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Success! Carmelina from Guatemala raised $218 to fund a biopsy procedure.

Carmelina
100%
  • $218 raised, $0 to go
$218
raised
$0
to go
Fully funded
Carmelina's treatment was fully funded on December 19, 2019.

Photo of Carmelina post-operation

September 19, 2017

Carmelina underwent a biopsy procedure.

Carmelina underwent a successful colposcopy procedure. Though the results of her exam have not come in yet, Carmelina feels more calm and content just having done the colposcopy. She feels grateful and she and her husband await the results with more tranquility.

Carmelina says, “I do not have words to thank you for everything that you have done for me. My husband is also grateful because thanks to you all we could do this exam. Alone we could not have done it. May God protect you always.”

Carmelina underwent a successful colposcopy procedure. Though the results of her exam have not come in yet, Carmelina feels more calm and co...

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August 21, 2017

Carmelina is a 41-year-old woman who lives with her husband and five children in Guatemala. Carmelina works in her household, cleaning, washing clothing, cooking, and caring for her children. In her free time, she weaves traditional Mayan textiles and belts and sells them to contribute to the family economy.

Carmelina recently underwent a pap smear test, and the results came back positive for possible cervical cancer. Though she is not suffering from symptoms right now, Carmelina still needs to undergo a colposcopy, a type of biopsy procedure.

On August 21, Carmelina will receive treatment through our medical partner, Wuqu’ Kawoq. To help fund the treatment, Wuqu’ Kawoq requests $218 to cover procedural fees, travel, and food.

Carmelina says, “I want to be well so that I can see my children achieve their goals. I want to meet my future grandchildren. Thank you for this support.”

Carmelina is a 41-year-old woman who lives with her husband and five children in Guatemala. Carmelina works in her household, cleaning, wash...

Read more

Carmelina's Timeline

  • August 21, 2017
    PROFILE SUBMITTED

    Carmelina was submitted by Hannah Shryer, Complex Care Coordinator/Research Intern at Wuqu’ Kawoq.

  • August 21, 2017
    TREATMENT OCCURRED

    Carmelina received treatment at INCAN 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.

  • September 19, 2017
    PROFILE PUBLISHED

    Carmelina's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • September 19, 2017
    TREATMENT UPDATE

    Carmelina's treatment was successful. Read the update.

  • December 19, 2019
    FULLY FUNDED

    Carmelina's treatment was fully funded.

Funded by 1 donor

Profile 48x48 tencent penguin

Funded by 1 donor

Profile 48x48 tencent penguin
Treatment
Colposcopy
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $218 for Carmelina's treatment
Hospital Fees
$93
Medical Staff
$0
Medication
$0
Supplies
$0
Travel
$78
Other
$47
  • Symptoms
  • Impact on patient's life
  • Cultural or regional significance

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

Most patients are asymptomatic, but occasionally patients may suffer from bleeding and pain in the pelvic region. Wuqu’ Kawoq runs a large center where people can be screened for cervical cancer with pap smear tests. When a pap smear is positive, or when a woman comes into clinic with an obvious lesion on her cervix, she needs a colposcopy, which is a guided biopsy/removal of affected areas of the cervix. This procedure is often curative for small cancerous or precancerous lesions of the cervix. Occasionally, if the biopsy/removal shows a more aggressive issue, the patient does need to be referred on for more advanced treatment, but most of the time colposcopy is both diagnostic and curative.

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

These are cases picked up in our medical partner's screening program for cervical cancer, so most of the women don’t have any symptoms at all. This is exactly how a screening program is supposed to work—our medical partner can pick up cases that need treatment when treatment is still easy and curative. If left untreated, many of these cases would go on over a period of months to years and develop into life-threatening invasive cervical cancer.

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

Although cervical cancer is very rare in the US and other developed countries because of good access to screening and treatment, in Guatemala it is the most common cause of cancer-related death among women. This is because of poverty and poor infrastructure.

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

What does the treatment process look like?

Treatment is straightforward. The patient is referred to a specialist who examines the cervix under a microscope. Any abnormal areas are removed with an electrical devices and sent for pathology testing to look for cancer. If cancer or precancer is found, this procedure is often curative and women can get back to their lives with regular followup. Usually the entire process can be completed in about two weeks.

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

This treatment saves lives. Without access to this procedure, many of these women would eventually develop severe invasive cervical cancer and die of the disease. Cervical cancer attacks early in life frequently robbing women of decades of life and leaving their families alone.

What potential side effects or risks come with this treatment?

This condition is very treatable! At this stage, doctors can remove these lesions easily, at relatively little cost, and save lives. Risks are rare but include bleeding that is very heavy or lasts longer than two weeks, abnormal vaginal discharge, fever, and pelvic pain.

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

There are several public and private clinics in Guatemala that offer this treatment. However, indigenous women, especially those who don’t speak Spanish, are frightened of the strange procedure and often do not follow through. Our medical partner provides them with the case management, counseling, and financial support to complete the procedure.

What are the alternatives to this treatment?

Most women with a positive pap result are scared and not sure where to turn. Instead of seeking help, they often go home and don’t seek care until many years later when the cancer is no longer treatable.

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Phyo Ko

Phyo Ko is a 33-year-old man, living in Thailand with his wife and two young children. Originally from Burma, Phyo Ko and his family moved to Thailand in 2009, in search of better job opportunities. Phy Ko's wife stays home with the children, who are too young to go to school, while Phyo Ko works as a construction day laborer, earning under $12 a day. In early 2021, Phyo Ko and his friend were at work at a construction site, when scaffolding fell onto Phyo Ko's left hand and thigh. Initially, he used oil made from traditional medicine to ease the pain. However, a month after the accident, Phyo Ko noticed that there was a mass on his left leg, so he sought medical attention. The first doctor he visited could find nothing wrong, and sent Phyo Ko back home. His mass continued to grow in size, and the pain increased, making it impossible for Phyo Ko to continue working, so once again, he went to the hospital. This time, there were no doctors available to see him because of the pandemic. Finally, in April, Phyo Ko was able to receive a CT scan, thanks to our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund and the Watis community. The CT scan revealed a hematoma, which requires surgical intervention. On June 16th, Phyo Ko will undergo surgery at Mae Sot General Hospital, to have the mass removed from his thigh. After the procedure, Phyo Ko should be able to walk, stand and work without pain, something he is unable to do now. Burma Children Medical Fund is seeking $1,500 to cover the costs of Phyo Ko's surgery. Phyo Ko said: "I would like to receive surgery soon so that the pain will go away. Before I received the CT scan, I was told that my leg could be be amputated because the mass on my leg is very big. However, after the CT scan, the doctor told me that they could remove the mass without amputation. I was so happy to hear this. I want to work and earn an income for my family after surgery."

66% funded

66%funded
$1,003raised
$497to go

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.