UNIVERSAL FUND MEMBERWatsi is one of the best things I do with my money.
United States • brennanzelener.com
Brennan joined Watsi on September 13th, 2013. Eight years ago, Brennan joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Brennan's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Teresiah, a mother and small-scale farmer from Kenya, to fund gallstone removal surgery.
Brennan has funded healthcare for 102 patients in 11 countries.
Brennan has funded healthcare for 102 patients in 11 countries.
Teresiah is a quiet but social mother of three children, who lives with her family in Kenya. She is a small-scale farmer while her husband works as a casual laborer. Teresiah's children are all in school and she has big hopes for their future. Teresiah started experiencing severe epigastric pains intermittently. She has visited many hospitals without much success. Finally, at Nazareth Hospital, an ultrasound scan examination was done, and it showed that Teresiah has Cholelithiasis - gall stones. In addition to the severe pain she is experiencing, Teresiah might also develop complications like inflammation of the pancreas, gall bladder, or gall bladder obstruction. The surgeons advised that she needs to undergo surgery to treat her condition. Teresiah is not in a position to fund her treatment and she therefore requests for help. She needs $788 to fund her surgery. Teresiah says, "Having kids in school and not being able to take care of them is very difficult. I humbly ask for assistance and medical attention. I want to take care of my family and return to my regular life."
Angelina is a mother of three children aged between 12 and 27 years old. She and her husband work as manual laborers in Kenya, but the income from this venture is inconsistent and negligible to pay for the proposed surgery. Angelina has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Without treatment, the cancer may spread to other organs. Thus, doctors suggested she undergo a mastectomy to prevent the cancer from metastasizing. On February 3rd, Angelina will undergo a mastectomy, a surgery to remove breast tissue, with the help of our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation. After treatment, Angelina will hopefully return to a cancer-free life. Angelina needs help raising $1,110 to fund her procedure and care. Angelina says, “I am still in shock after hearing this cancer news. I hope to get treatment soon to stop it.”
Alma is a 46-year-old woman, living with her sister and daughter in the Philippines. Their basic needs are sustained by her sister’s small business. In 2020, Alma developed a sore on the inside of her right cheek. The sore kept increasing in size, until her face became highly swollen. Because her family had insufficient financial resources, Alma was unable to seek help for her condition. Fortunately, Alma was referred to our partner care facility, the Our Lady of Peace Hospital. There, she was assessed, and diagnosed with a Buccal Mass. This condition begins when the cells that make up the inner cheek have abnormal growth, and form lesions or tumors. Alma needs to undergo surgery to remove the mass. Our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, is helping Alma to access the care that she needs. She is scheduled to undergo an excision of the mass on September 10th, at Our Lady of Peace Hospital. World Surgical Foundation Philippines is asking for your help to fund this procedure, for which they need $1,452. Alma shared: “I’ve lost my confidence since the lump is very visible on my face. This surgery is the answer to my prayers. Thank you so much WATSI and World Surgical Foundation Philippines for helping me!”
Sophea is a friendly and active three-year-old from Cambodia who enjoys playing with his friends and riding his bike. He also loves to eat his favorite foods: popcorn, fried rice, fried potatoes, and ice cream! He has one older brother and two older sisters. To support their family, his father works as a construction worker, and his mother works as a farmer. In 2020, Sophea's right foot was burned by fire while he was playing. A scar contracture has since developed, causing the skin around the toes on his foot to tighten. When Sophea's family learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), they traveled for two hours seeking treatment. On August 9th, surgeons at CSC will perform a skin graft procedure, allowing Sophea to regain mobility of his right toes. Now, his family needs help funding this $487 procedure. Sophea shares that he hopes his right foot will be healed and he can walk easily after surgery. He also hopes he will be able to wear shoes and sandals.
Josiah is a curious and playful two-year-old. He lives with his parents and his sibling in a small, rented house. To support their family, his mother sells face masks at a local shopping area and his father does various jobs, depending on what work is available at the time. When Josiah was one years old, his parents noticed that one of his testes had not descended. After taking their son to a nearby hospital to be examined, they were told to wait a few months to see if the testes would descend. More than six months later, the condition had not changed, and Josiah was referred to our medical partner BethanyKids Hospital for treatment. His family managed to raise enough money to bring Josiah in for examination, and upon arrival, he was diagnosed with cryptorchidism, a condition in which one or both of the testicles remains undescended. If left untreated, he would have an increased risk of developing hernias, testicular cancer, and fertility problems in the future. Josiah's family could not raise the amount of money required for his surgery alone. Fortunately, he will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH). Josiah is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on July 4th. AMH is requesting $646 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Josiah’s mother says, “After hearing the consequences of his condition if not treated, I was very much worried for him since we cannot afford his treatment.”
Teriki is a 74-year-old woman with three children. She is proud that all have grown up healthy and have children of their own now. Teriki’s husband passed away many years ago, and she lives with her grandchildren. Teriki’s children farm a small piece of land and take on labor jobs to help provide for their families. Alongside farming maize and vegetables, Teriki also helps on peoples’ farms to support her grandchildren in school and provide basic needs for herself. Teriki was recently in an accident when she had to separate some animals who were fighting on the farm. Now she has swelling and bruises, and her leg is broken. Teriki is experiencing severe pain and must use a wheelchair to move around, which has been challenging for her to do. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help Teriki heal. On May 18th, Teriki will undergo a fracture repair procedure called an open reduction and internal fixation. Upon recovery, Teriki will be able to walk easily again. AMH is requesting $1,145 to fund her medical treatment. Teriki says, “I really feel sorry right now. I have been depending on myself, yet now I cannot walk by myself. Please help me get back on my feet so that we do not suffer more for my grandchildren.”
Meet Alex, a 15-year-old student, living in Kenya. Alex's mother is a single parent, working as a vendor. Alex aspires to enroll in a plant engineering course in the future. Last February, Alex was walking home from school along the side of the road, when a car veered off the road and hit him. After hearing a loud bang, the next thing that Alex remembers is waking up in the hospital with a fractured hip. Thanks to our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, Alex is scheduled to have surgery to repair his hip on October 11th, at AIC Cure International Hospital. The procedure will cost $1,293 and Alex and his family need your help to fund this procedure. His treatment will enable him to walk without support again and he's excited to return to playing his beloved football. “My desire is to walk well without crutches and get back to the field to play football. I am requesting support from AMH to help me undergo surgery and resume my normal life,” Alex told us.
Aalyia is an adorable nine-month-old infant who lives with her parents and two brothers in Haiti. Aalyia has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of her condition, the circumference of Aalyia's head has been increasing. Without treatment, she will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, Project Medishare, is requesting $897 to cover the cost of surgery for Aalyia at Hospital Bernard Mevs. This is the only site in the country where this care is currently available, and the procedure is scheduled to take place on September 1st. This critical treatment will drain the excess fluid from Aalyia's brain to reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. With proper treatment, she will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Aalyia's family shares that they hope their child will live a great life.
Medard is a three-year-old boy from Tanzania. He is his mother's only child, but he lives with his grandmother because his mother's health is currently compromised. While she was pregnant, his mother experienced a difficult pregnancy and was constantly on medication to help ensure healthy brain growth for Medard. He arrived before his due date and had to spend a few weeks in nursery. As he grew older and began walking, his grandmother noticed his leg bowing. Medard was diagnosed with genu valgus, a condition that causes his right leg to bow inward. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, Medard struggles to walk. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Medard. The procedure is scheduled to take place on August 4th. Treatment will hopefully restore his mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. His grandmother shares, “I believe that by helping Medard I will be helping his mother heal too."
Saw Wah is a 14-year-old student who lives with his parents and five younger brothers. He is in grade six, but his youngest brother is too young to enroll in school and his four other brothers stopped going to school earlier this year. It has been a challenging time in their region and Saw Wah shared: “They do not want to attend school because fighting happens very often in this area. We have to run and hide in the jungle where we study and they do not like to study in the jungle." Saw Wah’s family raises chickens and two goats to help feed their family. They also go fishing and foraging for vegetables in the jungle. His father works as a day laborer when there is no work on the farm, and even though Saw Wah's family does not have a regular income, they have enough food and receive free basic healthcare at a clinic near their village. A few years ago, Saw Wah developed a runny nose with yellowish nasal discharge. At first, he thought this was normal and would go away on its own, but towards the end of April, Saw Wah's nose became entirely blocked. He could no longer breath through it and lost all sense of smell. He finally told his parents about his symptoms, and his father took him to the free clinic where the medic checked his nostrils and found a mass blocking the nasal passage in both of his nostrils. Saw Wah was told he would need to go to a larger hospital for further investigation. Doctors want Saw Wah to undergo a CT scan, a procedure in which x-ray images taken from several angles are combined to produce cross-sectional images of the body. This scan will hopefully help doctors diagnose his condition and formulate an appropriate treatment plan. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $693 to cover the cost of Saw Wah's CT scan and care, scheduled for June 27th. Saw Wah said, “I cannot breathe well especially at night... I want to receive surgery soon so that I will be able to breath normally again.”
Helena is a teenage girl and the fourth of six children. She is a friendly and social girl who loves sports and helping with home chores. Helena is in class two and her best subjects are writing skills and mathematics. Most children around Helena's age have finished their primary school education, but Helena's delay in her studies is caused by a foot disability she was born. Helena has clubfoot of both feet and her parents could not afford any form of medical treatment as small-scale farmers and livestock keepers. Learning to walk was very difficult for Helena. She can only stand or walk with crutches at this time, but it is still very painful. Therefore, Helena relies on a wheelchair to move from one place to another. Fortunately, Helena traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on May 20th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $935 to fund Helena's life-altering surgery. After treatment, she will be able to stand unassisted, walk and wear shoes like the other kids she knows. Helena shared, “I will be very happy if my feet can be treated and help me to stand and walk."
Jane is a loving mother from the Philippines. She has an adorable 8-month-old baby boy. Jane works as as a municipal administrative aide, while her husband works as a contractual college teacher. However, even with their combined salaries, they still cannot afford to cover her medical treatment. In 2019, Jane began to experience troubling symptoms, including a painful, palpable mass on her neck. She was diagnosed with a nodular goiter, which is a solid or fluid-filled lump that forms within the thyroid. However, due to financial constraints, she opted to take the doctor’s prescribed medicine to alleviate the symptoms instead of having the surgery she needs. Fortunately, our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, is helping Jane finally undergo treatment. She is scheduled for a thyroidectomy on May 3rd at Our Lady of Peace Hospital. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. This procedure will cost $1323, and she and her family need help raising money for this life-changing care. “Once this surgery is done, I won’t have to endure this pain. Thank you World Surgical Foundation Philippines and Watsi for this opportunity to be treated. Now, we don't have to worry about where to get the money for my treatment,” Jane shared with relief.