A GoFundMe page has been set up to help a mum who has been unable to work since an awful fire left her lip burned onto her chest.
Earlier this week UNILAD reported on Leonor Niusa’s desperate plea for help to pay for surgery to detach her lip from her chest; an operation which would allow her to work again.
15 years ago Leonor was working at a farm in Zamboanga City, the Philippines, when the candle she used as a source of light caused a fire in a gasoline storage room. Her burns went untreated as her family feared they could not afford medical help.
Following the release of the story UNILAD received a number of emails from kind people hoping to donate to Leonor; donations they are now be able to make through a GoFundMe page which was set up on Monday (July 1).
The fundraiser was organised by a man named Darren Rogers, who got in touch with Justin Quiban to discuss donating.
Justin is the person behind the video of Leonor; after meeting her and her son Justin and some friends found her house in Zamboanga and gave the mother some donations.
Darren shared pictures of his conversation with Justin, in which it was revealed a surgeon had offered to perform Leonor’s surgery for free. However, the pair are still hoping to raise £10,000 to help the mother buy food and other necessities as well as restore her home.
I just saw this picture from Facebook posted by Justin Quiban from Zamboanga City, however he wasn't able to get their names. This was taken yesterday June 25th at 1pm. I would like to help if this is the only way. #KMJS I hope you can see this to reach out. God bless you. pic.twitter.com/Cskr8EvMpW
— Scarlett Hope (@julia_batalla) June 26, 2019
Speaking to UNILAD about why he decided to set up the GoFundMe, 33-year-old Darren said:
Leonor has 3 children and lives in a run down shack. I’m hoping the money raised will give her a new lease on life and let her know that people do care, as well as help renovate her little home or get her somewhere else, put food on the table and give her an opportunity to start over and provide a better life for her children.
Justin shared photos of the ramshackle hut which he said belonged to Leonor.
The considerate man explained he was coordinating with the Department of Social Welfare and Development to help get the donation to Leonor, and added:
The money… will change the woman’s life. I’m so happy if it’s gonna happen.
Darren has said he is waiting to hear from the Department of Social Welfare and Development in order to discuss the donations.
The GoFundMe creator told UNILAD he’s been in daily contact with Justin and added:
He will keep me posted on the date of her operation. I’m also due a video call with him soon so he can show me her home and local area.
Justin has stated that he has a meeting with [Department of Social Welfare and Development] next week so hopefully they can accomodate us.
In order to ensure Leonor receives the money, GoFundMe has donations made to the cause on hold.
They told UNILAD:
[We] will work with the campaign organiser to get the funds to the beneficiary.
The fundraising site has the most robust protections of any social fundraising platform and has a ‘GoFundMe guarantee’ in place which ensures funds get to the right place; if they don’t, the donations are refunded.
So far at the time of writing £1,145 has been raised through the page. You can donate to help Leonor here; the money raised will certainly be life changing.
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Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.