Daniela and Brenda

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Mayan Families
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A little over a month ago, Brenda was very concerned because her 9 year old daughter, Daniela was very pale and tired. She took her to a doctor and there started a parent's nightmare. Daniela was diagnosed with Leukamia. Daniela's father, Daniel, 39 years old, collects fares on the buses. He earns $6 US per day. He sometimes has work all week, other times, just for two days. The family lives in a rented house in Solola. They pay $60 per month. The mother , Brenda worked in a local restaurant washing dishes and cleaning tables. She earned $3 US per day. She was only able to get work 3 times a week. Her Mother- in - law lives with them and she minded the children when Brenda was working. The mother-in-law is 76 years old...and has a hernia....it was difficult for her to look after 2 young active children. Brenda is not in good health, she has been diagnosed with cysts in her ovaries. She is 30 years old and has more on her plate than most people ever need. For one month , Brenda has been in the hospital at her daughter's side. She is sleeping on the cold floor of the hospital , on just a blanket that she brought with her. Daniela is receiving free treatment from the hospital. She is receiving chemotherapy. The hospital gives all food to Daniela for free. But the mother has to buy her food. This is very expensive for the mother. Some days she can only afford to eat once a day. Her husband tries to come and visit as much as possible but he has to pay bus fare to the city which costs approx. $10 per trip for him to go to visit. He also needs to be able to buy his food ...and he has to find a cheap room to be able to stay overnight ...the hospital does not allow more than one parent there at a time. Combined with trying to pay for the bus fares, the food, the renting of a cheap room to stay over, the father also has to find money to pay the rent, the electricity and food for his mother and two children, Marcotulio 5 years and Harold 3 years old. Brenda has to stay one month more in the hospital. Then Brenda has to stay in the city, close to the hospital so that she can receive treatment.. This is a huge worry for the mother as she does not know anyone in the city and she does not have the money to rent a room. While the mother is sitting here telling me her story ...her 3 year old begins crying......he is hungry...he had breakfast this morning, tortillas with salt and has not had anything more to eat. Fortunately, I had a bag of 6 chipolin tamales that I gave them. None of the family had eaten since this morning. The children are often going hungry....Brenda is so sad as she tells this but she says there is nothing that she can do...there is no money. Brenda had a stroke 10 years ago, now her right hand side of her body where she had the stroke before is painful...she can hardly walk ...she is limping and says that sleeping on the cold floor at the hospital is causing her a lot of pain in her body. She is extremely stressed as you can imagine anyone would be in this situation but she has the problem that she doesn't even have the bus fare to get back to the city tomorrow. She is not worried about having food for herself but she is very worried for her two little ones as they are going hungry so many days. This is the first time that she has been able to come home in one month ....she is hoping that she may get one days work at the restaurant tomorrow to be able to pay her fare but her body is so painful it is doubtful that she will be able to stand to wash dishes. The family is asking for help to get them through this terrible time. The hospital is now asking that they bring in 12 donors to give blood as Daniela needs to receive blood transfusions. In Guatemala , people do not usually donate blood. It has to be purchased, you have to pay a donor to go to the hospital and give blood. It costs approx $50 including paying their bus fare to the city and to pay the lunch for each person to go . This is an impossible amount for this family. If you an help them with any small amount to help the mother get back to the hospital .....and to help her to have some food for her family, it would be so very much appreciated. Sharon www.mayanfamilies.org

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