Local residents have put together a fundraiser in an effort to raise money for a young boy’s surgery because he is unable to receive it through the health care system — in Guatemala.
The GoFundMe page was created by Linda Brierly, who lives in Upper Clearwater, and established the non-profit organization, Hope for Pokomchi, known locally by its Spanish acronym ASOSAP, with her husband Bill in 2004. The two created the project to not only offer support to the Pokomchi people, but help them become self-reliant.
The non-profit operates under the auspices of Clearwater Christian Church.
Many in the Clearwater area know of the group and have supported it in the past, said Brierly, adding it’s a feel good story in the midst of a pandemic.
“I have been a volunteer for many years in Guatemala and have come to know Frander and his family,” she said.
Frander, a three-year-old Pokomchi boy, lives in a remote mountain villiage in Guatemala, in a small wooden house with his parents and three siblings. His mother stays at home, while his father is a day labourer.
The parents reached out to ASOSAP, which is run by locals, to help them secure surgery for their boy.
Frander was born with Imperforate Anus, meaning his has no way to move his bowels. An earlier surgery put a hole in his abdomen to which he attaches a bag, covering the hole.
While he has been able to live and grow, said the GoFundMe, it is only temporary. Further surgery is required to construct an anal opening and attach his intestines to it, giving him “freedom to live a normal life.”
The family requires $14,000 to cover medical costs, as well as travel.