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Mary is a peasant farmer from Kenya who needs $816 to fund a mastectomy.

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January 2, 2020

Mary is a peasant farmer from Kenya. Three years ago, she felt a painless lump on her left breast which was dismissed as a fatty lump at a local clinic. In 2018, the lump became painful and she sought medical care. She was still advised to wait. However, in 2019, she sought treatment from a different hospital. She had a biopsy done and cancer was suspected. She came to our facility where an x-ray was done and surgery recommended.

Mary and her husband tend to their small farm to eke out a living. The mother of 4 children does not have any medical insurance and was not able to raise the funds required in the previous facility. Her children are not in any employment making it hard to consolidate funds needed.

Mary has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Without treatment, the cancer may spread to other organs. A mastectomy, a surgery to remove breast tissue, has been suggested to rid her body of breast cancer and to prevent the cancer from metastasizing.

Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $816 to cover the cost of a mastectomy for Mary. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 3rd. After treatment, Mary will hopefully return to a cancer-free life.

Mary says, “My hope is to have the cancer treated so that I continue providing for my family.”

Mary is a peasant farmer from Kenya. Three years ago, she felt a painless lump on her left breast which was dismissed as a fatty lump at a l...

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Mary's Timeline

  • January 2, 2020

    Mary was submitted by Robert Kariuki, Process Coordinator at African Mission Healthcare, our medical partner in Kenya.

  • January 02, 2020

    Mary's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • January 03, 2020

    Mary received treatment at AIC Kijabe Hospital. 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.

  • February 21, 2020

    Awaiting Mary's treatment update from African Mission Healthcare.


    Mary is currently raising funds for her treatment.

Funded by 20 donors

Funded by 20 donors

  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $816 for Mary'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?

A mastectomy is a surgery to remove the breast or part of the breast and is usually performed to treat breast cancer. Common symptoms of breast cancer include a lump or swelling in all or part of the breast, skin irritation or dimpling, pain, discharge, redness, and thickening of the skin.

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

If breast cancer is not treated, the cancer may spread to other organs, potentially leading to early death. Untreated breast cancer can also lead to pain and infection within the breast.

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

Breast cancer is the leading cancer in women in Kenya (34 per 100,000). It has been identified as the number one killer of women aged 35-55 years. Late diagnosis is the main reason for high mortality.

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

What does the treatment process look like?

The patient reports to the hospital, and lab work is done. The following day, the patient goes into the operating room for surgery. The patient stays in the hospital ward for three to seven days. The surgery is considered a success if the wound heals cleanly. The patient is then discharged from the hospital.

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

This treatment is curative if the cancer has not spread widely. Usually, this surgery is not performed if the cancer has already spread. Sometimes, doctors are unable to determine if the cancer has spread until they perform post-operative lymph node testing.

What potential side effects or risks come with this treatment?

There are very few side effects or risks if the condition is diagnosed and treated before the cancer has spread widely.

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

In Africa, there is limited capacity to treat breast cancer. Many cancers are diagnosed in advanced stages due to the limited number of diagnostic and treatment centers.

What are the alternatives to this treatment?

For early-stage breast cancer, a “lumpectomy” surgery may be adequate. Additional radiation therapy will be required for cancer that has spread to the lymph nodes.

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.