I met Yorleny in the first week of August 2013 through a fellow University for Peace graduate student. As my next door neighbor, she was extremely kind and made sure I felt comfortable in my new neighborhood and welcomed me into her family's house. She made me feel like if I needed anything, she would be there.
Unfortunately, not too long after this time, I contracted Dengue Fever. Living alone in a foreign country can be quite nerve-racking enough but suffering through the "break-bone fever" made it all the more frightening. Once Yorleny found out about my predicament, she came to my rescue. She knew that I was alone and that I lacked the Spanish language skills to navigate Costa Rican hospitals and clinics. Yorleny took an entire week and out of her life and obligations, away from her family and three year old son, to be by my side. She stayed with me during every painful moment, checked on me regularly throughout the course of the day, made me "dengue fighting smoothies" to make sure my platelet count did not drop, and most importantly, she swatted away the evil mosquitoes. Yorleny became my adopted mother and my hero. Without her, I have no idea how I would have gotten through this painful week.
During one of my medical exams, Yorleny mentioned that she needed to visit a doctor as well. She had been experiencing extreme pain for a few weeks and her hearing mimicked the sensation of being held underwater, wherein she was unable to hear her own voice let alone others. She noted a weird popping noise in her head but had no idea what the cause could be. Even though we were feet away from a doctor at the time, Yorleny's main focus was on me. A few days after I was in the dengue clear, Yorleny finally had the time to visit the doctor. She expected to hear she had a very bad sinus infection. Instead, the doctors discovered her brain tumor on August 28.
This tumor has been putting unbearable pressure on her sinus cavity and has led to fluid build-up in her ear. The fluid build-up has decreased her hearing and will lead to deafness if not treated immediately. In order to remedy the fluid build-up, the doctor suggests that drip tubes be placed in her body for over a year. Costa Rica has a free but overtaxed healthcare system and unfortunately due to the length of the wait-list, it will take 2-3 years before she can have the surgery and undergo treatment. If she waits this long, she will go deaf and the likelihood of the surgery being effective will significantly diminish. It will cost $3000 for her to see a private doctor and to get the surgery and fluid removed as soon as possible.
This is where you come in. I have convinced many of my fellow students to donate already, but obviously being a student comes with its own financial challenges. Which is not to say that we don't all have our challenges - but any donation at all will help us to reach this goal. So whether it's $5, $10, or $100, please take the time to help me take care of the woman who so lovingly took care of me at my hour of greatest need. $3,000 is an extremely large amount of money for a Costa Rican family, but I feel confident that we can mobilize our resources in such a way that lightens the burden for all.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
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