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Success! Maria from Guatemala raised $383 to fund gynecological surgery.

  • $383 raised, $0 to go
to go
Fully funded
Maria's treatment was fully funded on March 6, 2018.

Photo of Maria post-operation

March 8, 2018

Maria underwent gynecological surgery.

Maria underwent a successful endometrial biopsy. Maria commented that she was very scared to undergo the procedure, but now she feels reassured. After the biopsy Maria did not suffer from any discomfort or pain, and she currently awaits her results.

Maria says, “I am happy and very grateful to the organization for the support you have brought me. If it were not for your support I never would have been able to do this exam.”

Maria underwent a successful endometrial biopsy. Maria commented that she was very scared to undergo the procedure, but now she feels reassu...

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January 22, 2018

Maria is a mother from Guatemala. She lives with her husband and three of five children in Guatemala’s rural western highlands. Maria works as a day laborer in the local countryside and sometimes works selling catalog products. In her free time, Maria loves to be with her family and enjoys cooking and cleaning.

Maria needs an endometrial biopsy to determine if she has uterine cancer. Uterine cancer, or endometrial cancer, is a slowly progressive cancer, and it is almost always easily treated simply by removing the uterus. However, access to the necessary studies to make the diagnosis are not readily available in Guatemala. For this reason, many women have been experiencing symptoms for years before they seek care from our medical partner, Wuqu’ Kawoq.

If Maria does not receive a biopsy, she will be forced to live with the uncertainty of not knowing whether or not she has cancer. If she does have cancer, it could spread and threaten her life.

$383 will provide Maria with a biopsy to determine if she has cancer or not. The biopsy will also help her medical team prepare a treatment plan. The biopsy is scheduled for January 22 at our medical partner’s care center.

Maria says, “I am nervous and scared about my health, but at the same time I am thankful for this support.”

Maria is a mother from Guatemala. She lives with her husband and three of five children in Guatemala's rural western highlands. Maria works ...

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Maria's Timeline

  • January 22, 2018

    Maria was submitted by Hannah Shryer, Complex Care Coordinator/Research Intern at Wuqu’ Kawoq, our medical partner in Guatemala.

  • January 22, 2018

    Maria received treatment at INCAN. Medical partners often provide care to patients accepted by Watsi before those patients are fully funded, operating under the guarantee that the cost of care will be paid for by donors.

  • January 23, 2018

    Maria's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • March 06, 2018

    Maria's treatment was fully funded.

  • March 08, 2018

    Maria's treatment was successful. Read the update.

Funded by 2 donors

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Funded by 2 donors

Profile 48x48 ddodog 2
Endometrial Bx
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $383 for Maria's treatment
Hospital Fees
Medical Staff
  • Symptoms
  • Impact on patient's life
  • Cultural or regional significance

​What kinds of symptoms do patients experience before receiving treatment?

The most frequent reason for an endometrial biopsy is suspicion of endometrial cancer. Older women, usually postmenopausal, often present with severe, chronic vaginal bleeding. In this age group the most common cause would be cervical cancer, so referral facilities usually rule this out before patients come to see our medical partner. By the time patients come to our medical partner, the major possibility is endometrial cancer (cancer of the lining of the uterus). Uterine cancer, or endometrial cancer, is a slowly progressive cancer. It is almost always easily treated simply by removing the uterus. However, access to the necessary resources to make the diagnosis is not readily available in Guatemala. Many women, by the time they come to see our medical partner, have been suffering from anemia and chronic vaginal bleeding for many years.

​What is the impact on patients’ lives of living with these conditions?

Women with endometrial cancer can experience heavy bleeding and pain, which leads to daily discomfort, difficulty working, and difficulty caring for their families. Because many Guatemalan women take care of their children and do the tasks around the home, it is extremely debilitating on both them and their families to live with these symptoms.

What cultural or regional factors affect the treatment of these conditions?

The rate of endometrial cancer is lower in Guatemala than in the United States. However, Guatemala has one of the highest rates in the developing world. The reason the rate is higher in the US is probably because more cases are diagnosed early. In Guatemala, more cases are likely to be diagnosed at a late stage.

  • Process
  • Impact on patient's life
  • Risks and side-effects
  • Accessibility
  • Alternatives

What does the treatment process look like?

Treatment for this condition is straightforward. Removal of the uterus if a cancer is diagnosed is almost always covered free of charge by the national health system. Our medical partner coordinates the workup with several cancer specialists. Essentially, the patient requires a preoperative workup, such as basic bloodwork, since the biopsy is a surgical procedure. Once this is done, the biopsy is performed and our medical partner receives the report within a week or two. The whole experience usually takes less than one month. If anemia is a problem, patients are provided with iron supplements, and if a cancer is diagnosed, our medical partner arranges surgical removal of the uterus for them.

What is the impact of this treatment on the patient’s life?

This treatment saves lives. Without access to this biopsy/workup procedure, women develop advanced endometrial cancer, which can no longer be cured with a simple surgery. With facilitated access to the cancer workup, which this treatment provides, our medical partner can take care of women before they are no longer treatable. Often the typical patient is still working in the fields or in the market, and may often still have young children. Therefore the treatment stabilizes and protects families and young children as well.

What potential side effects or risks come with this treatment?

There are very few risks associated with performing an endometrial biopsy. Pain or cramping can occur, but this typically subsides after the procedure. Other less common risks include feeling faint or light­headed, possible infection, bleeding, and rarely, perforation of the uterus.

How accessible is treatment in the area? What is the typical journey like for a patient to receive care?

This treatment is not easily accessible. Most patients come to our medical partner after many months or years of misdirection and frustrated attempts to get care. Our medical partner works with them to advocate for them, cover their expenses, and get them through the process quickly.

What are the alternatives to this treatment?

There are not many alternatives. It would be possible to proceed directly to removal of the uterus, but this subjects many women to an unnecessary invasive procedure and still does not solve the problem of ruling in or out the cancer diagnosis.

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100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.


In 2018, Dickens’ mother gave birth to him on her way to the hospital. Upon arrival at the hospital, they were reviewed then discharged home on the same day. But, the next day Dickens’ mother noticed that his stomach had started to swell. She rushed him to the nearby facility and Dickens was diagnosed with anorectal malformation. They were then referred to another facility in Kisumu where a colostomy was put. When it was time for Dickens' second surgery, his mother took him to the same facility where the first surgery was done, but nothing was done. Dickens’ mother kept on visiting the facility to seek treatment for her son, and still nothing was done. She shared that a few months down the line, a friend learnt about Dickens' condition and he advised them to come to Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center Bethany Kids Hospital. Upon arrival, Dickens was examined and emergency surgery was scheduled for the next day. Just before Dickens was born, his father passed away. Both of his parents were casual laborers and would do any work that they came across to provide for their family of five. After his birth, his mother has not been able to look for work and relies on her parents-in-law. She now has to stay at home and take care of Dickens because of his medical condition. Dickens’ grandfather is a farmer and mostly sells his produce to earn a living. With Dickens surgery planned, the family is not able to raise any money to cater for the cost and his mother is appealing for financial help. Dickens’ mother shared, “It really hurts whenever I see my son crying out because of the pain he experiences.”

62% funded

$282to go

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.