This is my friend Shaima (Mia). She is 24 years old. For the last four years she has been living mostly on her own in Pagadian City in the Philippines.With part time jobs, freelance work, help from friends, and a lot of hard work she earned a bachelor’s of information technology at Eastern Mindanao College of Technology. From there she began substitute teaching while continuing to go to school for her teaching certification.While the pay was meager, and the hours long she was still making progress towards her goal to become a full time teacher so she can be financially stable and support herself and her mother.
But then in late August of this year she became sick. She went to the doctor due to painful swelling.She was told she has hemorrhoids, but the pain and swelling only got worse. It got to where she could barely walk. She fell behind in school and was eventually replaced in her teaching job. In mid-October she went back to the doctor, and they increased the dosage on her antibiotics. But she could no longer pay for the medication she was already taking. The pain and swelling continued along with bleeding, fevers and dizziness.
In a last ditch effort to find out what was going on, I posting a question on a forum where doctors give advice. I included a lengthy description and photos of her symptoms. It turned out that her situation is very serious. She has a severe infection, with abscesses that need to be professionally drain. And possibly Crohn's disease as an underlying condition.
I helped her go see a gastroenterologist in Zamboanga. After an initial examination, she learned that she would likely need a series of tests, procedures, and surgeries along with more and stronger antibiotics. Starting with a colonoscopy to help to fully determine what's wrong. She'll need surgery to drain the abscesses and if she has Crohn's disease she'll likely need more medication and possibly more surgery.
The good news is that she can get better. The doctor told her that if she does as he directs, goes through all the necessary procedures, and takes all the medication, she will get better.
But she needs your help. All of this will cost well more than she can possibly afford, even if she was still working. Just the first step, the colonoscopy will cost 18,000php. Besides whatever addition procedures are necessary, there's transportation costs to and from Zamboanga, and room costs if she had to stay in the hospital. As it is now, she can't even afford her normal living expenses.
Until more tests are done, I don't know how much all of this will cost, so the goal I set is somewhat arbitrary. I may cost less than that, it could cost more. I'll post updates when there's more information. If any money is raised beyond the cost of the medical expenses it will go towards her living expenses until she's able to go back to work.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. Whatever amount to can spare would be greatly appreciated by both me and Mia. And please, if you can, share this on whatever social media you can. With your help, good doctors, and Mia's resilience I know she can get well again and get back on track to reach her goals.