A year after teenage Haitian girl, Marlie Casseus, had her final surgery to remove an 18 pound tumor from her face, but the story is still unfinished. She had 7 surgeries in total to remove the tumor completely. But she and her doctors are reaching out for help again.
On Thursday, August 12th, which just happened to be International Youth Day, the International Kids Fund (IKF) begged the community to make donations once again. Now Marlie Casseus is having complications with breathing.
“Tissue is obliterating the nassal passages. That means that the lesion is growing and expanding from inside the mouth and the palate is pretty much invading the nasal cavity”, – says Dr. Jesus Gomez (Jackson Hospital), Marlie’s attending doctor.
The girl has already come so far and has to overcome yet so much.
“We will not let her die.” – said Janelle Prieto, Direktor of IKFs Wonderfund.
Doctors say she will need another surgery soon to make room in her nasal passages so she will be able to breathe freely.
18-year-old Marlie, in addition to health problems, endured one more tragedy recently. She lost her family in the January earthquake and is now homeless.
Thanks to donations from supporters in 2005, IKFs Wonderfund funded a series of facial reconstructive surgeries that removed a massive tumor from Casseus’ face. The tumor was a result of Polyostotic Fibrous Dysplasia, a genetic bone disease that can affect any bone in the body. Before surgeries Marlie’s mouth and nasal passages were blocked and she could not speak and was able to breathe only through one narrow passage.
Marlie had to quit school at the age of 12 as she was not able to take the teasing and stares from other students.
The IKF Wonderfund is a program of Jackson Memorial Foundation, made possible by Holtz Childrens Hospital.
The philanthropic program helps critically ill children, like Marlie Casseus, all over the world.