Works at BioMarin
Grace joined Watsi on November 12th, 2015. Seven years ago, Grace joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Grace's most recent donation traveled 8,200 miles to support Daniel, a bright 10-year-old student from Ethiopia, to fund hypospadias treatment so he can grow up healthy and return to school.
Grace has funded healthcare for 80 patients in 12 countries.
Grace has funded healthcare for 80 patients in 12 countries.
Daniel is a 10-year-old student from Ethiopia. He is in second grade and loves school. His favorite subject is English. He also loves playing football and games with friends, eating fruits and eggs with injera. He is the fifth child in the family with four older brothers. Both parents are daily laborers on a farm and get income by sharing the profit during harvest with the landowner. They use the income to feed the family and also sell some of the produce to buy other goods for the house. During the rainy season, they engage in other labor work such as chopping wood, gardening and delivery of different goods. Even though their family income is sufficient to support the basic needs of their family, it is a challenge to afford Daniel's surgery. Daniel was born with hypospadias, a congenital disease that causes urinary dysfunction. Without treatment, he will continue to experience uncomfortable symptoms. Earlier he had two surgeries with Bethany Kids Myungsung Christian Medical Centre (BKMCM). For the third surgery, he had to wait for four years. The wait made him drop out of school and has affected his mental wellbeing. Fortunately, Daniel is now scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on February 28th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,293 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Daniel's dad said “I will be happy if my son completely heals and becomes free from shame. I am eager to send him back to school.”
Peter is a young man who lives with his parents and two siblings. Peter loves soccer, and recently graduated from secondary school with hopes of joining the army. Peter's father, a bus driver, is the sole breadwinner for the family of five. In June of 2022, Peter fractured his right leg during a soccer tournament. He received a cast for his injury, but it became apparent that the extent of his injuries are more severe than initially anticipated. Peter's recent x-ray revealed a tibial shaft fracture along the length of the bone between his knee and ankle. Due to his injury, Peter is unable to walk without the help of crutches. As a result, he cannot play soccer, join the army, or work to help support his family. Fortunately, the surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, can help. On January 25th, Peter will undergo a procedure to repair to stabilize his leg and repair his fracture, allowing him to heal and walk again without crutches. Now, Peter's family is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Peter says, “I want to serve my country as a soldier. This fracture is dimming my hopes of joining the forces. I can also not play soccer; that is my passion. I need this treatment to be able to use my leg again.”
Adrian is an 8-year-old boy from Bolivia. He lives in a neighborhood in the mountains above La Paz with his parents and three siblings; he is in the fourth grade in school. Adrian was born with a cardiac condition called pulmonary valvar and subvalvar stenosis, in which the area in and around one of his valves is too small to allow blood to flow through it properly. As a result, blood backs up into his heart, leaving him weak and short of breath. During surgery, doctors will use a balloon to stretch the valve open so that blood can pass through it more freely. His family is raising funds to support his treatment with our medical partner HCA. Adrian's mother says: "Our family is very excited to know that our son can finally have a normal heart!"
Itzael lives in the mountains above La Paz, Bolivia with her parents, who are farmers, and her older brother. She was born with Down's syndrome and a cardiac condition called atrioventricular septal defect, in which a large hole exists in the center of the heart, causing blood to leak between all four chambers. This condition leaves her sick, short of breath, and unable to gain weight as her body needs to grow. Fortunately for Itzael, surgeons at our partner hospital will perform heart surgery to fix her condition. During the surgery, doctors will close the hole using a patch so that blood can flow normally through her heart. Her family needs to raise $1,500 for her surgery. Itzael's mother says: "Our family is very happy and thankful to have this chance to help our daughter."
Nicholas is a 17-year-old high school student, who aspires to become a professional driver. He is the youngest of eight children, and lives with his family in Kenya. When he was young, Nicholas was hit by a bicycle. He was treated for his injuries, and sent home. Now, as a teenager, Nicholas finds his left knee bowing inwards, and knocking against his right leg, making it difficult for him to walk. Nicholas' parents brought him to a local, mobile clinic to be evaluated. As a result of the evaluation, and with the support of our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, Nicholas is scheduled for corrective surgery on November 14th, at AIC Cure International Hospital. After he has recovered, Nicholas should be able to walk comfortably again. Now his family needs your help to fund this procedure, which will cost $1,224. “I would be happy to see my leg straightened so that I can walk normally like my friends,” Nicholas shared with us.
Thanh is from Kampot province in Cambodia, and he and his wife are durian fruit farmers. They have a three-year-old daughter. In his free time, Thanh enjoys exercising, playing chess, and fishing. He also enjoys taking walks with his wife and daughter along the river. In January 2020, Thanh was in a motorbike collision and fractured his right tibia. He had an open reduction with an external fixation device at a local hospital, which was removed several months later. Unfortunately, the surgical site has become infected, with an exposed tibial bone. Thanh has chronic pain and cannot rid himself of the infection. He is unable to walk and feels ashamed that his wife must do much of the management of their small farm that supports their family. Thanh and his family traveled three hours to Children's Surgical Centre, where surgeons recommended debridement of the infected wound and a reverse sural flap. This technique is used to reconstruct defects in the lower part of the leg. Now, Thanh needs help with the $991 cost of this treatment. The cost includes surgery, medications, hospital care, and post-op rehabilitation. Thanh's wife shared: "My husband has been unable to walk or work for more than two years, which has been hard on our family. I hope that the doctors can fix his leg so he can walk well again and help manage the farm."
Cho is a 23-year-old woman from Thailand, living with her husband, son and her husband’s cousin in a refugee camp, in Mae Hong Son Province. Her husband works as a medic at the hospital in the refugee camp, and her husband’s cousin goes to school. Cho is a homemaker, and looks after her son. In her free time, Cho loves to play with her son, while on Saturdays, she likes to attend church. Cho is currently expecting her second child. At a recent antenatal visit, Cho's doctors told her that she would need to give birth via Caesarean section, due to complications she experienced when giving birth to her son. A C-section offers the best opportunity for a safe and healthy outcome for both Cho and her new baby. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is helping Cho access the care that she needs. On September 8th, Cho will undergo a Caesarean section at Mae Sariang Hospital. Burma Children Medical Fund is seeking $1,500 to fund this procedure and ensure a safe delivery. “I want to work as a teacher in the future again, when my children are old enough to go to school,” Cho said.
Ronald is a middle-aged farmer from Kenya who is the thirdborn in a family of six. He and his family all live in semi-permanent houses and work as small-scale farmers. His father passed away years ago, so his mother, who is diabetic, was left to care for the children alone. Ronald studied up to the college level, but he could not secure a job in his field, so he now works as a casual laborer. He also helps his mother with house chores since she is sick and on medication, making it difficult for her to do them alone. With the income he earns through doing casual labor, Ronald helps support his family's basic day-to-day needs. Ronald was recently involved in a road traffic accident while traveling as a passenger on a motorbike. After his driver lost control due to being hit by another motorbike, they both fell on the tarmacked road, and the motorbike landed on Ronald's lower limbs. Fortunately, there were people around who helped them, but he could not manage to stand. He had to be lifted onto a passenger service vehicle, which took him to the hospital. Since he sustained an open fracture to his foot during the accident, it was treated as an emergency, and he was immediately taken to the operating room for cleaning and debridement. He was then admitted to the ward and is now waiting to undergo fracture repair surgery. He is currently in pain and unable to use his limb Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On August 12th, Ronald will undergo a fracture repair procedure called an open reduction and internal fixation. After the procedure, he will no longer be in pain and will be able to walk and work again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,145 to fund this procedure. Ronald says, "I earn a living through casual jobs, which some are near and some are far from home. This state has actually brought me down. Please help me so that I may not be a burden once I am able to work.”
George is a brave boy from a village in southern Kenya. He is the third born in a family of four children. He is in pre-kindergarten and likes to play a lot. His mother does house work when available while his father does any jobs he can find. The family faces a lot of financial challenges which made it hard for them to bring George to the hospital for help. On June 30th, George accidentally fell and fractured both the radius and ulna bones in his right hand. The surgeon found that he needs a fracture repair surgery, but George's family cannot raise the money for it. George is in pain and cannot use his hand. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On July 7th, George will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help reduce his pain and be able to use the hand once he recovers. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1049 to fund this procedure. “I am desperate and have no way to help my son. I ask for help so that he can be treated, be able to use his hand, and continue with his education. I will appreciate this help,” said George’s mother.
Meet Emmanuel, a 9-year-old boy, living with his mother and four siblings in a small town in rural Kenya. Emmanuel's mother is a single parent, who works daily jobs like helping with laundry in an effort to support her children. Despite her hard work, the family's neighbors step in at times to make certain the children are fed, as Emmanuel's mother shared that she doesn't always have enough money for food. On Saturday evening, Emmanuel was brought to Kapsowar Hospital, after being hit by a speeding car. An X-ray confirmed that Emmanuel's left femur was fractured. He was admitted to the children's ward, and his leg was placed in traction until he can undergo surgery to repair the fracture. In the meantime, Emmanuel is in pain, and he cannot use his left leg. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On June 7th, Emmanuel will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation, at AIC Kapsowar Hospital. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is seeking $1,145 to fund Emmanuel's surgery, which will enable him to walk easily again, and to resume the life of enjoying being a 9 year old. Emmanuel's mother says: “I am going through so many struggles. I have a one-year-old baby at home. I am unable to take care of her as I am at the hospital. My hope is to see Emmanuel treated so that I can take care of him at home with his siblings.”
Loserian is a student and the youngest of six children in his family in Tanzania. For over six years, Loserian experienced pain and discomfort when he walked, because his legs bowed inwards, forcing him to use a walking stick for support. Four years ago, he received surgery through Watsi funding, that helped to correct the inward bowing of the legs. This enabled him to walk with ease and to carry out his daily activities, like going to school and playing. However, Loserian was recently diagnosed with bilateral femoral varus, which causes his legs to bend outward at the thighs. This condition typically results from contaminated drinking water. Once again, Loserian is experiencing pain and difficulty walking. His parents, who are subsistence farmers, do not earn enough to be able to afford Loserian's treatment, and therefore, they are seeking help to cover the costs of his care. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Loserian. The procedure is scheduled to take place on May 10th. Treatment will hopefully restore Loserian's mobility, allowing him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decreasing his risk of future complications. Loserian says: "After I had my surgery, walking became easy and normal and I was not having any challenges. But for the past few months, I have been feeling pain when walking and my legs are now bowing at the thighs."
Naw En is a 31-year-old woman who lives with her husband, two sons and parents in a village in Karen State near the border of Burma and Thailand. Her husband and parents are subsistence farmers. Naw En is a village health worker, and her two sons are primary school students in the village. Although she earns around 100,000 kyat (approx. 100 USD) per month to support her family, she does whatever she can to only charge the villagers she treats for medications provided. Those who cannot afford to pay for the cost of medications are provided medication free of charge. Her family also raises chickens and pigs for their family to eat. The income Naw En earns is just enough to cover their daily expenses, but they have to borrow money to pay for anything else, like basic health care. Naw En learned she was pregnant last August 2021. She went to register her pregnancy at nearby Hlaingbwe Hospital, but the doctor told her to go to Hpa-An General Hospital when she told them that she had high blood pressure and previously needed a c-section delivery. When she went to Hpa-An General Hospital, a nurse told her to go to Taw Win Thu Ka Hospital because they were understaffed due to the coup and humanitarian crisis in their area. Finally, she then registered her pregnancy at Taw Win Thu Ka Hospital last November and received an ultrasound, blood test and urine test. The doctor gave her monthly follow-up appointments to check her high blood pressure and to check that her baby is in the right position. In January, Naw En learned that she will have a girl. “I was very happy to hear this as I already have two sons,” she said. Her doctor has now told her that she will need another c-section to ensure a safe delivery and unable to come up with the money needed, Naw En called her friend who works in Mae Sot to ask for help. Her friend told her about our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) and that she may be able to find assistance in accessing her treatment. Currently, Naw En is taking medication for high blood pressure and feels tired when she walks. She can feel her baby kicking. When her blood pressure is high, she feels dizzy. She feels stressed each time she has to travel to the hospital, as it is located four hours from her home and cost 60,000 kyat (approx. 60 USD) just for the round-trip transportation. She is also worried about the cost of her c-section and that they would have to borrow money if they cannot find donors. In the future, she will continue to work as a village health worker. In her free times, she loves to spend time with her two sons and play with them. Naw En said, “I was happy when BCMF staff told me that donors will help pay for my c-section. Thank you so much to the donors for reliving me of my worries.” She also added, “I am very happy and excited to have a baby girl!”