We are facing a difficult moment as a family, my parents cannot find money to buy food for the family without my assistance. There’s nothing else that matters other than seeing my family happy. I want to get healed and go back home to support their needs.”

$1,145raised
Fully funded