Help us save Sonia
Organized by: Ethan Blonder
(I am posting this fundraiser on behalf of Mike Merrill, who is currently in Guatemala)
Hello, My name is Mike. Two years ago I left my home to go travel the world, and fell in love with Guatemala. I bought a piece of land here in a very beautiful but remote part of the country, and hired several local people to help me begin working on landscaping and building.
It recently came to my attention that the sister of one of my workers had a skin rash that would not go away, so I asked if I could see her in hopes of doing something to help (I have become the local medical helper as the local Mayan farmers are too poor to have even the most basic medical supplies like band aids or antibiotic ointment).
What they thought was a skin rash is obviously something far more serious. It started two years ago on the back of her neck and her hands. It has worsened over time, spread throughout her entire body, and has never gone away.
Her father has sold several of his properties and spent the equivalent of several years of his income ($5000+) taking her to different doctors, none of whom have been able to diagnose the problem. The average worker here makes about $7 a day, so needless to say they have spent a fortune, and have now given up hope as they are out of money.
Her symptoms: Her skin is changing colors - darker in some places and lighter in others. She has a noticeable wart on her right hand (which started 3 months ago) and open sore on her left foot (which started 5 months ago). Her skin is swollen, almost hard to the touch, and it itches. Her hair has begun falling out and she says her scalp itches. She says she is also feeling heart palpitations. She currently had almost no quality of life. She can't work, can't help around the house, can't do anything.
After posting these photos online, many friends in the medical field agree that this is a serious medical condition that needs immediate attention. The consensus is that it is lupus or some other type of immune system problem, most likely coupled with a bacterial or fungal infection.
After seeing responses saying that her life could be in danger, I have decided to personally pay to take her to the Emergency Room for immediate medical attention, and then to a specialist in Guatemala City who will be able to diagnose her and with any luck begin to treat her.
At the urging of many friends online, we have set up this fundraiser to assist her and her family with their upcoming expenses. It truly breaks my heart to see such a lovely person in so much pain, and even worse to have given up hope for any quality of life. Every little bit helps, so if there is anything at all you can contribute, you can literally help us save this girl's life. Any and all funds raised will go directly to pay her medical bills.
This is sure to be an ongoing and costly venture. We hope to raise enough to cover her immediate expenses, and any funds raised in excess of our goal will go directly to future medical expenses, such as medication and doctor follow-ups.
Thank you so much for your help!