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Heidi Peterson's Fundraiser:

This Time for Esther

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Heidi Peterson




Esther (Maria Estelle) is a single mother raising a teenage daughter in extreme poverty in Sonora Mexico.  She suffers from Proteus Syndrome, the disease made famous in the movie "The Elephant Man", and has physical and psychological pain and embarrassment caused by this disfiguring malady. There is no known cure for this debilitating disease.  It is relentless and without our help the only thing that Esther can see in her future is the progression of her disease to blindness.

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Read about our campaign

Our plan is to bring Esther from Sonora, Mexico to Los Angeles for surgery that will help restore her life to a semblance of normality. We have assembled a star team of reconstructive surgeons who will donate their time and expertise - but we need to raise $90,000 to cover the cost of transportation and housing for Esther and her daughter Iliana as well as medication and hospital costs for the duration of her treatment - estimated at 3 months.

This Time Foundation is a non-profit organization that teams up with businesses and individuals to provide awareness and funds for the neediest people and projects on a worldwide basis.


We need to provide the following:

  • Round trip transportation, Sonora to Los Angeles for Esther and her daughter
  • Housing, food and living expenses
  • Hospitalization, surgical fees, physical therapy and medications

We anticipate that estimated overall costs will approach $300,000, but a major part of the physicians services are pro bono.  Our goal for this campaign is $90,000 to cover the shortfall. 


A  LETTER FROM ESTHER  (translated from the Spanish)

July 18, 2014

Maria Esther Valenzuela Arballo

Place of Birth: Sinaloa, Mexico

Date of Birth July 01 1963

To Whom It May Concern:

Through this letter I want to express to you the hardships and trials that I have gone through since my tumors have sprouted.  When I was 22, I had my first pregnancy and eight months into the pregnancy, the first tumor appeared in my face.  Subsequently, after each of the five pregnancies that I went through, more and more tumors would appear.  The tumors have grown to such an extent that I am at the risk of going blind and my economic situation forbids receiving treatment.  I live in extreme poverty in a home without electricity, which means no air conditioning in order to make this 110° heat.  The heat aggravates the hemorrhages on the tumors and on many occasions bled. 

My 12 year old daughter, Iliana, does not want to go to school anymore because other students make fun of her because of how hideous my face looks.  They say that I am a monster and she is the “little monster”.  My daughter always tells me that she wishes she had a normal life and doesn’t want me to look as I do any longer. 

But, this is not the only sufferings that I have gone through.  13 years ago, my other daughters were taken from me and were smuggled illegally into the United States and I have not seen them ever since.  I think of them often and wonder if they are ok or if they are even alive still.  My entire life has seemed as if it has been cursed and things are worse as time progresses.

I pray to God that you can please read my letter with empathy and compassion, in hopes that you can help me in receiving the treatment that I need in order to remove these tumors.  I do not want to go blind, or worse, die with Iliana not having anyone to depend on.  I am the only support that she has and I cannot do much because of my condition.   I plead that you may please look into your heart and allow me to have my health for the sake of my daughter.

Thank you,

Maria Esther Valenzuela Arballo


To learn more about This Time, please Click Here.


The Team: $16,300 TOTAL RAISED SO FAR

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Robert Amonic

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Kelsey Howard

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0% Raised of $105,000 Goal

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Joseph Bartolome

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Ashley Parry

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Jennifer Weston

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