“In the future, we want to return to Burma and open a shop where we will sell dried food,” says Cho Mar, a 44-year-old farmer who moved to Thailand with her husband in order to find better work opportunities.
“Four years ago, Cho Mar started experiencing heavy bleeding,” reports our medical partner, Burma Border Projects (BBP). This was also accompanied by abdominal pains, but after a few months her symptoms subsided so she did not seek any treatment.
This past September, however, the same symptoms came back and she also felt a mass in her abdomen. When Cho Mar came to the clinic for an ultrasound, she was diagnosed with a uterine myoma - a non-cancerous growth of fibroids in the uterus caused by abnormal development of muscle cells. If left untreated, these uterine fibroids will continue to grow and cause her severe pain and blood loss.
Financing Cho Mar’s medical treatment has been very difficult. Cho Mar and her husband do not have ID documentation, so transportation to reach medical treatment has been very expensive. Drivers often over-charge them, and there are several police/immigration checkpoints along the way where they must pay additional fees.
Even though Cho Mar’s husband works seven days a week on the farm, Cho Mar has been unable to work the past seven months due to her condition. BBP explains, “They have to use their money wisely, because it’s just enough to cover their daily expenses. They cannot save or pay for unexpected costs.”
With $1500, Cho Mar will have a hysterectomy where doctors will surgically remove her uterus and prevent the uterine fibroids from redeveloping in the future. After her surgery, Cho Mar will no longer have pain and discomfort so she can return to work on the farm with her husband.
Cho Mar is eager to return home healthy so she can continue working towards her goals. “My dream is to go back to work so that we can start to save money,” Cho Mar shares with us.