Jenna CristianoUNIVERSAL FUND MEMBER
Jenna's Story

Jenna joined Watsi on August 21st, 2014. Nine years ago, Jenna joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Jenna's most recent donation traveled 8,300 miles to support Thaw, a 2-year-old toddler from Burma, to fund colostomy surgery.

Impact

Jenna has funded healthcare for 110 patients in 12 countries.

Patients funded by Jenna

Thaw is a two-year-old boy from Burma. He lives with his parents and elder sister in Zee Kone Village, but his family migrated to Thailand four months ago to seek better job opportunities. His father works as an agricultural day labourer, while his mother is a homemaker. Thaw’s elder brother and sister take turns working as agricultural day labourers. Thaw’s mother carefully manages their income, and their combined family income is enough to cover their daily basic expenses. Thaw receives free healthcare services at Mae Tao Clinic (MTC). On 2 July 2021, Thaw was born through emergency caesarean section. His mother noticed on the following day, while cleaning Thaw’s body, that he was born with a worrying condition that makes it challenging to go to the bathroom. Thaw’s mother immediately informed the doctor, who then referred Thaw to hospital in Ayeyarwady Division. Unfortunately, due to a lack of facilities, he did not receive the necessary treatment at this hospital. He was subsequently recommended to go to Yangon Hospital. However, due to financial limitations, Thaw’s mother could not afford to take him to Yangon Hospital, leading her to cease efforts to seek Thaw’s treatment. Fortunately, Thaw was able to defecate through a fistula however Thaw began to experience troubling symptoms, including at present, Thaw is passing stool through the fistula, experiencing constipation with bowel movements occurring every four or five days, with a distended abdomen. Thaw has been diagnosed with imperforate anus with fistula and his doctors recommend a colostomy. A colostomy is a surgery that creates an opening for the colon through the abdomen. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1500 to fund Thaw's surgery at Mae Sot General Hospital scheduled January 31st. Once completed, this procedure will hopefully alleviate him symptoms. Thaw’s mother expressed her concerns saying, “I want my son to have a healthy, long life. I was always worried about him, and he couldn’t receive treatment due to lack of money. Now, with the help of BCMF and donors, he can undergo surgery. Thank you."

$497raised
$1,003to go

Linn is a 50-year-old woman from Burma. She is divorced and lives with her mother and son in Karen State - a conflict area near the border of Burma and Thailand. She works as a shop vendor, selling steamed sticky rice with chicken and pork, and her mother is retired. Her 12-year-old son is in the fifth grade in Burma. Linn also cultivates vegetables in her garden and usually cooks meals using them. Linn enjoys watching movies in her free time, but she has not been able to do so for a while now. One year ago, Linn began to experience blurred and double vision. Currently, Linn cannot read, see, or walk well and requires a caregiver to assist her with daily activities. These symptoms have made it increasingly difficult for her to see clearly. Linn was diagnosed with retinal detachment, a condition in which the retina pulls away from the supportive tissue in the eye, resulting in vision loss. If left untreated, she could lose vision completely. Linn is scheduled to undergo surgery to reattach her retina. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), requests $1,500 to cover her procedure and care costs. After her surgery, Linn's vision will hopefully be restored, and she will resume her daily activities comfortably. Linn expressed, "I am very pleased to receive help and I am relieved that I can also stay at BCMF's patients' house in Chiang Mai. I wish for the success of my eye surgery. After recovery, I hope to restart my previous business again."

$927raised
$573to go

Kalar is a 53-year-old woman from Burma. She lives with her mother and daughter in Htantabin Township, Yangon Division village. Kalar used to sell vegetables, but she stopped in October because her condition was worsening. Kalar's mother is a homemaker. Kalar's daughter left school three years ago because she couldn't afford the school fees. Currently, she is working in a restaurant. Their monthly income is not enough for their daily expenses, and they have to borrow money from their friends to make ends meet and pay for basic medical costs. In 2017, Kalar's upper abdomen was in pain, and she went to a hospital in the village. There, she received an ultrasound, and the doctor told her that she had a small stone in her gall bladder and she would need medication to reduce the stone. She felt much better after taking the medication, and she didn't go to any clinic or hospital after that. In October 2023, Kalar's symptoms returned, and she visited the hospital in the town where she received the ultrasound. At the hospital, the doctor confirmed that Kalar had a large gallstone and would require surgery to heal. She could not afford to pay for the surgery, so she received medication and returned home. Her condition gradually got worse. Kalar has not been eating or sleeping well and is in pain. After seeking treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), Kalar will be able to undergo gallbladder removal surgery on November 18th. BCMF requests $1,487 to cover Kalar's procedure and care costs. Kalar said, "I was upset because I couldn't work and support my mother and daughter. Now, I am so happy! I want to say thank you to all of the donors for supporting my surgery."

$950raised
$537to go

Reuben is a 60-year-old labourer from Kenya. He hails from Rungiri in Central Kenya. He is married and has two young children. Reuben does casual jobs either at construction sites or any other that may be available. His wife is a homemaker taking care of the children. Being the only breadwinner, Reuben has been doing well in his jobs. But about two weeks ago, he was given the job of picking avocados. Unfortunately, the ladder he was using accidentally fell, and thus he also fell to the ground. He sustained an injury to his right hand and was taken to the hospital where an x-ray was done and confirmed a fracture. A bandage was applied and he was advised of the need for orthopedic surgery and asked to go to a bigger hospital. He opted to come to Nazareth Hospital where the surgery can be performed. Due to his socioeconomic status, Reuben and his family cannot raise the fee for this treatment and require help. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On September 14th, Reuben will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. If untreated, Reuben may not be able to use his hand, and the fracture may fail to heal properly, leading to deformity. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. Reuben says: “I am the breadwinner of my family and have no one to turn to for these treatment charges. I kindly request to be assisted so that I can be well, go back to do my job and feed my young family."

$1,049raised
Fully funded

Tony is a 23-year-old student from Kenya. He was raised by a single mom and shared that she passed away a few years ago. He now lives with his elderly grandparents in rural Kenya. Tony has six siblings, who are all in school. Tony is in his third year at the university, where he is studying industrial chemistry. Unfortunately, he had to miss his end-of-semester exams because of his injuries and the need to use his school fees to cover his treatment costs. Tony also works part-time as a writer, but the income is insufficient to cover his school and medical bills. At the end of March, Tony was attacked by a group of people who took his valuables and hit him with a blunt object, causing serious injuries on the left side of his face. Tony was rushed to a nearby health facility for first aid and referred to a government hospital in the city the next day. The CT scan images revealed fractures in his face. Tony urgently needs to undergo surgery for his bones to heal properly. It is also difficult for him to open his mouth or eat due to his injuries. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On April 18th, Tony will undergo a fracture repair procedure called an open reduction and internal fixation. The procedure will help him eat and chew comfortably, and he will be able to resume his studies. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $979 to fund this procedure. Tony said: “I missed my exams because of the injury. I cannot eat or chew anything. I need this surgery to be able to eat and use my mouth well again.”

$979raised
Fully funded