I've been running through words in my head about what to share with the world for #GivingTuesdayNow. At a time of unprecedented need around the world and such a growing desire to simply find a way to help, how do we share the true impact that a gift to Watsi directly creates for a patient in need? How can we show you the life-changing possibility that comes with access to healthcare? When our donors funded treatment for Poe this week, I realized the story was already written.

Poe arrived with his grandmother at our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund for treatment of a congenital blood disorder. 

Poe is a five-year old living with his grandmother in a small village in Karen State in Burma. He likes to play with his friends and to eat sweets (some things truly are universal). Poe hasn't been going to school because of his condition.

Poe has a congenital blood disorder called Thalassemia that requires him to have regular blood transfusions. He feels better after having a transfusion, but it wears off in the weeks following the procedure. When its nearing time for another transfusion, he feels weak and tired. His condition also affects his spleen, the organ that filters blood. To prevent further problems, doctors told his family that they need to remove Poe’s spleen. Over the last month, Watsi supporters stepped up and raised $1,500 to fund his treatment.

"In the future, when he grows up, I want him to become a doctor or leader who is able to help poor people like us." -Poe's Grandmother

After his surgery, Poe's grandmother shared what access to treatment meant for their family:

“I am very happy and grateful that the doctors said my grandson does not need to do as many blood transfusions as before. Now, he shouldn’t get tired as easily and I won’t need to take him to the hospital as often, either. The support you have given us has been so helpful."

"If it wasn’t for your kind generosity, it would have been very stressful knowing that help was possible, but out of our reach due to our financial situation. In the future, when he grows up, I want him to become a doctor or leader who is able to help poor people like us."

"This year I want to send him to school together with his cousin. Thank you again for all of your support.”

We couldn't have said it any better than Poe's grandmother. This is why we do what we do everyday. It is also what inspires us for the journey ahead, as uncertain as it may be.

At a time when it is so essential, our programs ensure that today, and in the future, healthcare is accessible for more people around the world.

As we celebrate a global day of gratitude and giving, join us for #GivingTuesdayNow to unlock potential for patients like Poe. Make your giving truly life-changing: Become a monthly donor.

Mackinnon Engen

Mackinnon Engen

Executive Director @Watsi