Lend a hand for Mar’s new hand!

$15,725 of $93,350 raised

Cause Number #33400

Program:
Lend a hand for Mar’s New hand!

Nonprofit:
CAMARLENGO FOUNDATION INC.
EIN# 84-3398447

Project:
A new prosthetic set of fingers for Mar.

 

Campaign Goal USD $93,350.00

Program Title: Lend a Hand for Mar’s New hand.!

Objective: Provide Mar with a better quality of life and better performance in her daily activities both in her personal life and in her work as a photographer.

Abstract:

This campaign was born based on a dream and many physical difficulties. I was born with Brachydactyly, a form of genetic mutation that affected all 5 digits of my left hand. In Paraguay, my country of birth and residence, partial disability options are basically null. We do not have a health system that helps to address these physical limitations and neither professionals in the field for the development of new technologies.

In my day to day I am a very normal person. I have been working for 5 years in a Foundation that helps societies, nationally and internationally, in topics like general education, the empowerment of women and family unity. I like to contribute with articles and projects, audiovisual editing, design, writing and translating. But my forte is photography. Capturing moments of spontaneous happiness and show the world the beauty of being human.

With this prosthesis I will experience a new level of self-confidence and self-esteem. I will be 100% independent in this new stage of my life, and most importantly: Be able to serve as a voice for the other disabled who will come after me. With this project I only hope to start something much bigger, which involves many more people. I want to be able to contribute to my country in some future, the option that no amputated child and/or adult congenitally or by accident, should carry out their lives hiding or feeling shame. I think it is my goal in this world, to show the beautiful side of being human. Different humans, all shapes, colors and disabilities, but with the same desire: To be accepted by our peers and feel good about ourselves.

Full Description

Hi! My name is Mar, and this is my story:

I was born in Asunción, Paraguay during the early 90’s with a condition no one could diagnose. Being an underdeveloped country with no specialist in the field of mutations, doctors could not give my parents any real answers.

Years later and with the help of the Internet, I diagnosed myself with what is called ‘Brachydactyly’ (Greek βραχύς = “short” plus δάκτυλος = “finger”): a congenital abnormality which literally means “shortness of the fingers and toes” (digits). A bone malformation that occurs 1 in 32,000 births. Mine happens to be on my left hand.

Growing up with a noticeable condition like this one, made me more of an introvert than I would have otherwise been. I had trouble making friends, I used to hide during recess at school and eat lunch under the stairs all by myself. I was shy. My classmates stared at me and many of them avoided me as if it were contagious. During this time, I developed a friendship that would last my entire life, my pockets!

You would think that growing up and entering adulthood, discrimination based on my disability would stop and things would get easier, but it didn’t for the most part.

It was, and still is, hard for me to accomplish basic things like opening jars, any kind of bottles or doorknobs (the round ones are my worst nightmare). Tying my hair up has been a struggle since the very beginning, I never get it right, or my shoelaces (I wore Velcro until 10th grade) and do not even get me started on that one. Getting dressed in the morning to go to work is a struggle. I still get frustrated sometimes, but I have learned to manage it.

On the other hand (no pun intended), some of my difficulties can get dangerous. I do not feel safe when holding cutlery, or driving, or holding fragile objects. I have had accidents where I have put my physical integrity and that of those around me in jeopardy. It can get very ugly very fast!

It takes longer for me to do things because first, I need to think them through step-by-step! I need to calculate if I have enough grip to hold on to things and not drop them and break them. How wide objects are. Are they wet? or dry? What materials are they made of? Is it slippery? plastic? or glass? Imagine doing that all day, every day. It gets exhausting and extremely weary.

Back in June 2019, I found Naked Prosthetics on Facebook, a company that provides custom, high-quality prosthetic devices specifically for amputees with finger loss. I said to myself: “Maybe one day I´ll have one.” But I didn’t want to get my hopes up.

What I didn’t tell you before is that I’ve had two previous failed chances to get a prosthetic here in my country. One with a 3D printed prosthetics company that after an appointment and a promise to work with me, never called me back. And another one with a friend who bought a 3D printer but didn’t really have the knowledge to finish the prosthetic successfully. For a long time, I thought I didn’t deserve to feel normal.

The first time I saw NP’s video, I thought: “How am I going to afford a prosthetic like that?” It was impossible. Until one work trip to the US in October2019 changed my life.

Working as a photographer for FITCE, an International Trade Show in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, I met Arturo and Margarita. They saw my limitations and asked me If I ever thought about how a prosthetic would improve my overall efficiency at work and life in general. I told them what I just told you and showed them all the technology and prosthetics pages, videos and blogs I’ve read and seen. They saw my excitement while talking about it, and expressed they wanted to help me get a professional hand prosthetic made by a specialized American company. As you can imagine, I started crying my heart out. I thought to myself: third time’s the charm; this one MUST be it!

We did not waste any time, we called and emailed everyone!

Arm Dynamics https://www.armdynamics.com partnered with Naked Prosthetics, replied in less than 24 hours! After a couple of emails and video calls, they confirmed the type of prosthetic that will be the most functional for me.

Here you can see the type of Prosthesis that awaits me.

The prosthesis is called MCP DRIVER and it looks like this:

Two months after the first email we sent, we booked a flight to Portland, Oregon thanks to the generosity of Mr. Thomas Field (My boss) who donated the cost of the ticket. I was so excited! It was finally happening! I had my ticket in my right hand and a bag full of dreams and hopes on my left hand.

My first appointment with Dr. MacJulian Lang, Clinical Manager at Arm Dynamics was on December 10, 2019. That day came and I was so happy yet nervous. Arturo, the President of Camarlengo Foundation, accompanied me and supported me not only economically during my stay in the US, but emotionally and logistically.

The appointment was amazing. The entire team in Arm Dynamics made me feel like my insecurities and doubts are totally normal, that I can overcome them and that I´ll will make this happen! Very patiently they explained us the entire process of making a prosthesis, from the measurements to the printing and designing.

A couple of weeks later, they sent the final quote. I need to raise a total of USD $93,350 for the prosthesis included travel and lodging for my second trip for prosthetic fitting.

Here in Paraguay is exceedingly difficult to raise that amount of money. But I am sure by combining both my friends in Paraguay and you, my friends in the US, or anywhere in the world you are right now J I will make this happen!

Travel and prosthetic expenses are something I cannot afford alone but I need to continue believing that it is possible to achieve. Through collecting donations with the help of MagnifyMyFundUS and my social media accounts, I hope to become a living example for others to follow, that no matter what you are going through, no matter how left out you feel, YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

Thank you for reading my story until the end (for now!). Thank you for taking your time and from the bottom of my heart and soul I ask of you to support me with prayers, by donating funds or any other means you think you can contribute to make this dream of mine come true!

I would like to finish with a thought:

Be thankful for your struggles because without them you would not have found your strengths. And most importantly, that our physical impairments should NOT become our emotional handicap.!

Take care! God Bless!

 

Non-Profit Contact Info

  • Full Name person in charge: Alan Arturo Zarzar
  • Title: President
  • Email: zarzar@camarlengofoundation.org
  • Address:

3970 Oaks Clubhouse Dr. Suite 110, Pompano Beach, Florida 33069

  • phone number: +1-305-890-5104

Project and Program Contact

  • Full Name person in charge: Alan Arturo Zarzar
  • Title: President
  • Email: zarzar@camarlengofoundation.org
  • phone number: +1-305-890-5104

 

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