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Success! Rosa from Guatemala raised $367 for rheumatoid arthritis treatment and management.

  • $367 raised, $0 to go
to go
Fully funded
Rosa's treatment was fully funded on August 13, 2016.

Photo of Rosa post-operation

January 9, 2017

Rosa is successfully managing her rheumatoid arthritis.

For several months, Rosa has used medications to control her rheumatoid arthritis, and she can really tell the difference. She is now able to walk around and leave her house without feeling pain in her knees. She feels independent again––she can go to church, go to the market, and visit her friends!

“I am happy now that I have a consistent source of medications and a doctor that is finally treating my sickness,” says Rosa. “Now I can control my pain, even though sometimes I have bad days. Little by little I have seen the changes.”

For several months, Rosa has used medications to control her rheumatoid arthritis, and she can really tell the difference. She is now able t...

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July 8, 2016

Rosa has been suffering from severe pain in her knees, ankles, wrists, and elbows for the past fifteen years because of rheumatoid arthritis. Rosa has known about her diagnosis for many years, but has been unable to afford the medical care she needs to improve her symptoms because she is also diabetic and needs to buy those medications.

Rosa has been relying on over the counter pain medications from the local pharmacy to treat her joint pain, but they don’t work well enough to alleviate the pain of daily activities. Rosa has to take several breaks in her 10 minute walk to work in order to be able to stand the pain.

Rosa lives with her youngest daughter, who is 17, in a one-room adobe house. Her other two children are married and have children. Her two grandchildren, who are two and a half years old and two months old are the lights of her life! Since she and her husband are separated, she has been supporting her children by herself with only her small salary as a shopkeeper in a traditional Mayan textile shop. She often sacrifices food for herself in order to help her children and grandchildren. Medical care for her arthritis has seemed like a luxury she cannot afford.

With $367, Rosa will receive medications to control her symptoms, prevent future arthritic episodes, and help her get back to her daily life. Treatment will help restore her range of motion, help her be able to walk longer distances without having to stop, and allow her to run and play with her grandkids!

Rosa says, “I want to regain my health because there are days when I have been in very bad health. Sometimes it gets so bad that I can’t walk. What I want is to be able to walk and move forward with my life.”

Rosa has been suffering from severe pain in her knees, ankles, wrists, and elbows for the past fifteen years because of rheumatoid arthritis...

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Rosa's Timeline

  • July 8, 2016

    Rosa was submitted by Jessica Hawkins at Wuqu’ Kawoq.

  • July 11, 2016

    Rosa received treatment at Clinic Panajachel in Guatemala. 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.

  • August 8, 2016

    Rosa's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • August 13, 2016

    Rosa's treatment was fully funded.

  • January 9, 2017

    Rosa's treatment was successful. Read the update.

Funded by 10 donors

Funded by 10 donors

Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
  • Symptoms
  • Impact on patient's life
  • Cultural or regional significance

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

Patients with rheumatoid arthritis and other related autoimmune diseases experience tender and swollen joints, joint stiffness that is usually worse in the mornings and after inactivity, fatigue, fever, weight loss, bone damage, and skin and tissue damage.

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

Living with rheumatoid arthritis and other related autoimmune diseases is highly uncomfortable. It often affects young people (usually women) who are working or just starting to raise children. Rheumatoid arthritis can make it difficult for patients to work. If untreated, as it usually is in Guatemala, it can lead to permanent disability.

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

Rheumatoid arthritis is one of the more common conditions that our medical partner sees. People come to Wuqu' Kawoq from all over the country for help.

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

What does the treatment process look like?

The intensive phase of the treatment lasts about two to three months. Staff at our medical partner perform specialized lab work to verify the diagnosis and to quantify the extent of the damage. After that, they work with specialists (often from the United States) to provide immunosuppressive medications to patients to reduce inflammation and pain. Usually within six weeks, patients are much better and can get back to their lives. Our medical partner continues to see them as long as they want, providing support and followup. If the patient lives a long way away, staff write a letter detailing the treatment plan and medication regimen so that the patient can work with his or her local doctor.

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

The typical patient arrives in severe pain and walks out pain-free. His or her life is improved immeasurably, as are the lives of his or her dependents.

What potential side effects or risks come with this treatment?

This condition is very treatable. Treatment is predictable and algorithmic. Not all patients will recover completely, as some will still experience stiffness or pain. However, all patients will experience a remarkable improvement in function and quality of life.

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

The medications and tests required for treatment are highly specialized. Most health centers in Guatemala cannot provide this level of care.

What are the alternatives to this treatment?

There are no alternatives to treatment. With time, patients who do not receive treatment gradually become more disabled.

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72% funded

$419to go

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.