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Success! Stefano from Tanzania raised $880 to fund leg surgery so he can walk well.

  • $880 raised, $0 to go
to go
Fully funded
Stefano's treatment was fully funded on September 20, 2022.

Photo of Stefano post-operation

September 27, 2022

Stefano underwent leg surgery to be able to walk as he grows.

Stefano’s surgery was successful for both of his legs which were severely impacted by his condition, making walking difficult. Through this surgery, Stefano will be able to walk like other children and lead a life free of disability.

Stefano’s mother was so grateful and shared, “God will bless you all for what you do in helping needy children like my son.”

Stefano’s surgery was successful for both of his legs which were severely impacted by his condition, making walking difficult. Through this ...

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April 21, 2022

Stefano is a 5-year-old child from Tanzania. Stefano’s parents are small-scale farmers and livestock keepers. They are not able to afford their son’s treatment costs thus they are asking for help. When we first met Stefano he was having difficulty walking and it was challenging for him to do day-to-day tasks. He looked tired despite being carried on her mother’s back. Stefano has needed support from the hospital to get healthy enough for surgery and has been receiving care since last November. He now is healthy enough to undergo surgery for his leg condition.

Stefano was diagnosed with windswept deformity. His legs bow so that the knees appear windswept. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, he has a difficult time walking and experiences pain.

Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Stefano. The procedure is scheduled to take place on April 22nd. Treatment will hopefully restore Stefano’s mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications.

Stefano’s mother shared in her language, “Mchugaji alituambia tunaweza kupata msaada wa matibabu kwa ajili yam toto wetu hapa.” Meaning: “The pastor told us our son could get treatment help from here.”

Stefano is a 5-year-old child from Tanzania. Stefano’s parents are small-scale farmers and livestock keepers. They are not able to afford th...

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Stefano's Timeline

  • April 21, 2022

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

  • April 22, 2022

    Stefano 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.

  • April 28, 2022

    Stefano's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • September 20, 2022

    Stefano's treatment was fully funded.

  • September 27, 2022

    Stefano's treatment was successful. Read the update.

Funded by 27 donors

Funded by 27 donors

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


Angela is a 32-year-old woman from Kenya. She is a single mother to four children between the ages of 4 and 13 years old. Her husband left to marry another woman, and Angela works hard to provide for her children. She was fetching firewood to sell to hotels and homes but became too ill to carry out this work. She also worked in a hotel as a cleaner, but the income was insufficient for their needs. Now, after taking her children to school, Angela stays in the area to carry water and wash clothes for residents. She also receives some financial support from her family. Angela shared that life has been challenging, but she is thankful to be alive and raising support for her treatment needs. Angela first met our medical partner's surgical team during a medical camp they hosted in her hometown a few months ago. During that visit, she was diagnosed with a non-toxic multinodular goiter. Angela’s symptoms began a few years back, including experiencing swelling on her neck and difficulty eating, swallowing, and breathing. She cannot sleep at night and becomes fatigued quickly. Angela needs to undergo surgery to heal and prevent her symptoms from worsening. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Angela receive treatment. On March 16th, she will undergo a thyroidectomy at AMH’s care center. During this procedure, surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. AMH is requesting $936 to fund Angela’s surgery. Angela said: “Life is so hard, and sometimes I want to give up, but when I remember my children, I encourage myself to keep going only for their sake. When I get treated, I can work hard and provide for them without difficulty. Kindly help me.”

0% funded

$936to go

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.