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Meet another patient

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Success! Lucy from Tanzania raised $920 to remove a mass on her arm.

  • $920 raised, $0 to go
to go
Fully funded
Lucy's treatment was fully funded on February 3, 2016.

Photo of Lucy post-operation

March 13, 2016

Lucy received surgery to remove the mass on her arm.

“Lucy is doing extremely well. The bone was excised successfully (left radial exostosis) and the wound has healed well. Lucy no longer feels as much pain as she used to before surgery,” reports her doctor at African Mission Healthcare Foundation.

“I am happy that the swelling on my arm is gone and the pain when doing activities has also greatly decreased,” shares Lucy. “I am ready to go back to school and I will do my best so I can fulfill my dream of becoming a teacher. Thank you!”

"Lucy is doing extremely well. The bone was excised successfully (left radial exostosis) and the wound has healed well. Lucy no longer feels...

Read more
January 28, 2016

“I hope to become a primary school teacher when I grow up,” says Lucy, a 17-year-old student from Tanzania who is the sixth of seven children in her family. At school, Lucy works hard in her classes and enjoys playing netball, and at home, she helps her mother with the evening chores.

“Lucy has a mass on her left radial bone which became visible when she was nine years old,” our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF), tells us. “Very slowly, the mass has been increasing in size, and it is now painful when she goes about her activities such as lifting a bucket of water or washing clothes.”

Treatment for Lucy entails surgery to remove the mass to prevent further growth and relieve the pain that she experiences with activity. “If not treated,” AMHF explains, “the mass may become cancerous as it continues to grow.”

Lucy’s father owns a small shop where he sells spare parts for bicycles and motorcycles, and her mother makes soap to sell. They also maintain a small farm to raise food to feed their family. Despite their hard work, they are unable to afford the surgery that Lucy needs.

For $920, Lucy will undergo surgery to remove the mass on her arm. Funding also covers the costs of pre and post-operative consultations, six days of hospital care, lab work, imaging, medicine, and six weeks of accommodations at the Plaster House for recovery and rehabilitation.

After surgery, “The pain and swelling on the radial bone will be gone, allowing Lucy to perform various activities comfortably,” says AMHF.

“I hope to become a primary school teacher when I grow up,” says Lucy, a 17-year-old student from Tanzania who is the sixth of seven childre...

Read more

Lucy's Timeline

  • January 28, 2016

    Lucy was submitted by Esupat Kimerei, Rehab Surgery Project Assistant Coordinator at African Mission Healthcare.

  • January 29, 2016

    Lucy received treatment at Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre (ALMC) in Tanzania. 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 1, 2016

    Lucy's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • February 3, 2016

    Lucy's treatment was fully funded.

  • March 13, 2016

    Lucy's treatment was successful. Read the update.

Funded by 23 donors

Funded by 23 donors

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

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

Broadly speaking, masses come in two types: benign (not cancer) and malignant (cancer). The types of tumors are many and could range from osteosarcoma of the jaw (a bone tumor) to thyroid enlargement to breast lump to lipoma (benign fat tumor), among others. The symptoms vary depending on the type of tumor. Not all tumors, cancerous or benign, show symptoms. A common benign tumor, such as a lipoma (fatty tumor), may cause local pressure and pain, or may be disfiguring and socially stigmatizing. An ovarian mass may be benign or cancerous and may cause pain, bleeding, or, if malignant, death.

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

If the tumor is cancerous, it is usually aggressive and invasive. If not treated (like certain skin cancers, for example) there could be great tissue destruction, pain, deformity, and ultimately death.

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

There are so many different kinds of masses so it is difficult to state what the significance is.

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

What does the treatment process look like?

The process depends on the location of the mass and whether it is cancerous or benign.

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

In the case of cancer, the procedure can be life-saving. In the case of benign tumors, patients can be free of pain or social stigma.

What potential side effects or risks come with this treatment?

If the tumor is cancerous, the surgeon will only try to remove it if the procedure would be curative. If cancer has already spread, then surgery cannot help. Most of these surgeries are not very risky.

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

There are few qualified facilities and surgeons to perform this procedure.

What are the alternatives to this treatment?

Alternatives depend on the type of tumor. If the tumor is cancerous, chemotherapy may help, but that treatment is even less available than surgery. If the tumor is benign, it depends on the condition but just watching the mass would be one option.

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.


Emily is a newborn baby from Kenya. She is the third born in a family of three children. Her mother is a stay-at-home mum to help raise their kids and their family relies on their father's to provide for their needs. Her father does small-scale farming and other casual jobs like ploughing farms for people. Emily has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of her condition, Emily has been experiencing an increasing head circumference since she was two months old. Her parents thought it would stop and she would grow healthier, but it did not. Her parents took Emily to a hospital in Narok town where she was examined and immediately referred to Bethanykids hospital's specialist team for treatment. On arrival, she was examined, diagnosed with hydrocephalus and sent for a scan. The family did not have money to cater for the CT scan and opted to go back home and have the scan done when they got money. Luckily, a neighbor lent them money for the CT scan, which was done, and they were able to bring back the results. She is now scheduled for surgery as soon as possible to protect her brain from being damaged by the excess fluid in the head. Without treatment, Emily will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Her family does not have medical insurance coverage and cannot raise the required amount of money to cater for the hospital bill. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $720 to cover the cost of surgery for Emily that will treat her hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on November 2nd and will drain the excess fluid from Emily's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. With proper treatment, Emily will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Emily’s father says, “I always try to see things from a positive side, and I know that God will avail the required healing for our daughter.”

22% funded

$560to go

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.