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Success! Maria from Guatemala raised $218 to fund diagnostic testing.

Maria
100%
  • $218 raised, $0 to go
$218
raised
$0
to go
Fully funded
Maria's treatment was fully funded on December 31, 2016.

Photo of Maria post-operation

February 24, 2017

Maria successfully completed her diagnostic testing.

Maria received her colposcopy with the support of her case manager. Her test results unfortunately revealed that she has cancer and needs to have a hysterectomy to remove the affected area. While she was disappointed by the result, Maria is grateful to have a clear diagnosis and a plan moving froward.

“I am thankful for the support that you are giving me, and because you have not left me alone in the process,” Maria shares. “You did not just support me one time, but you were also there for a follow-up. This gives me the security to keep moving forward even though it is difficult. I will keep fighting for my children.”

Maria received her colposcopy with the support of her case manager. Her test results unfortunately revealed that she has cancer and needs to...

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November 4, 2016

Maria lives in rural Guatemala with her husband and five young children. She likes to spend time playing and talking with her children. Her husband works in agriculture, and Maria has many jobs––she works in the coffee harvest, sells in the markets, and manages her household.

Recently, Maria received an abnormal pap smear result, a possible indicator of cervical cancer. While cervical cancer is rare in the United States and other developed countries, it is the most common cause of cancer-related deaths in women in Guatemala. On November 7, Maria underwent a colposcopy, which will indicate if she needs further treatment. Her medical team at our partner, Wuqu’ Kawoq, will be able to provide personalized care.

Maria needs help to pay for this $218 procedure.

“I was not able to complete primary school, but I would like my children to be able to,” says Maria. “This is why I want to be healthy, to be able to help and care for my family.”

Maria lives in rural Guatemala with her husband and five young children. She likes to spend time playing and talking with her children. Her ...

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Maria's Timeline

  • November 4, 2016
    PROFILE SUBMITTED

    Maria was submitted by Cate Hendren, Complex Care Coordinator at Wuqu’ Kawoq.

  • November 28, 2016
    TREATMENT OCCURRED

    Maria received treatment at INCAN in Guatemala. 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.

  • December 7, 2016
    PROFILE PUBLISHED

    Maria's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • December 31, 2016
    FULLY FUNDED

    Maria's treatment was fully funded.

  • February 24, 2017
    TREATMENT UPDATE

    Maria's treatment was successful. Read the update.

Funded by 4 donors

Funded by 4 donors

Treatment
Colposcopy
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $218 for Maria's treatment
Hospital Fees
$93
Medical Staff
$0
Medication
$0
Supplies
$0
Travel
$78
Other
$47
  • Symptoms
  • Impact on patient's life
  • Cultural or regional significance

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

Most patients are asymptomatic, but occasionally patients may suffer from bleeding and pain in the pelvic region. Wuqu’ Kawoq runs a large center where people can be screened for cervical cancer with pap smear tests. When a pap smear is positive, or when a woman comes into clinic with an obvious lesion on her cervix, she needs a colposcopy, which is a guided biopsy/removal of affected areas of the cervix. This procedure is often curative for small cancerous or precancerous lesions of the cervix. Occasionally, if the biopsy/removal shows a more aggressive issue, the patient does need to be referred on for more advanced treatment, but most of the time colposcopy is both diagnostic and curative.

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

These are cases picked up in our medical partner's screening program for cervical cancer, so most of the women don’t have any symptoms at all. This is exactly how a screening program is supposed to work—our medical partner can pick up cases that need treatment when treatment is still easy and curative. If left untreated, many of these cases would go on over a period of months to years and develop into life-threatening invasive cervical cancer.

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

Although cervical cancer is very rare in the US and other developed countries because of good access to screening and treatment, in Guatemala it is the most common cause of cancer-related death among women. This is because of poverty and poor infrastructure.

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

What does the treatment process look like?

Treatment is straightforward. The patient is referred to a specialist who examines the cervix under a microscope. Any abnormal areas are removed with an electrical devices and sent for pathology testing to look for cancer. If cancer or precancer is found, this procedure is often curative and women can get back to their lives with regular followup. Usually the entire process can be completed in about two weeks.

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

This treatment saves lives. Without access to this procedure, many of these women would eventually develop severe invasive cervical cancer and die of the disease. Cervical cancer attacks early in life frequently robbing women of decades of life and leaving their families alone.

What potential side effects or risks come with this treatment?

This condition is very treatable! At this stage, doctors can remove these lesions easily, at relatively little cost, and save lives. Risks are rare but include bleeding that is very heavy or lasts longer than two weeks, abnormal vaginal discharge, fever, and pelvic pain.

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

There are several public and private clinics in Guatemala that offer this treatment. However, indigenous women, especially those who don’t speak Spanish, are frightened of the strange procedure and often do not follow through. Our medical partner provides them with the case management, counseling, and financial support to complete the procedure.

What are the alternatives to this treatment?

Most women with a positive pap result are scared and not sure where to turn. Instead of seeking help, they often go home and don’t seek care until many years later when the cancer is no longer treatable.

Meet another patient you can support

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Mercy

Mercy is a hardworking laborer and a widow. Her husband died 17 years ago when she was pregnant with her only child. The same year she gave birth to her son prematurely. She has worked hard to raise her son alone and he is currently in secondary school. Mercy doesn’t have a stable job, but engages in casual jobs within her village where she does cleaning to provide for her son. She likes being in the company of her son and they live in a small rented room in their small town. Around 17 years ago, Mercy began to experience troubling symptoms, including a neck swelling that developed when she gave birth to her son. She has had a difficult journey looking for treatment for her condition and has been to different hospitals where doctors have recommended surgery. She has never gotten the chance to have the surgery due to a lack of finances. Mercy has muscle weakness and gets fatigued easily. She was diagnosed with a multinodular goiter for which she reported to Kapsowar Hospital seeking support. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Mercy receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on January 12th at our medical partner's care center. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. This procedure will cost $936, and she and her family need help raising money. Mercy says, "I have lost weight, I am weak and cannot work like before. My hope in life is to get treated and continue supporting my son. He is the only family I got.”

34% funded

34%funded
$324raised
$612to go

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.

Mercy

Mercy is a hardworking laborer and a widow. Her husband died 17 years ago when she was pregnant with her only child. The same year she gave birth to her son prematurely. She has worked hard to raise her son alone and he is currently in secondary school. Mercy doesn’t have a stable job, but engages in casual jobs within her village where she does cleaning to provide for her son. She likes being in the company of her son and they live in a small rented room in their small town. Around 17 years ago, Mercy began to experience troubling symptoms, including a neck swelling that developed when she gave birth to her son. She has had a difficult journey looking for treatment for her condition and has been to different hospitals where doctors have recommended surgery. She has never gotten the chance to have the surgery due to a lack of finances. Mercy has muscle weakness and gets fatigued easily. She was diagnosed with a multinodular goiter for which she reported to Kapsowar Hospital seeking support. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Mercy receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on January 12th at our medical partner's care center. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. This procedure will cost $936, and she and her family need help raising money. Mercy says, "I have lost weight, I am weak and cannot work like before. My hope in life is to get treated and continue supporting my son. He is the only family I got.”

34% funded

34%funded
$324raised
$612to go