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Mary is a farmer from Kenya who needs $936 to fund life-changing thyroid surgery.

Mary
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  • $653 raised, $283 to go
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November 16, 2021

Mary is a quiet and hardworking farmer. Mary and her husband plant maize on their one-acre farm and have four children aged between 33 and 24 years old. Their family is having a hard time financially due to the high bills needed to cater for their grandmother’s hospital bills and she undergoes chemotherapy for breast cancer. Her children do not have sustainable jobs and are unable to pay for the treatment that Mary now needs.

One evening, while Mary was listening to the radio , she heard about a medical camp that was organized by our medical partner’s Kapsowar Mission Hospital in their area. She decided to seek medical advice from the doctors. After being seen, the doctors diagnosed her with a multinodular goiter that needed to be removed surgically.

Before Mary sought medical care, she resorted to herbal medicine as she could not afford to go to a hospital. Years later, her condition did not improve and her general well-being has not been getting any better. She’s become weak and cannot perform her daily duties of farming and house chores. Mary is unable to raise money for her surgery and is seeking financial assistance to get the surgery and lead a normal and painless life.

Mary has had a long journey with her condition. In 2008, Mary began to experience troubling symptoms, including a mass on the neck, rapid heartbeat, increased sensitivity to heat and sweating. She visited the nearest healthcare facility where there were no diagnoses made. They advised her to go to a better facility for further investigations. But still many years later she hasn’t been able to undergo the treatment she needs to heal.

Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Mary receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on November 17th at our medical partner’s care center. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. This procedure will cost $936, and she and her family need help raising money.

Mary says, “I want this mass to be removed for two reasons; so that I can continue with my daily chores and also, for my community to learn from my experience that herbalists cannot cure and should seek medical care at a hospital.”

Mary is a quiet and hardworking farmer. Mary and her husband plant maize on their one-acre farm and have four children aged between 33 and 2...

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Mary's Timeline

  • November 16, 2021
    PROFILE SUBMITTED

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

  • November 17, 2021
    TREATMENT SCHEDULED

    Mary was scheduled to receive treatment at AIC Kapsowar Hospital in Kenya. 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.

  • November 17, 2021
    PROFILE PUBLISHED

    Mary's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • TODAY
    AWAITING FUNDING

    Mary is currently raising funds for her treatment.

  • TBD
    AWAITING UPDATE

    Awaiting Mary's treatment update from African Mission Healthcare.

Funded by 25 donors

Funded by 25 donors

Treatment
Thyroidectomy
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $936 for Mary's treatment
Hospital Fees
$348
Medical Staff
$3
Medication
$79
Supplies
$298
Labs
$82
Other
$126
  • Symptoms
  • Impact on patient's life
  • Cultural or regional significance

​What kinds of symptoms do patients experience before receiving treatment?

Patients in need of a thyroidectomy often present with a small thyroid growth (nodule or cyst), a thyroid gland that is so overactive it is dangerous (thyrotoxicosis), cancer of the thyroid, noncancerous (benign) tumors of the thyroid that are causing symptoms, or thyroid swelling (nontoxic goiter) that makes it hard to breathe or swallow. Patients in need of thyroid surgery often present with nervousness, anxiety, rapid heartbeat, hand tremor, excessive sweating, weight loss, and sleep problems, among other symptoms.

​What is the impact on patients’ lives of living with these conditions?

The thyroid gland is an organ located in the front of your neck. It releases hormones that control your metabolism (the way your body uses energy), breathing, heart rate, nervous system, weight, body temperature, and many other functions in the body. When the thyroid gland is overactive (hyperthyroidism), the body’s processes speed up and you may experience nervousness, anxiety, rapid heartbeat, hand tremor, excessive sweating, weight loss, and sleep problems, among other symptoms.

What cultural or regional factors affect the treatment of these conditions?

Thyroid disorders are relatively common in the African continent. Iodine deficiency, although still the commonly documented cause of thyroid disorders in Africa, is not as rampant as it used to be. There is a compelling need to set up thyroid disorder registries in order to determine not only the scope of the burden of these disorders, but also to document changing trends, if any, especially given the background of widespread iodization programs. Thyroid cancer is the most common endocrine cancer, and its incidence has continuously increased in the last three decades all over the world. This trend is present on every continent except Africa, where detection is possibly insufficient.

  • Process
  • Impact on patient's life
  • Risks and side-effects
  • Accessibility
  • Alternatives

What does the treatment process look like?

Thyroid surgery takes approximately three to eight hours depending on the patient. Patients will stay in the hospital for a maximum of six to eight weeks or as needed for recovery. A patient will usually have one follow-up appointment in six weeks.

What is the impact of this treatment on the patient’s life?

In case of thyroid cancer, the surgery is the patient’s best chance of preventing the spread of cancer and saving the patient’s life. In cases of hyperthyroidism, the treatment helps stabilize the hormones that regulate metabolism and effectively treat some of the patient's symptoms such as rapid heartbeat, anxiety etc.

What potential side effects or risks come with this treatment?

Thyroid surgery is often 90% curative should diagnosis be done early. For benign tumors and hyperthyroidism, the surgery is more than 90% curative. The surgery comes with few risks.

How accessible is treatment in the area? What is the typical journey like for a patient to receive care?

The hospital is a mission hospital in a remote area and patients may come from far away to access treatment.

What are the alternatives to this treatment?

In Kenya, surgery is the only treatment offered for thyroid cancer and hyperthyroidism. This is because radiotherapy and medication alternatives are not easily accessible. Also, the cost of treating with radiotherapy and medication is higher than that of surgery.

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.