I’d like you to meet Anselma Bustamante, a 60 year old mother of 10 children, living in the rural village of Entre Rios, Bolivia. For the past 12 years, Mrs. Bustamante has been forced to cope with a large goiter growing inside of her neck. It’s a disability that has caused her no small amount of discomfort both physically and emotionally. She’s had to teach herself to turn a blind eye to stares in the marketplace. In order to breathe at night, she’s become accustomed to sleeping on her side. She’s tried her best to live with what was an annoying condition. But two years ago, the situation became more serious. Unchecked, the goiter had become so large that it was starting to push on her windpipe, hindering her breathing. Now it was only a matter of time before the goiter became so large that it would take her life!
As her family watched helplessly, their beloved Anselma was slowly suffocating. But fortunately for her, there is Esperança and faithful friends like you. In July, we sent our team of volunteer surgeons to Bolivia to provide much needed healthcare. During our stay, one of our volunteers, Dr. Motasalva came into contact with Mrs. Bustamante. He assessed her situation and assured her that another doctor, Dr. Kartchner who is an expert on goiters, would be arriving the following week to provide free surgeries. She was so excited she could barely speak! For the first time in 12 years, she had hope!
This November as you sit down with your family for Thanksgiving dinner, I encourage you to join me as I share stories like this one. Take a moment to reflect with your family on how thankful we all are to live in such a prosperous nation. I am especially thankful that here in America, we are all in a unique position to save lives through simple financial sacrifice. As a faithful friend of Esperança, I know that you understand the importance of this.
Your support provides lifesaving treatment and surgeries to those that need it most. Thank you in advance for standing with Esperança, and I wish you a very happy Thanksgiving! Like Mrs. Bustamante, we can all breathe easier knowing that Esperança is on the move bringing hope and care to those that need it most.