“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.