Haitian Tumor Victim To Receive Medical Care
HAITIAN TUMOR VICTIM TO RECEIVE MEDICAL CARE
Haitian Connection Network student, Daniel is a bright and motivated young man suffering with a 12mm tumor growing in his mouth since 1997. After two unsuccessful surgeries in Haiti, the generous people at Jefferson Hospital in Philadelphia have agreed to pay for his entire medical care in Philadelphia this summer.
Everything related to Daniels medical care is completely paid for: pre and post operative procedures, numerous surgeries, reconstruction, medications, etc.
We are actively seeking generous people to assist us with the additional expenses related to Daniels medical visit: roundtrip airfare, transportation, housing, visa and passport fees, etc.
The additional total costs needed are $4,000.
Donations can be made securely online now at: www.haitianconnectionnetwork.org. If you would like more information about this topic, or to schedule an interview, please contact: Executive Director; Kristen Hertzog at: 717-201-4893.
(Daniel’s personal biography is below.)
I am Daniel, a Haitian, born into a very poor family of seven in Tomassin, Haiti. Despite the many challenges that Haitians face: extreme poverty, political violence and the crushing earthquake, my family is all alive. People that know me best say that I am generous, sympathetic, sensible and passionate about education. I have the ability to learn from people around me and to get along with others.
In Haiti, there is little free education for children. Either you are rich and pay for private school or live on faith for a scholarship. My siblings and I had privilege to go to school for a period of time, but unfortunately my parents could not continue to pay the school tuition, we had to leave school. In 1997, a strange and painful tumor starting growing inside my left jaw, and doctors said I must have surgery. My parents did not have money to pay the surgery, but because I was an honor student at the Baptist Mission School they paid for the surgery at the Baptist Hospital. For a period of time the tumor was gone.
I knew that I wanted to continue my education. My dream was to receive a degree in Computer Science and work in the IT field in Haiti. I have always been fascinated with technology and the way things work. I went to my Dad and tell him that I wanted to go to high school and eventually to university and he laughed. He said: “Look for something else to do because I don’t have money for that.” I felt so helpless because I have the intelligence, drive and ambition but did not have the possibility to make my dream come true. So, I decided to start knocking on doors of all the local high schools asking them to accept me, a determined, motivated student for a free scholarship to their high school. It was humbling, but my only chance to become educated and a person who can help my country in the future!
Miraculously, one high school awarded me a scholarship to their school! Each morning I wake up at five AM and walk 2 miles to the school, because I could not afford to take the bus. Almost daily, I went to school without eating and sometimes when I return home late afternoon, there was often no food to eat. In 2002, the same tumor started growing back, this time faster than before. This time I went to a small mission hospital. My parents and other people collected money to pay for the surgery. Once again, the tumor was cut out of my mouth.
I returned back to high school and also began studying English language, as I have always thought learning English would be an exciting challenge for me. Three years after the second surgery, the tumor returned for a third time. I felt so sad, humiliated and as its size grew, more people mocked me because of my condition. I found strength through my God, family and friends who sympathized with me. Studying in school became more difficult because of routine headaches. But I pressed on! Finally in 2006, at age 24, I graduated with Honors from my High school. I am the only one in my entire family privileged to graduate high school.
The earthquake of 2010 killed many of my friends and neighbors. For months, my family slept outside, fearing another earthquake would make our shack collapse. Things became even harder than before.
One day my pastor called me to inform me that Haitian Connection Network (HCN) of Lancaster PA opened a Student Computer Center not far from my house. This is a safe location where Haitians will study at American universities entirely online for free. Executive Director, Madam Kristen Hertzog interviewed me and accepted me to enroll in the UoPeople Computer Science program. She strengthened me with her encouragement to see that I could realize my dream. She told me that she could see the shame and humiliation I feel in my eyes and encouraged me that my illness cannot stop me from my goals. I was accepted into HCN and will graduate with an international equivalency Associates Degree in Computer Science this fall! Already I am developing the confidence to realize my professional goals of employment in Haiti.
Now an even brighter future awaits me! Because I am a student at Haitian Connection Network, I had an opportunity to meet two American doctors Dr. Keith Price and Dr. Anthony Coletta of Pennsylvania who want to help me to have a third surgery – and this time in the United States! Now that I have had a proper biopsy, they know how to treat this disease. Within the next few months I will have the surgery at Jefferson Hospital in Philadelphia PA, USA!
Still, I need more help. Would you please consider a donation through Haitian Connection Network’s secure website towards the additional expenses needed for my medical visit? Thank you in advance for helping to help me. I am confident that I will return to my beloved Haiti, tumor free, and soon be a graduate of Computer Science! I will then find a job in my field helping myself, my family, my community and my country! May God bless you.
Daniel, Tomassin, Haiti