Monica Cabezas

Monica is a 10 year old girl who is in 5th grade. Her stepfather (Mario) is 30 years old, drives a taxi and her mother (Florencia) is a 29 year old who works as a cook in the Chapare, the tropical part of the State of Cochabamba The biological father abandoned Florencia when Monica was in the womb. He was abusive of Florencia, and frequently drank to excess. The parents make approximately $200 a month and live in a simple one room dwelling.

Monica required emergency surgery for the change of a mitral heart valve. When Monica and her parents were interviewed, Monica cried softly, while her stepfather explained: "Por favor ayúdennos a salvar la vida de nuestra hijita. Yo la quiero como si fuera mía y voy hacer cualquier esfuerzo para que no se muera. Hasta ahora Dios nos ha protegido. Siempre hemos encontrado personas buenas que nos cooperan. No perdemos las esperanzas que también ahora nos van ayudar."

"Please help us to save the life of our small daughter. I love her like she is mine and I will do whatever effort to keep her from dying. Until now, God has protected us. We have always found good people who help us. We do not lose hope that once more we will be helped."

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