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Meet Theara, a 17-year-old from Cambodia. She has six sisters and one brother, and her parents work as farmers. Theara works with her parents on their farm but is searching for a different job to help better support her family. At home, she enjoys cooking chicken and rice and watching stories on her phone. Two months ago, Theara developed a chalazion in her right eye, which is an inflamed cyst in the tear gland. As a result, she experiences irritation, itchiness, blurred vision, and is insecure about how her eye looks. Theara traveled for four hours to seek treatment from our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC). On December 30th, surgeons at CSC will remove the cyst through a chalazion excision procedure. After recovery, Theara's symptoms will improve. She needs help raising $210 to fund this procedure. Theara shared: "I hope my eye will feel well after surgery and I can look for a job."
John is a hawker (the local name for a street vendor) from Kenya. He has six children all under the age of 18 years. His wife helps at home and John is the family's sole breadwinner. Lately, due to his condition, John has been unable to work. He has no alternate source of income, and shared that he is struggling to raise his family. John first started experiencing a loss of appetite and stomach pain in April 2022. He visited a local health center and was treated for stomach aches, but his condition did not improve. He later started having episodes of diarrhea and has lost a significant amount of weight. He also has been experiencing bleeding that has caused him anemia. As a result, he has had several blood transfusions and hospital admissions. Recently, a biopsy at Kijabe Hospital revealed that John has colorectal cancer. Colorectal cancer is a disease in which cells in the colon grow out of control. At the current stage, his doctors feel the cancer can be stopped surgically from spreading. However, the procedure has to be done as soon as possible because it is urgent. He is now scheduled to undergo surgery and needs support. Unfortunately, John does not have medical coverage and cannot afford the surgery. He is requesting financial assistance to support the $1,074 needed for his medical care. John says, “I cannot eat, and I have lost a lot of weight. I have had several blood transfusions because of bleeding. I need this surgery to help fight the cancer.”
Peter is a 5th grade student from Kenya. He is an only child being raised by his single mother, who works as a hotel waitress earning about $70 per month. The family also has a small tea plantation in their ancestral home, but are unable to raise the funds needed for Peter's surgery. Peter has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of his condition, Peter has been experiencing difficulty in holding things and walking. The condition has affected his appearance, with a change in the color of his eyes. Over time, he has developed urine and stool incontinence. His worried mom decided to seek treatment from several hospitals. Doctors determined that Peter needs a special surgery that will relieve pressure from the skull. Without treatment, Peter will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $720 to cover the cost of surgery for Peter. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 11th, and will drain the excess fluid from Peter's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, Peter will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. Peter’s mother says, “Peter has been sickly and has been missing school for almost a year now. This condition is affecting his school life. He needs this treatment to recover and go back to school.”
Thwe is a 55-year-old woman from Thailand. She is a part-time housemaid. She lives with her friends and in her free time likes to watch TV. Thwe has localized periodontitis and a suspected malignant ulcer in her right lower gum. Her biopsy result shows a malignant lesion. Her doctor has recommended she undergo a CT scan, a procedure in which x-ray images are taken from several angles and combined to produce cross-sectional images of the body. This scan will hopefully help doctors formulate an appropriate treatment plan. Currently, she still feels pain in her teeth and gum. At times, the ulcer bleeds. As a result, she can only eat liquid and semisolid food as it is difficult to chew. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is helping Thwe receive treatment. On January 19th, Thwe will undergo a CT scan where she will receive a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. Thwe needs help raising $414 to fund this care. Thwe cried as she shared, "I feel sad as soon as I heard about my condition. My friends encourage me a lot. I would love to say thank you because I even thought about giving up if there is no one to help me.”
Charles, who is 62 years old, is a chatty and sociable farmer living in Uganda. Together, he and his wife have two sons and three daughters. Both Charles and his wife practice small-scale farming, which generates a small income they rely on. For two years, Charles has lived with a swelling on his left leg, which has been increasing in size over time. He limps while walking, and he is worried about the continued growth of the mass. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is here to help. On February 7th, surgeons at Karoli Lwanga Hospital, Nyakibale will remove the mass. Charles needs help raising the $137 to fund this procedure. Charles says: “I hope I can walk well again once I am operated on. I think with your support, all will be possible.”
Namara is a 3-year-old child from Uganda. He and his four siblings live with their mother and grandparents. The children depend on their grandparents who are small-scale farmers as well as well-wishers, friends, and relatives for financial support. Namara’s mother reports that her son developed an on-and-off small swelling in his private parts two years ago. Later, Namara began to refuse to eat, vomiting whenever he ate, and soon started to cough as well. His mother realized that these conditions would develop whenever the swelling appeared because he would be in pain. He was taken to the nearest health center and was given medication, but it only helped for a short while. Currently, he cries a lot when the swelling appears. Namara was diagnosed right inguinal hernia. This hernia causes him pain and discomfort. Fortunately, on February 3rd, he will undergo hernia repair surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once completed, this procedure will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably and confidently. Namara and his family need help raising $170 to fund his procedure and care. Namara’s mother says, “My son’s condition is worrying and [he] has had medication without improvement. I pray that he may get well through surgery so that he may be able to start school comfortably.”
Saw Myo is a 14-year-old from Burma. He lives with his grandparents, parents, two sisters, and brother. His grandparents are retired. His father farms paddy and rubber trees on their land, while his mother is a homemaker. Saw Myo and his siblings are all in school, but Saw Myo recently had to stop attending due to a medical condition. Saw Myo has had a lump on his lower spinal cord since he was nine years old due to an injury from a slingshot. He received medicinal ointment from a traditional healer that helped with the stiffness and prevented further growth. However, Saw Myo fell off his bicycle a few years later, and the lump grew in size. His family took him to several clinics, and an X-ray indicated a potential spinal cord problem. The doctors recommended a computerized tomography (CT) scan, but due to COVID-19 policies, Saw Myo could not receive the scan. His parents continued to try and help Saw Myo receive treatment but learned that his condition could not be treated locally. Saw Myo's mother then contacted a neighbor who worked as a medic at a clinic in Burma and began raising money for his care. The doctors want Saw Myo to undergo an MRI, which is an imaging procedure that uses magnetic fields and radio waves to produce images of bodily organs. This scan will help doctors diagnose his condition and formulate an appropriate treatment plan. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), is helping Saw Myo receive this treatment. On November 15th, he will undergo an MRI. BCMF requests $814 to cover the cost of Saw Myo's MRI procedure and care. Saw Myo's mother said: “We have been so worried since we saw the mass increasing in size. It was tiring to seek treatment in Burma, and we now have borrowed a lot of money without Saw Myo having received treatment."
Vireach is a three-year-old toddler who lives with his parents and his older brother in Kampong Cham province. His mother sells groceries from the front of their home and his father is a rice farmer. At home, he and his brother like to play with toy cars. His favorite meal is fresh fried fish from the Mekong River, which flows through Kampong Cham province. Vireach has strabismus in both eyes. Strabismus is a misalignment of the eye caused by injury or dysfunction in the associated nerves and muscles. The condition is called exotropia, where he uses only one eye to look at an object while the other eye turns outward. His eyes do not aim at the same place accurately or simultaneously. If left untreated, Vireach may have difficulty reading and suffer from permanent poor vision as he grows older. Vireach and his parents traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On March 2nd, surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), will perform a corrective procedure to align his eyes. Now, Vireach's family needs help to raise $331 to fund his eye procedure. Vireach's mother said: "I hope after the surgery his eye looks straight like other children so he doesn’t feel shy."
Thi is a playful 3-year-old toddler from Cambodia. He loves to eat pork fried rice, play with toy cars, and spend time with his family! His father is in the army, and his mother stays home to look after Thi and his two older siblings. Thi is experiencing a condition called strabismus in both eyes. Strabismus is a misalignment of the eye that is caused by injury or dysfunction in the eye's associated nerves and muscles. Without treatment, the condition can lead to issues with depth perception and double vision. Thi's family traveled to our medical partner's care center so he can receive treatment. On March 1st, surgeons will perform a corrective procedure to align Thi's eyes. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), is requesting $331 to fund this procedure. Thi's dad shared: "I want my son to start school and have good vision."
Sorn is a 70-year-old proud mother of seven and grandmother of five who lives in the Battambang province of Cambodia. Her husband passed away 15 years ago and her children live far away, tending their own farms. Sorn lives alone and enjoys listening to local monks pray on the radio. For the past five years, Sorn has had headaches, nasal congestion with sneezing, and a chronic runny nose, making it difficult for her to breathe. She feels embarrassed to visit her family and neighbors due to her affliction, so she spends much time alone at home. Sorn visited a local hospital for care but was unable to afford the cost of treatment, and medicine from her local pharmacy did not help. Sorn heard about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), from a neighbor, and traveled six hours for diagnosis and treatment. ENT surgeons from CSC diagnosed her with nasal polyps and have planned a bilateral nasal polypectomy for January 17th. Sorn's family has put together $37.50 toward her treatment, and CSC is requesting $397 for the full cost. The requested amount will include the operation, hospitalization, and post-op medications. After surgery, Sorn should be able to breathe more easily through her nose and no longer have pain. Sorn shared, "After surgery, I hope to breathe easily through my nose and stop my headaches. I want to plant my vegetables to sell at the market and support my own living."
Ally is a 4-month-old baby from a remote area of northern Tanzania. He has three siblings, and his parents practice small-scale farming. They grow agriculture crops for the family's consumption and sell the surplus harvest to cover some of their expenses. However, climate change has severely affected their livelihood; in the past three years, their harvest has been inadequate to meet the family's food needs. Ally was born with clubfoot of his left foot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape, which causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. On February 24th, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), will perform clubfoot repair surgery that will allow Ally to be able to walk as he grows. AMH, is requesting $935 to fund this procedure. Ally's mother says: “I hope that my son lives free from this condition. I hope this treatment will make it possible.”
Sina is a 44-year-old rice farmer from Cambodia. She is married and has two daughters, both high school students. When she and her husband have a break from the rice fields, they like to watch movies and the local news on TV. Around five months ago, Sina developed a chalazion in her right eye, causing her pain and swelling. A chalazion is an inflamed cyst in a patient's tear gland. It is difficult for her to work and be outside. Sina traveled for six and a half hours to seek treatment from our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre. On March 6th, surgeons will remove the cyst through a chalazion excision procedure. After recovery, Sina's symptoms should improve. She needs help raising $210 to fund this procedure. Sina said, "I hope after surgery my eye lid stop swollen and back to normal eye I can go to plant crop well and don’t worry about it anymore."