WINGS has been fortunate enough to host numerous, well-qualified volunteers in 2010. Here is what one volunteer, Shelly Cooper, said about working for WINGS’ Cervical Cancer Detection and Treatment Program this past summer:
“I couldn’t have spent my summer off from medical school working with a more valuable program than WINGS’ cervical cancer program. After reviewing patient charts and attending clinics, I had the opportunity to talk to many Guatemalan women and hear their amazing stories. Many of the women had never been screened for cervical cancer before. Of those that had previously been screened using a Pap-smear, the majority had never received their results and/or several years had passed since their last screening. In addition to the invaluable preventative medicine component of these clinics, the nurses are also able to detect and begin treating various vaginal infections that same day. Patients may have been suffering for months until the WINGS mobile clinic happens to be in their municipality and distributes the necessary antibiotics. These clinics also provide a unique opportunity for women to comfortably talk with two experienced Guatemalan nurses about family planning, OBGYN issues or just basic female anatomy! The WINGS cervical cancer program is truly a successful and effective program.”
WINGS’ cervical cancer program was very successful this past summer. In July alone, WINGS nurses screened 263 women for cervical cancer. Of these women, 97% were screened for the first time ever. These clinics likely saved the lives of three women who were found to have early signs of cervical cancer. WINGS’ staff was able to successfully treat two of these women with cryotherapy on the same day. The third, who showed signs of more advanced cancer, was referred to the National Cancer Institute, where WINGS will subsidize the cost of all follow-up treatment needed to help save her life.
WINGS is very grateful to its donors who help make these life-saving services available to underserved women in Guatemala. Thank you for your continued support of WINGS and for making a real difference in the lives of women in Guatemala!
The WINGS Team
WINGS’ founder, Sue Patterson, recently visited the home of Mariela, a former WINGS beneficiary who chose to have a tubal ligation a few years ago. Here is what Sue learned about Mariela during her visit:
Together with her two daughters aged 7 and 9, Mariela lives in a house made out of cornstalks and cardboard, which is precariously placed on a muddy mountainside. Her house was severely damaged during tropical storm Agatha last May, but has since been rebuilt with more cornstalks and cardboard. Mariela and her mother make and sell stuffed peppers, earning between the two of them about $6 dollars a day. Given the adversity she faces, when Mariela lost her third child to meningitis four years ago she decided to have a tubal ligation. While her family opposed the operation, Mariela decided for herself that she did not want to have any more children and went ahead with the procedure. Not having to care for any more young children has been very liberating for Mariela, who is currently enrolled in night school where she is studying the 7th grade. She now has aspirations to become a psychologist, so she can help others who have gone through difficult times. While Mariela’s situation is still precarious, she is now able to focus on improving the situation for herself and her two surviving daughters.
As the story of Mariela highlights, the opportunity to limit one’s family size can change the course of entire families, enabling them to direct precious and scare resources to improve their lives and that of their existing children. Thanks to your generous support, more families in Guatemala will have access to essential family planning services that make a real difference in their lives.
I am writing to let you know about an exciting opportunity to double your impact and help to ensure that all women in Guatemala have access to life-saving reproductive health services.
On June 16th, GlobalGiving will be matching all online donations at 50% (up to $1,000 per donor) to WINGS’ project Detect and Treat Cervical Cancer in Guatemala. In addition, GlobalGiving will award a $1,000 bonus to the project that raises the most funds that day and a $1,000 bonus to the project that receives the largest number of individual donations!
Why should you care? Cervical cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths among women of reproductive age in the developing world and kills more than 274,000 women annually. In Guatemala, cervical cancer accounts for more deaths than breast, skin, ovarian and stomach cancers combined. Despite being one of the most easily preventable and detectable types of cancer, only 25% of Guatemalan women living in underserved, rural communities have ever been screened for this disease.
What is being done? Since 2001, WINGS has provided high-quality cervical cancer detection and treatment services to more than 25,000 Guatemalan women. In addition, WINGS is one of the only organizations in Guatemala to use the VIA/Cryo method, a low-cost technique that allows for screening results to be given the same day and can treat more than half of detected abnormalities immediately. The VIA/Cryo method is especially effective for women living in rural areas, as it reduces the need for return visits, which are often difficult or expensive for women in isolated or low-income areas.
How can you make a difference? Donate on June 16th to our project Detect and Treat Cervical Cancer in Guatemala on GlobalGiving and your donation will be matched at 50%. Consider the tremendous impact your GlobalGiving gift will have on the lives of women:
- A donation of just $20 will be matched at 50%, for a total donation of $30 - enough to cover the cost of detection and treatment for 2 women.
- A donation of $50 will be matched for a total donation of $75 – enough to cover the cost of detection and treatment for 5 women.
- A donation of $100 will be mated for a total donation of $150 – enough to cover the cost of detection and treatment for 10 women.
In order to ensure that WINGS is able to continue to provide these life-saving services, make a donation today and pass this email onto your friends and family.
Our heartfelt thanks for your support of WINGS and for helping to improve the lives of women in Guatemala.