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Kemirembe is a farmer from Uganda who needs $264 to fund thyroid surgery.

Kemirembe
9%
  • $25 raised, $239 to go
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June 8, 2020

Kemirembe is a 63-year-old farmer from Uganda. She is a widow and shared that she lost her husband in 2011 leaving her with four children. All of her children are now married and are farmers. She earns a living from her banana and coffee plantation but at times has some small gardens of food crops like beans, millet, and groundnuts for them to eat at home and sells off the surplus to buy family necessities like soup, salt, and a matchbox.

Nearly 20 years ago, Kemirembe began to experience troubling symptoms, including disfigurement sometimes causes her airway obstruction, difficulty in breathing, persistent headaches and consistent heart palpitations. She was diagnosed with a goitre, an abnormal enlargement of the thyroid gland. She needs surgery to prevent her symptoms from getting worse.

Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Kemirembe receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on June 9th at our medical partner’s care center. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. This procedure will cost $264, and she and her family need help raising money.

Kemirembe says: “I think my health will be restored because it has been outstanding over the years in that I had even lost hope but since God does things his way, am now looking forward to being treated with Watsi’s support in hope of regaining my health and continuing with cultivation once I have succeeded.”

Kemirembe is a 63-year-old farmer from Uganda. She is a widow and shared that she lost her husband in 2011 leaving her with four children. A...

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Kemirembe's Timeline

  • June 8, 2020
    PROFILE SUBMITTED

    Kemirembe was submitted by Joan Kadagaya, Curative Medical Support Program-Partner Representative at African Mission Healthcare, our medical partner in Uganda.

  • June 10, 2020
    TREATMENT SCHEDULED

    Kemirembe was scheduled to receive treatment at Karoli Lwanga Hospital, Nyakibale. 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.

  • June 10, 2020
    PROFILE PUBLISHED

    Kemirembe's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • TODAY
    AWAITING FUNDING

    Kemirembe is currently raising funds for her treatment.

  • TBD
    AWAITING UPDATE

    Awaiting Kemirembe's treatment update from African Mission Healthcare.

Funded by 1 donor

Funded by 1 donor

Treatment
Thyroidectomy
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $264 for Kemirembe's treatment
Hospital Fees
$187
Medical Staff
$0
Medication
$22
Supplies
$49
Labs
$6
  • Symptoms
  • Impact on patient's life
  • Cultural or regional significance

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

Patients in need of a thyroidectomy often present with a small thyroid growth (nodule or cyst), a thyroid gland that is so overactive it is dangerous (thyrotoxicosis), cancer of the thyroid, noncancerous (benign) tumors of the thyroid that are causing symptoms, or thyroid swelling (nontoxic goiter) that makes it hard to breathe or swallow. Patients in need of thyroid surgery often present with nervousness, anxiety, rapid heartbeat, hand tremor, excessive sweating, weight loss, and sleep problems, among other symptoms.

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

The thyroid gland is an organ located in the front of your neck that releases hormones that control your metabolism (the way your body uses energy), breathing, heart rate, nervous system, weight, body temperature, and many other functions in the body. When the thyroid gland is overactive (hyperthyroidism) the body’s processes speed up and you may experience nervousness, anxiety, rapid heartbeat, hand tremor, excessive sweating, weight loss, and sleep problems, among other symptoms.

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

Thyroid disorders are relatively common in the African continent. Iodine deficiency, although still the commonly documented cause of thyroid disorders in Africa, is not as rampant as it used to be. There is a compelling need to set up thyroid disorder registries in order to determine not only the scope of the burden of these disorders, but also to document changing trends, if any, especially given the background of widespread iodization programs. Thyroid cancer is the most common endocrine cancer, and its incidence has continuously increased in the last three decades all over the world. This trend is present on every continent except Africa, where detection is possibly insufficient.

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

What does the treatment process look like?

Thyroid surgery takes approximately 3-8 hours depending on the patient. Patients will stay in the hospital for a maximum of 6-8 weeks or as needed for recovery. A patient will usually have one follow-up appointment in six weeks.

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

In cases involving thyroid cancer, the surgery is the patient’s best chance of preventing the spread of cancer and saving the patient’s life. For hyperthyroidism, the treatment helps stabilize the hormones that regulate metabolism and effectively treat some of the symptoms that the patient presents with such as rapid heartbeat, anxiety etc.

What potential side effects or risks come with this treatment?

Thyroid surgery is often 90% curative if diagnosis happens early. For benign tumors and hyperthyroidism, the surgery is more than 90% curative. The surgery comes with few risks.

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

There are few quality care centers in the region. Hospitals lack adequate resources and expertise to treat this condition.

What are the alternatives to this treatment?

In Kenya, surgery is the only treatment offered for thyroid cancer and hyperthyroidism. This is because radiotherapy and medication alternatives are not easily accessible in the county. Also, the cost of treating with radiotherapy and medication is higher than that of surgery.

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Titus

Titus, a happy 7-year old boy, was born and raised in Kapsabaa Village in Kenya. He is in first grade. He was well until the 8th of April, when he was pushed by a friend when they were playing together and hit the hard ground, injuring his left hand. Accompanied by his mother, Titus had to travel for several hours to get from their home to Watsi's partner hospital to be seen by doctors. His family was referred from a government hospital because they were unable to treat him due to lack of financial means. Very quickly after arriving at our partner hospital, an X-ray was done and confirmed a left supracondylar fracture. Due to pain and discomfort, Titus was admitted and scheduled for surgery. Titus is the second born in a family of four children. His mother is a grocer while his father is a mason. They both work hard to better their young family despite the fact that his father does not have a stable job as he only can wait for construction, which is rare in the village. The family has not been saving any money because they earn a little, which is enough to feed their family and gather for a few basic needs for their children. The young family lives in a rental house in the village centre. The injury has caused Titus’s parents a lot of worry about their son’s future because the fracture has made it difficult for Titus to use his hand. The young family is requesting for financial support to help their son undergo surgery to fix his broken hand and reduce chances of complications of healing badly and persistent pain. Gladys, Titus's Mother, says: “We were lacking means but we were given hope of finding treatment for our son when we came here. I am looking forward to seeing him not in pain again.”

55% funded

55%funded
$425raised
$338to go

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.