UNIVERSAL FUND MEMBERBloom where you are planted
United States • upstreamapp.com • Born on August 22nd
Works at Upstream
Michael joined Watsi on December 24th, 2015. Seven years ago, Michael joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Michael's most recent donation traveled 8,600 miles to support Farhio, a 47-year-old mother and widow from Somalia, to fund a mastectomy to prevent her cancer from spreading.
Michael has funded healthcare for 95 patients in 14 countries.
Michael has funded healthcare for 95 patients in 14 countries.
Farhio is a 47-year-old mother and widow from Somalia. She lost her husband two years ago. She is now the sole breadwinner to her family of four children, aged between 8 and 16. Farhio works as a street vendor selling tea by the roadside. She was first diagnosed with breast cancer seven years ago and underwent chemotherapy, a mastectomy, and radiation. She thought that the cancer had subsided, but, unfortunately, it returned. She went to a hospital in her home country of Somalia where doctors recommended she undergo surgery. She preferred to come to Kijabe Hospital after relatives who live in Nairobi referred her there. Farhio 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 $1,110 to cover the cost of a mastectomy for Farhio. The procedure is scheduled to take place on February 3rd. After treatment, Farhio will hopefully return to a cancer-free life. Farhio says, “I thought this disease had gone. Sadly, it came back. I need to treat it before it spreads.”
Meet Gianna, a lovely, four year old girl from Kenya. Gianna lives with her grandmother, while her mother works at a local hotel, and her father is a casual laborer on construction sites. Gianna was born with Osteogenesis imperfecta, also known as brittle bone disease. A child born with this condition has soft bones that break easily. Gianna has never walked, and lives in near constant pain. When she did try to walk using support, she fractured some bones. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is here to help Gianna access the care that she needs. On January 16th Gianna will undergo a procedure at AIC Cure International Hospital, that will provide greater support for Gianna's bones, and which may even enable her to gain sufficient strength to walk. Gianna's family is seeking your support to fund the $1,224 needed to pay for the surgery. Gianna's grandmother said: "Gianna has never walked, and my desire is to see her walk like other children. Your financial support to help her undergo surgery will be greatly appreciated."
Marivel is a hardworking and loving daughter from the Philippines. She is a 2nd-year college student. While studying, she tried to look for jobs to support her family. Unfortunately, to date she has been unable to pass the medical (health) requirements. The only breadwinner in the family is her father who works as a pedicab driver. Her father's income is often not enough to bring food to the table. In 2018, Marivel began to experience troubling symptoms, including a mass on her neck that is growing in size, and episodes of difficulty breathing. Due to the inadequate family resources, she did not seek treatment. By the time she finally had a chance to be checked by a doctor, her condition had worsened. She was diagnosed with Nodular Non-Toxic Goiter, a thyroid gland enlargement with no disturbance in the thyroid function. She needs surgery to prevent her symptoms from getting worse. Fortunately, our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines (WSFP), is helping Marivel receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on December 10th at Our Lady of Peace Hospital. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. A portion of the cost of her treatment is being supported by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and WSFP is raising the remaining $890 to cover the cost of Marivel's procedure and care. Marivel shared, "I'd like to thank Watsi and World Surgical Foundation Philippines. You're not just giving me surgery, but also a chance to support my family. After my treatment, I'd be able to find a decent job and provide for our needs."
Su is 10-year-old girl who lives in Thailand. Both of her parents work for a community based organization helping others in their area. In her free time, Su likes to draw pictures and play with her friends. Su was born with clubfeet and a dislocated hip. She received corrective surgery in Chiang Mai with the help of our medical partner BCMF after she was born. During her last visit to the hospital when she was young, the doctor told her mother that they only had to return to the hospital when she outgrew her clubfeet correction shoes. However, her parents could never bring her back. In additional to financial constraints, their legal documents expired, and later when they had legal documents, they could not go to Chiang Mai due to covid-19 travel restrictions. In June 2022, Su started to experience pain in her right foot whenever she walked more than 10 minutes. She also experienced pain in her right hip for the first time when she walked. The doctor at Mae Sot Hospital diagnosed her with a dislocated hip and referred her to the larger hospital Chiang Mai for further treatment. In October an MRI was performed for Su and it was determined that she may need two surgeries: one for hrt hip and another for her clubfeet condition. The first surgery is for a hip replacement and the doctor scheduled her for surgery on November 25th so she can be out of pain as quickly as possible. Her family needs $1500 for her hip replacement surgery. Su's father said, "I am hopeful for my daughter to receive surgery soon. After surgery, I hope that she will be able to walk like other children and she will not be shy when she grows up. Now, when she goes to school, some of her friends tease her that she cannot walk properly like other children."
Shem is a 14-year-old student from Kenya who is studying in class seven. He is the youngest in his family of eleven. Shem's parents practice small-scale farming of maize, and his older siblings work labor jobs to help provide for the family. A few weeks ago, Shem was injured playing football and fractured his lower tibia and fibula. He is experiencing pain and cannot use his leg, which is preventing him from being able to go to school, play with friends, and help his family at home. Shem needs to undergo surgery to heal, and his family requests assistance with the surgery costs. Happily, Shem was able to visit our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), for assistance. On November 1st, he will undergo a fracture repair procedure called an open reduction and internal fixation. Upon recovery, Shem will be able to use his leg again, allowing him to attend school and participate in activities with friends and at home. AMH is requesting $1,145 to help fund this procedure. Shem shared, "It has been hard to carry out my normal duties, especially going to school. I really look forward to getting well so that I can fully depend on myself as before."
Joyce is a 54-year-old wife and mother of three. She is a subsistence farmer who grows crops and raises farm animals mainly for food for their family. She lives in a corrugated iron house with her husband and her youngest son. Her oldest son is currently employed and married, but her middle son lost his job due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She proudly shared that her youngest son just sat for the Malawi School Certificate Examination and he is awaiting the results. Joyce's oldest son helps to pay the school fees for his younger brother because he is the only one currently working in their family. Last year Joyce noticed a lump on her breast. Her sister advised her to go to Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH) where she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Surgery was recommended, but the waiting list for an operation has been too long. A KCH doctor advised her to come to Partners In Hope because her condition needs urgent attention. The Partners in Hope surgeon recommended Joyce get a mastectomy. A mastectomy is a surgery to remove all breast tissue from a breast as a way to treat or prevent breast cancer. Due to her financial status, she was referred to our medical partner African Mission Healthcare and has also contributed $19.40 herself to support her treatment. Joyce is fearful of what may come next because she has been reading and has learned of the impact of breast cancer on an individual. Hopefully, having the surgery will erase all these fears and allow Joyce to live her normal life again. Joyce says, “It will be great for me to live a life without a lump on my breast. This thing kills my self-esteem and my hopes to live.”
Yi is a 67-year-old woman from Bruma who lives in a monastery with 40 other monks, nuns, and villagers. Although she does not have an income, all of her basic needs are met by the monastery. Yi enjoys spending most of her time reading religious books. Over 15 years ago, Yi's vision in her right eye became blurred, but she did not seek treatment because she thought it was simply something that was destined to occur due to her aging process. However, she eventually sought medical care at a hospital with the support of donors because her vision progressively worsened. There, she was diagnosed with a cataract and was scheduled to undergo repair surgery. On the day she was supposed to receive treatment, her son unfortunately passed away, so she did not return to the hospital for the procedure. Over the next couple of years, Yi began to also experience blurred vision in her left eye. The vision in both of her eyes deteriorated to the point where she could no longer recognize people. Fortunately, she was able to undergo cataract surgery of her left eye two months ago with the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF). Now, she is scheduled to undergo cataract surgery on August 10th. During this procedure, surgeons will perform a lens replacement on her right eye. BCMF is requesting $769 to cover the total cost of Yi's procedure and care. Yi shares, "As long as I am alive, I want to see and I do not want to depend on others to help me. I felt so happy when I learned that donors will pay for the cost of my surgery. Thank you so much to all the donors.”
Alison is a sweet 6-year-old from Bolivia who loves princesses and coloring in coloring books! She lives with her parents in a small town on the border between Bolivia and Argentina. Her father is a minibus taxi driver, and her mother is currently finishing her university studies. Alison also attends school and recently finished first grade. Alison was born with a ventricular septal defect, a cardiac condition in which a hole exists between the two lower chambers of the heart. Blood leaks through this hole without first passing through the lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving her feeling weak and short of breath. Fortunately, Alison is scheduled to undergo heart surgery on July 26th with the support of our long-standing medical partner Haiti Cardiac Alliance, which is now growing and expanding into Bolivia. Surgeons will close the hole with a patch, allowing blood to properly flow through her body and improving her quality of life. Another organization, Gift of Life International, is contributing $2,500 to pay for a portion of Alison's procedure costs. Our medical partner is requesting $1,500 to cover the remaining costs, which funds surgical expenses, cardiac exams, medications, and travel fees so Alison and her family can travel to receive her life-changing cardiac procedure in La Paz. Alison's mother shares, "Our family is so grateful for this opportunity to save our daughter's life!"
U Pyin is a 36-year-old monk who lives with three other monks, seven novice monks, and his two younger brothers, in a village in central Burma. His two younger brothers are not monks, but work at the monastery as helpers, assisting with cooking and cleaning. U Pyin has no income, but receives food and accommodation at the monastery. If he is ill, there are three local families that help to cover the costs of his basic health care expenses. In early May, U Pyin began experiencing difficulty breathing, chest pains, and headaches. One of his brothers brought him to a hospital, where tests revealed that one of the valves in his heart needs to be replaced. This is a particularly dangerous condition, as it can lead to a stroke, and U Pyin has already suffered a stroke, earlier in his life. U Pyin was given medication, an appointment to return in two months, and sent home. When U Pyin did not feel any better after taking the medication that he had been given, he and his brother decided that he should see a cardiologist in Yangon. The cardiologist confirmed U Pyin's diagnosis, and stressed the need for U Pyin to have surgery to replace the ailing mitral valve. As U Pyin was unable to pay for the surgery, the doctor referred him to an abbot for assistance. Fortunately, the abbot referred U Pyin to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, and now U Pyin is scheduled to have mitral valve replacement surgery on June 24th, at Pun Hlaing Hospital. Burma Children Medical Fund is seeking $1,500 to cover the costs of U Pyin's procedure and care, which will enable him to breathe well and to sleep comfortably again, things that he is unable to do right now. U Pyin will also be able to return to teaching the novice monks at the monastery, which he has been unable to do because he feels so unwell. U Pyin said: “After I recover, I want to teach novice monks again and I want to open a Buddhist school near Yangon.”
Mercy is a hard working 46-year-old mom who lives with her two grown children. Because she is long separated from her husband, Mercy has taken care of their children by herself, doing whatever work she can find to support her family. Currently, her daughter is unemployed, while her son works doing jobs for a small hotel in their village. In May, Mercy was injured by a neighbor after a disagreement. She sustained an open fracture of her tibia/fibula, resulting in pain and difficulty walking. Mercy requires surgery to heal the fracture, to prevent an infection of the bone in her leg, and to avert other complications which might cause her to lose the use of her leg. Fortunately Mercy went to Nazareth Hospital, where a surgeon reviewed her case, and advised her to have surgery. However, Mercy and her children cannot raise the required fee for her medical care. Surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, can help. On May 26th, Mercy will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation, at Nazareth Hospital. After treatment, Mercy will be able to walk and to work again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. Mercy said: “I use my legs and my strength to work and make ends meet. My leg is very important for me. I am pleading for assistance so that I may have surgery and be well again so that I can resume my work to support my family.”
Debora is a young student and the last-born child to a single mother of two. She is charming and friendly. Her father left her family when Debora was very young. Debora’s mother has worked hard to raise her two children by herself ever since. She practices small-scale farming and grows bananas, maize, beans, and other vegetables as food for her children and to sell to others for money. Debora has clubfoot on her right leg. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Debora and her mother traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre (ALMC). There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on April 22nd. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $935 to fund Debora's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to walk easily when she heads back to school. Debora’s mother shared, “I have watched my daughter turn from a normal child to a disabled child and all because I cannot afford her treatment cost. Please help.”
Laizer is 17 years old and a happy guy who loves to play with his siblings. He is the fourth born of his mother's eight children and does not attend school yet due to his disability. Laizer was diagnosed with a condition called Right Varus that affects the alignment of bones in his legs. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, Laizer experiences pain at the end of the day and cannot walk for a long distance, including to school. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help him finally heal. On March 22nd, Laizer will undergo corrective surgery that will restore his mobility, allow him to participate in various activities, and significantly decrease his risk of future complications. AMH is requesting $880 to fund this life-changing procedure. Laizer's mother shared, "I am happy to know that his leg can be corrected. This will help him walk well and stop having pain."