Julienne Griesert

United States

Julienne's Story

Julienne joined Watsi on March 12th, 2013. 1,773 other people also joined Watsi on that day! Julienne's most recent donation traveled 8,200 miles to support Torteliana, a farmer from Philippines, for thyroid surgery.


Julienne has funded healthcare for 8 patients in 6 countries.

All patients funded by Julienne


“I am looking forward to doing chores at home without experiencing chest pain, difficulty breathing, and difficulty swallowing,” shares Torteliana, a 50-year-old farmer who lives with her family in a nipa hut in the Philippines. For the last 15 years, Torteliana has had an enlarged thyroid, commonly known as a goiter. Typically presenting as a lump or swelling at the front of the neck, a goiter can become large enough to obstruct nearby structures and cause difficulty swallowing or breathing. Most goiters are due to a deficiency of iodine, an important element in the body’s production of thyroid hormones that regulate the body's metabolism. Because of the goiter, “Torteliana cannot carry heavy objects and cannot do heavy tasks at home,” explains our medical partner, International Care Ministries (ICM). “And because it is visible enough due to its size, it really gets people's attention when she passes by, and she is embarrassed by it.” Despite her worsening symptoms, “Torteliana was not examined by a doctor because of lack of finances,” ICM continues. In addition to working on her farm, she sells local goods at the market, but “she cannot afford the treatment needed because her income is barely enough for the everyday needs of her family.” Doctors recommend that Torteliana undergo a thyroidectomy, a surgical procedure to remove the thyroid gland. $1,500 covers the cost of the surgery, transportation to and from the hospital, 10 days of hospital care—including medicine, imaging, and blood tests—and medication to take after she returns home. “After the treatment, Torteliana will not experience difficulty breathing, difficulty swallowing, or chest pain,” ICM tells us. “She can do her activities of daily living with confidence. She can be productive and boost her self-esteem.” “I am very thankful that somebody could help me to have this operation for free,” says Torteliana. “I am hopeful that after this, I can work with less difficulty to sustain my family's needs."

100% funded

Fully funded