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Success! Caren from Tanzania raised $880 to fund mobility-restoring knee surgery.

  • $880 raised, $0 to go
to go
Fully funded
Caren's treatment was fully funded on July 19, 2021.

Photo of Caren post-operation

July 16, 2021

Caren underwent mobility-restoring knee surgery.

Caren had a successful surgery to heal her leg. Caren was scheduled to have both legs corrected but her surgeon determined that it would be best to correct her right leg which was more severely affected as she needs to be well to resume school next month. Caren currently has a full leg cast and is doing well!

Caren shared, “Thank you very much for helping correct my leg. I was not comfortable walking due to pain and I always tried to wear long clothes to cover my legs because they were deformed. I am grateful.”

Caren had a successful surgery to heal her leg. Caren was scheduled to have both legs corrected but her surgeon determined that it would be ...

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June 7, 2021

Caren is a 17-year-old student and the oldest in a family of four children. She is a social girl who enjoys singing and reading books. In school, her best subjects are biology, chemistry and physics, and she hopes to be a doctor one day. Caren’s father used to own a fish shop, but unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, his business closed.

Caren was diagnosed with genu valgus, which means that her legs bow inwards and her knees touch. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones which often comes from contaminated drinking water. As a result of this condition, she has difficulty walking.

Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Caren. The procedure is scheduled to take place on June 8th and treatment will hopefully restore Caren’s mobility, allowing her to participate in a variety of activities and greatly decreasing her risk of future complications.

Caren shared, “my legs hurt when I walk and the pain is usually too much during the evening and the morning hours. Each day they keep bending please help correct my legs.”

Caren is a 17-year-old student and the oldest in a family of four children. She is a social girl who enjoys singing and reading books. In sc...

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Caren's Timeline

  • June 7, 2021

    Caren was submitted by Joan Kadagaya, Curative Medical Support Program-Partner Representative at African Mission Healthcare.

  • June 8, 2021

    Caren 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.

  • June 9, 2021

    Caren's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • July 16, 2021

    Caren's treatment was successful. Read the update.

  • July 19, 2021

    Caren's treatment was fully funded.

Funded by 22 donors

Funded by 22 donors

Fluorosis - Genu Valgus / Varus
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $880 for Caren'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?

Patients with genu valgum (or "knock-knees") have knees that bend inward and cause an abnormal walking gait. Patients with genu varum (or bowleggedness) have knees that bend outward and cause knee or hip pain and reduced range of motion in the hips.

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

The patient's mobility is hindered, which can prevent the patient from making a living through physical labor. The patient may also develop arthritis later in life.

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

In the United States, supplemental fluoride is added to the water to improve dental health. However, in areas of northern Tanzania, there is too much naturally-occurring fluoride in the water, which causes bone curvature.

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

What does the treatment process look like?

After surgery, the patient will stay in the hospital for 4-5 days. During this time, the surgical wound will be monitored for swelling and infection. The patient will complete physiotherapy to help him or her walk or move the limbs. A series of X-rays will be performed over several months to monitor the healing process.

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

The bones and joints will be aligned, and long-term disability will be prevented.

What potential side effects or risks come with this treatment?

This procedure is not risky, but it is time-consuming. The rehabilitation process can take several months.

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

Care is not easily accessible. Most patients live in remote, rural areas and are identified through mobile outreach. The pediatric surgical program at Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre was started to meet the large burden of pediatric disability in the region.

What are the alternatives to this treatment?

There are no alternatives. Although some cases can heal on their own, the patients submitted to Watsi require dedicated treatment.

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.


Byereta is a 58-year-old farmer and policeman, and a married father to seven children. Two of his daughters are married, while the other five are still studying in school. His wife is a small scale farmer. He shared that because of having many children in school, he had to acquire loans to pay their school fees and support their family. In February of 2020, Byereta visited the hospital with a swelling that caused him unbearable pain. He was diagnosed with a right inguinal hernia and it was recommended that he have surgery, but he was called for training and never underwent the procedure. After his training, he was re-examined and surgery was again recommended to ensure a complete recovery. Because of the hernia, Byereta has difficulty bending down or carrying out any strenuous activity. If not treated, the hernia may become strangulated. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Byereta to receive treatment. Fortunately, on May 22nd, he will undergo hernia repair surgery at AMH's care center. Now, AMH is requesting $230 to fund Byereta's surgery. Once complete, this procedure will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably and confidently. Byereta shared, “I have suffered a lot with this condition because my finances can't enable me pay for my bill on my own due to overwhelming bank loans and the little balance I receive. I use it to buy soap, salt, and paraffin to light the lamp at home. My situation is getting worse yet my entire family looks up to me. I kindly ask for your support so that I can regain my health and continue working effectively for the betterment for my health and my family.”

20% funded

$184to go

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.