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Success! Mamerta from the Philippines raised $1,500 for life-changing thyroid surgery.

  • $1,500 raised, $0 to go
to go
Fully funded
Mamerta's treatment was fully funded on March 7, 2016.

Photo of Mamerta post-operation

March 24, 2016

Mamerta received successful thyroid surgery.

“I am so thankful for the people who had extended their help to poor people like me,” shares Mamerta. “Without you, I could not have the healing that I dreamed. I felt more confident and very positive to face life and serve my family. I have more strength to take care of my family, serve the church and be a very functional unit of the community.”

Our medical partner, International Care Ministries, adds: “Mamerta is a strong woman who was bravely facing the odds of life. Her life changed when she started attending church, and became whole when she had the treatment. She credits her healing to her growing relationship with the Lord and it brings tears in her eyes when she thanks the people who had the heart to extend help for her treatment. She looks forward to serving her family and church more with her strength.”

"I am so thankful for the people who had extended their help to poor people like me," shares Mamerta. "Without you, I could not have the hea...

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February 16, 2016

Mamerta is a 45-year-old mother from the Philippines. With her husband, she runs a small business selling snacks. “In her spare time she is fond of making delicious snacks for her children,” our medical partner, International Care Ministries (ICM), tells us.

Mamerta has developed a goiter; an abnormally enlarged thyroid gland. This manifests as a bulge in her neck. Because of the goiter, “Mamerta experiences physical discomfort when she does many things, such as carrying heavy things, working house chores for long hours, and there is slight discomfort when eating solid food,” explains ICM.

Mamerta needs a thyroidectomy, or surgical removal of her thyroid gland. This surgery would normally not be affordable for Mamerta, as she and her husband barely bring in enough income from selling snacks to support themselves and their children. However, for $1,500, we can fund the procedure she needs. Not only will funding cover Mamerta’s thyroidectomy, but it will also pay for her transportation to and from the hospital, and all post-operative care.

“Thank you so much for paving the way to my healing,” Mamerta shares. “After the treatment, I am excited to feel better and take care of my family without any difficulty.”

Mamerta is a 45-year-old mother from the Philippines. With her husband, she runs a small business selling snacks. “In her spare time she is ...

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Mamerta's Timeline

  • February 16, 2016

    Mamerta was submitted by Krishiel Ferenal, National Health Officer at International Care Ministries.

  • February 19, 2016

    Mamerta received treatment at Silliman University Medical Center in Philippines. 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.

  • March 1, 2016

    Mamerta's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • March 7, 2016

    Mamerta's treatment was fully funded.

  • March 24, 2016

    Mamerta's treatment was successful. Read the update.

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

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

Patients have enlarged thyroid glands and/or elevated thyroid hormone levels. Some have difficulty swallowing and/or breathing. They may be diagnosed with a number of conditions, including hyperthyroidism, Grave's disease, a multinodular goiter, thyroid carcinoma, thyroiditis, and others.

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

At first, the patient will notice a lump or swelling at the front of his or her neck. As the lump grows, it can cause discomfort and psychological distress. Very large goiters may compress adjacent structures in the neck, such as the esophagus (causing difficulty swallowing) and the airways (causing difficulty breathing).

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

This treatment is necessary and has no historical, cultural, or regional significance.

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

What does the treatment process look like?

Typically, a major portion of the thyroid gland is removed. The surgery is done under general anesthesia and can take several hours. Once the medications have taken effect, the anesthetist will insert a tube into the patient's throat to manage his or her airway and breathing. An incision is made at the base of the neck, and all or part of the thyroid gland is removed. The incision is then sutured closed, the wound is dressed, and the patient is taken to the recovery area until stable.

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

After the removal of the gland, the patient's symptoms will disappear. The patient will have a thin scar at the base of the neck. If the whole thyroid gland was removed, the patient will need to stay on replacement hormones for the rest of his or her life.

What potential side effects or risks come with this treatment?

Occasionally, the nerve that innervates the vocal cords can be damaged, causing a permanently hoarse or weak voice. If the tiny parathyroid glands are accidentally removed, the patient may need calcium supplements and monitoring for the rest of his or her life.

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

This surgery is available in most public hospitals throughout the Philippines. Some patients travel to our medical partner from remote communities. They are members of our medical partner's sponsored communities.

What are the alternatives to this treatment?

Small goiters or thyroid lumps that are not malignant can be left untreated, unless they cause psychological distress to the patient.

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.


Bizuayehu is a beautiful and cheerful girl from Ethiopia who loves to talk and play with her mother. She asks a lot of questions and she is eager to learn about things. She especially loves dolls. Her mother washes clothes and makes injera (a traditional Ethiopian food) for a living. Bizuayehu's father abandoned her mother when she was pregnant. She shared that there was a time when she couldn’t pay for her rent and was out in the streets for several months. This led to malnutrition for both of them but they were able to recover with help from the hospital's nutrition program. She is now living on her very limited income from making injera and washing people’s clothes in the neighborhood, and with support from another organization. Since birth, Bizuayehu has had a bilateral inguinal hernia. The bulge is usually visible when she cries, coughs or strains. She also gets irritable and has reduced appetite. Fortunately there is a cure and on October 6th, she will undergo hernia repair surgery at our medical partner's care center. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $591 to fund Bizuayehu's surgery. Once completed, this procedure will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably and confidently. Bizuayehu's mother says, “Once my child gets better and cured she can join a daycare and I can do a better job to earn a better income. And I hope she will do well at school. I would like to thank BKMCM for all the support I got. I would also like also to thank our donors for this surgery. I don’t know what I could do if it was not for you and all the people at different times who supported me and encouraged me. I have been supported and gone through so many challenges, but I have had people by my side. I am thankful to God for this blessing.”

16% funded

$491to go

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.