Somaly’s parents are rice farmers in Svay Rieng province. Two of her brothers are eleven and two, and two of her sisters are ten and one. They all attend the local school, where she excels in Khmer subjects. When she grows up, she wants to be a policewoman. At home, she likes to read books.
For the past five years, Somaly has had slow-growing hard tumors on her shinbone, wrist, arm, finger, and shoulder. Her father and brother have the same condition, called hereditary osteochondroma. These tumors are benign and usually grow outward from long bones. The disease is associated with slowed skeletal growth, bony deformity, shortened stature, and compression of peripheral nerves.
Somaly already has difficulty walking and pain. She is embarrassed at school, and her parents are concerned that these tumors interfere with the growth of her leg; one leg is already longer than the other.
Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Children’s Surgical Center, can help. On November 3rd, Somaly will undergo a complex excision of her tumor, which costs $726. This surgery will excise the tumor from her shinbone - removing it can help straighten out her bones as she continues to grow. The cost will cover surgery, post-operative care, medications, and rehabilitation.
Her mother shared with us: “After surgery, we hope that the tumor is gone and Somaly will be pain-free and her leg will grow normally.”