Cassandra Penalver
Cassandra's Story

Cassandra joined Watsi on May 9th, 2015. 11 other people also joined Watsi on that day! Cassandra's most recent donation traveled 8,800 miles to support Sarim, a vegetable seller from Cambodia, to fund vision-restoring cataract surgery.


Cassandra has funded healthcare for 20 patients in 8 countries.

All patients funded by Cassandra

Ana is a three-month-old baby girl from Guatemala. Her mother cannot produce sufficient breast milk for her child, and cannot afford formula as a substitute. She thought that her daughter looked normal, and did not realize how underweight her daughter was. As a result, Ana is failing to meet normal growth markers and is far below the average height and the average weight for her age—she is still the size of a newborn. At such a young age, malnutrition is dangerous. Ana is the youngest of 5 kids, and lives with her siblings and parents in a one-room adobe house with a tin roof and dirt floor. Her mother works at home, cooking and cleaning, and her father works as a day laborer, only receiving an income on days when there is work. They have a small plot of land where they cultivate a few crops, but can never make enough money to fully support the family. Even if they spent every cent of their income, they would not be able to afford this life-saving treatment. Lactation failure, while dangerous, is easy to treat. By supplying the baby with formula and the mother with health education, Ana will receive the calories she needs to grow and thrive. One-on-one education with Ana’s mother will prepare her for when Ana needs to start eating solid food, as well as help her watch for further signs of malnutrition and other illness. Ana’s immune system will strengthen and she will grow up to be a healthy and energetic baby. Ana's mother says, “Now that I know that this situation is worrisome, I want my daughter to grow well and have good development so she can study and learn many good things.”

Fully funded

Meet Lucy, a 46-year-old woman from Kenya. Lucy is a mother of four children and a grandmother of four more. Since separating with her husband in 2005, she has taken up the role of breadwinner in her family. Lucy washes clothes along with two of her daughters to earn a living. She was unable to continue educating these two daughters. Her other two children are in primary school. Lucy lives in a municipally provided house where she struggles to live a comfortable life with the burden of rent and education costs. In August 2013, Lucy began to experience headaches and swollen feet. She was diagnosed with artery blockage and was given medication in addition to attending clinics between 2013 and 2015. In April 2016, she fell unconscious and was brought to Watsi's medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation. There, Lucy was diagnosed with fibroids, or abnormal growths in the uterus and cervix. Lucy was hospitalized for nine days and accumulated a bill that was paid through a ‘harambee’ (fundraising). Her father, who used to follow up on her treatment, was killed in May 2016, leaving Lucy struggling. Lucy continues to combat pain and swelling in her legs, as well as fatigue and migraines. She requires an $800 total abdominal hysterectomy-- a surgical removal of the uterus and cervix. Lucy's family and friends have contributed $104 towards the procedure, but she still cannot access medical care due to her financial constraints. "I want to be well to continue providing for my family and live a healthy life," Lucy says. Let's help her get the medical attention she needs.

Fully funded

Tah is a ten-year old boy who lives with his parents and three siblings in Burma. Tah’s family has lived in Burma for their whole lives, living on a small farm where they grow food for their own consumption. His father, U Kyaw Poe, is the only member of the family who earns an income and works as works as an agricultural day labourer. Of his three siblings, Tah is the only one who attends school. He is currently enrolled in third grade, and enjoys his studies very much. His siblings do not attend school, but rather help their mother with farm work and occasionally accompany their father to his job as an agricultural day labourer. On May 18th, Tah was riding in the back of a vehicle transporting a large water jug through his village when the vehicle hit a bump and Tah tumbled out onto the road. The heavy jug of water that had been in the back of the truck also fell out, landing on top of him. He sustained a serious shoulder injury as a result of the incident, and when the pain did not subside in a matter of days his father decided to travel to Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) to seek medical treatment. Tah and his father had to walk a few hours out of their village in order to catch a car that would take them to Mae Sot. The journey by car then took between 3 and 4 hours, When they arrived at MTC, clinic staff performed an x-ray of Tah’s shoulder, which revealed that it had been broken in two places. The trauma unit at MTC then referred Tah to Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) in order to receive support for the reparative surgery he will need. Currently, Tah is unable to move his injured arm whatsoever. He is in severe pain at all times, and has had to miss school in order to travel to MTC for treatment. Before his accident, Tah loved to play soccer with his friends and brothers, but he can no longer enjoy this pastime due to his injury. His father wants him to be able to return to school and get a good education so that he can have a career more fulfilling than working as physical labourer. "I want to feel better and return to school without pain," Tah said.

Fully funded

Charles is a 24-year-old former student living with his mother and father in Kenya. Charles graduated from college with a degree in Information Technology in 2014. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, tells us that in June 2014, Charles’s parents were burglarized by armed robbers. Charles attempted to intervene, and both he and his mother were fired upon and seriously injured. Charles’s mother took a bullet to her hand, and has lost the ability to use it. Charles sustained a fracture in his left lower leg that has developed into a nonunion. He currently walks with crutches, and has a significant amount of pain and numbness in his left leg. His father is employed as a driver, and his mother used to sell vegetables. His older sibling is unemployed, and does little support the family. Charles has found that his injury has been preventing him from securing a job that pays enough to afford treatment. He has been reduced to a dependent of his parents. His parents have been attempting to save for treatment as well, but their household income has seen a large deficit since his mother is injured as well. His family has decided that the priority treatment should be for Charles’s nonunion fracture so that he work a higher-paid job and support the family. “I would like to get well,” Charles shares, “and be able to walk on my so I can support my mum’s treatment, too.” A nonunion fracture is a serious complication that develops if a fracture moves too much to stall or halt normal healing. In most cases, if a fracture has not been treated after six months, then orthopedic surgical intervention is necessary. Charles needs an open reduction internal fixation procedure to repair his leg. The procedure includes the insertion of steel rods, screws, or plates to keep the fracture stable during healing. After his cast is removed, Charles will undergo physical therapy to regain his strength. Charles’s family is in need of financial assistance. $1,410 will cover the cost of treatment he needs, in addition to his family's contribution of $210. Without treatment, Charles is exposed to risks of infection that may result in amputation. His leg deteriorates further the longer he is untreated. After his treatment, Charles’s pain will eventually be resolved, and he will be able to walk and work again. Let's help make it happen!

Fully funded