Sponsored child finds hope in a medical diagnosis
A medical condition doesn’t have to keep Maria out of school for much longer
By Rosanna Menchaca, communications manager, Paraguay
Life has not been easy for Maria. The challenges began with minor aches and pains, but then the teen’s health began to deteriorate rapidly; before long she couldn’t walk, she was too nauseous to eat and she was too sick to go to school.
The teen’s parents were in a difficult situation. They have limited resources and live in a remote community, which depends on a small health post for medical care. The nearest city and hospital is 50 kilometres away. “We were always worried, because we did not know what was wrong with my health,” recalls Maria. “We went to the doctor, and he didn’t know either.”
“I lost hope she would recover,” admits Felicia, Maria’s mother.
But, then help came through staff at Christian Children’s Fund of Canada’s (CCFC) local child-centered development program administered through local partner, Crecer. Maria was connected with specialists, following months of trips to the hospital and an incorrect diagnosis. A new doctor ordered the tests that led to Maria’s diagnosis with Lupus — an autoimmune disease whereby the immune system attacks healthy tissue.
An accurate diagnosis was the first step to improving the situation — medical monitoring and treatment was the second step. Now that the 14-year-old’s following a diet that gives her the nutrients she needs, and she’s getting physiotherapy, she’s walking again and studying at home and preparing to go back to school in the next term.
If she keeps up with her treatment, she could live a fairly normal life. “I feel good, very good. Today, thank God, I have a diagnosis, and I can live much better,” says the sponsored child. “I thank my sponsor from the bottom of my heart.”
A medical journey: Maria couldn’t walk, eat or go to school. She had lost weight, and doctors couldn’t determine what was wrong with her, which CCFC program staff saw first-hand (photo above). Now, Maria is being treated for lupus and she’s on the mend (top)
About Christian Children's Fund of Canada:
Christian Children's Fund of Canada (CCFC) is a child-focused international development organization and a member of ChildFund Alliance. For more than 50 years, CCFC has been helping children and families of all faiths move from poverty to self-reliance. CCFC supports children and communities in Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Nicaragua and Paraguay. Currently, CCFC has almost 50,000 children sponsored, benefiting nearly 400,000 people around the world.