R2 950 of R120 000 raised

Hi everyone,

my name is Merle Sjouerman and I am a 47-year-old single mom to special 16-year-old boy.

I live in Hout Bay, Cape Town. I have always loved animals and nature, and have wanted to make a positive impact in the world. I am also involved in helping raise funds for kids that play basketball in our underprivileged communities and surrounding areas.

It’s often very tough to tell people how I feel, both because it’s hard to describe my experience of living in a  very big body, but also because it’s painful to share. I ask you to read gently.

I have struggled with my weight since my teen years. I have tried diets and been to see doctors with no success. Some of them tell me I’m too overweight to be operated on but I’ve never met a doctor who has walked in my shoes, and I don’t think they realize how strenuous it is for me to move. I also have a congenital heart issue, and movement puts tremendous demands on it.

I have come a long way in changing unhealthy dietary habits, but I still have a way to go. I have found dieting plans to ultimately be unsuccessful, because this change is so much more than just a shopping list. The support I need goes beyond this.

I know I’m worth more than my weight and feel very despondent that I can’t seem to lose it.

When I found a Clinic in Istanbul, I was over the moon that they were willing to ia gastric a sleeve despite my weight. What’s more is that they include psychological support, which will help me make the necessary lifestyle changes to sustain this change in the long term. It’s given me so much hope.

If I had this operation, it would be something that will alter my life forever. It will help me lose the weight a bit more rapidly and gain more confidence in myself. I feel like this will give me the motivation to work even harder to lose the extra weight that needs to be shed.

It would also improve my asthma and heart health, and allow me to be more involved in my son’s life and my community.

I don’t think people realize that what they say can be deeply hurtful. People often judge me because of my weight and that gives me immense anxiety. Each time, I think a little less of myself and I start to question my own values, lowering my self-esteem. I’ve had to learn to deal with comments even though they hurt, but I don’t want to live like this anymore.

To have this operation, I need R150 000. The funds will be used to for:

. A flight to Istanbul for myself and someone to take care of me while I am there

• to have the Gastric sleeve done in Istanbul, one of the best hospitals to have this procedure in the world

• all the pre and post operation medical tests and examinations as well as working with a dietician to help me adjust my meals and a psychologist to help me talk about how I feel and how I can start building up my self confidence

• A stay in a hotel in Istanbul while I undergo all the tests and surgery.

• Life-time follow up care after the surgery

• Prescribed medications that would be needed after my surgery

If anyone is willing to contribute it will be greatly appreciated. If you can’t, I understand. But if you would be so kind to share this amongst your family and friends, I’d be very grateful.

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Donation Total: R100.00 One Time

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