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Veronica is a 50-year-old small-scale farmer from Kenya who needs $936 to fund a thyroidectomy.

Veronica
74%
  • $701 raised, $235 to go
$701
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$235
to go
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October 18, 2021

Veronica is a 50-year-old small-scale farmer. She has a contagious smile and an optimism for life despite the challenges she has encountered. She is a mother of six children and lives with her husband who is a boda boda (motorcycle taxi) driver. She grows maize for home consumption and sells the surplus for additional income.

10 years ago, Veronica began experiencing troubling symptoms, including a small mass on her neck. She visited several hospitals for lab tests and medication, but nothing seemed to help and the mass has grown. She has also gained weight and experiences shortness of breath and a fast heart.

A friend told her about our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH) and she visited AMH’s care center hoping for a clear diagnosis and treatment. She was diagnosed with an enlarged thyroid and surgery is recommended to prevent her symptoms from worsening. On October 19th, she will undergo a thyroidectomy at AMH’s care center, where surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. This procedure will cost $936, and she and her family need help raising money.

Veronica shared, “this condition is making me weak and I can’t work like before. I want to be strong for my children so that they can receive education and get their daily needs.”

Veronica is a 50-year-old small-scale farmer. She has a contagious smile and an optimism for life despite the challenges she has encountered...

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Veronica's Timeline

  • October 18, 2021
    PROFILE SUBMITTED

    Veronica was submitted by Edward Mugane, Impact Assessment Coordinator at African Mission Healthcare.

  • October 19, 2021
    TREATMENT SCHEDULED

    Veronica was scheduled to receive treatment at AIC Kapsowar Hospital in Kenya. 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.

  • October 19, 2021
    PROFILE PUBLISHED

    Veronica's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • TODAY
    AWAITING FUNDING

    Veronica is currently raising funds for her treatment.

  • TBD
    AWAITING UPDATE

    Awaiting Veronica's treatment update from African Mission Healthcare.

Funded by 19 donors

Funded by 19 donors

Treatment
Thyroidectomy
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $936 for Veronica's treatment
Hospital Fees
$348
Medical Staff
$3
Medication
$79
Supplies
$298
Labs
$82
Other
$126
  • 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. It 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 three to eight hours depending on the patient. Patients will stay in the hospital for a maximum of six to eight 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 case of thyroid cancer, the surgery is the patient’s best chance of preventing the spread of cancer and saving the patient’s life. In cases of hyperthyroidism, the treatment helps stabilize the hormones that regulate metabolism and effectively treat some of the patient's symptoms such as rapid heartbeat, anxiety etc.

What potential side effects or risks come with this treatment?

Thyroid surgery is often 90% curative should diagnosis be done 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?

The hospital is a mission hospital in a remote area and patients may come from far away to access treatment.

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. Also, the cost of treating with radiotherapy and medication is higher than that of surgery.

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.