BENEFITING: Integral Heart Foundation
Help raise $5,350 urgently needed to give 11-year-old Maria Luisa Oxlaj the life-saving operations and additional medical support that she needs in her struggle to beat Spina Bifida and walk for the first time in her life.
HOW IT ALL BEGAN...
My friends and I first met Maria Luisa two months ago on a spot visit to an indigenous K’iche’ family living in extreme poverty in Cunen, near Nebaj in Guatemala. We turned to leave when she appeared from a hut dragging herself through the dirt, in floods of tears. We were horrified to see that she had a mass the size of a grapefruit on her spine and her feet were twisted backwards and full of open sores. We took her to the doctors in the nearby city where they informed us that she had a severe form of Spina bifida. If the mass had been removed when she was a baby she would be able to walk. However, they said, at her age there was no possibility that she would ever walk. They also said that it had grown so huge that it could burst and kill her any minute.
Without much ado, we presented her with her first child-size wheelchair which she was thrilled with! We then took her to a specialist who has promised a bed for her in the children’s hospital in Guatemala City at a discount price (the regular price being $25,000). While she’s waiting for the money to be raised, Maria Luisa is learning how to read in Spanish and to make bracelets, and has already made $10 in sales (for her operation!) so it appears we have a young social entrepreneur in the making!
Maria Luisa is determined to walk at all costs so that she can attend school in January. Her bravery is humbling, and her struggle transformative for many lives. $5,350 will pay for her hospital care, tests, two operations, and six months of post-operative physio and walking aids. And if we can raise $10,000, we can even buy her a bed (she sleeps on the dirt floor) AND build her family a new home to replace their crumbling hut they currently inhabit...
Let's make miracles happen for Maria Luisa! Please donate today to help her receive the life-saving and life-transforming operation and care she needs and support her in her fight to finally walk!
a HUGE THANK YOU on behalf of Maria Luisa, her family and myself!