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Martha is a produce seller and mom from Kenya who needs $857 to fund a mastectomy for breast cancer treatment.

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August 24, 2020

Martha is a hardworking 54-year-old mother from Kenya. She is a single mother of two, who are now adults. She used to run a small green grocery along the road in Ruaraka, but she is now jobless. One month ago, the structure where she used to sell her produce was brought down to pave way for the expansion of the road. She therefore has no source of income. Her oldest daughter used to work as a hotelier in Mombasa but lost her job due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which greatly affected the hospitality industry. Her son used to help Martha with the grocery shop but he is also jobless after the demolition. Their family is struggling to meet their daily needs and pay their $35 rent for their two-room home.

Martha has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Without treatment, the cancer may spread to other organs. A mastectomy, a surgery to remove breast tissue, has been suggested to rid her body of breast cancer and to prevent the cancer from metastasizing.

Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $857 to cover the cost of a mastectomy for Martha. The procedure is scheduled to take place on August 25th. After treatment, Martha will hopefully return to a cancer-free life.

Martha says, “I am confident that I will be able to fight this disease and have a normal life. However, I don’t have means to cover for the cost of this surgery since my business went down. If I get assistance, I will greatly appreciate it.”

Martha is a hardworking 54-year-old mother from Kenya. She is a single mother of two, who are now adults. She used to run a small green groc...

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Martha's Timeline

  • August 24, 2020

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

  • August 27, 2020

    Martha's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • August 31, 2020

    Martha was scheduled to receive treatment at AIC Kijabe Hospital. 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.


    Martha is currently raising funds for her treatment.

  • TBD

    Awaiting Martha's treatment update from African Mission Healthcare.

Funded by 18 donors

Funded by 18 donors

  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $857 for Martha's treatment
Hospital Fees
Medical Staff
  • Symptoms
  • Impact on patient's life
  • Cultural or regional significance

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

A mastectomy is a surgery to remove the breast or part of the breast and is usually performed to treat breast cancer. Common symptoms of breast cancer include a lump or swelling in all or part of the breast, skin irritation or dimpling, pain, discharge, redness, and thickening of the skin.

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

If breast cancer is not treated, the cancer may spread to other organs, potentially leading to early death. Untreated breast cancer can also lead to pain and infection within the breast.

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

Breast cancer is the leading cancer in women in Kenya (34 per 100,000). It has been identified as the number one killer of women aged 35-55 years. Late diagnosis is the main reason for high mortality.

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

What does the treatment process look like?

The patient reports to the hospital, and lab work is done. The following day, the patient goes into the operating room for surgery. The patient stays in the hospital ward for three to seven days. The surgery is considered a success if the wound heals cleanly. The patient is then discharged from the hospital.

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

This treatment is curative if the cancer has not spread widely. Usually, this surgery is not performed if the cancer has already spread. Sometimes, doctors are unable to determine if the cancer has spread until they perform post-operative lymph node testing.

What potential side effects or risks come with this treatment?

There are very few side effects or risks if the condition is diagnosed and treated before the cancer has spread widely.

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

In Africa, there is limited capacity to treat breast cancer. Many cancers are diagnosed in advanced stages due to the limited number of diagnostic and treatment centers.

What are the alternatives to this treatment?

For early-stage breast cancer, a “lumpectomy” surgery may be adequate. Additional radiation therapy will be required for cancer that has spread to the lymph nodes.

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.