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Haitian Teen Returns to South Florida for Surgery Due to Complications

MIAMI – Marlie Casseus, the Haitian teenager that received surgery four years ago through the International Kids Fund to remove a rare tumor on her face, has returned to South Florida for another surgery due to complications from an infection.

Marlie has received several surgeries since 2005 to correct her Polyostotic Fibrous Dysplasia, a condition that affects every single bone of her body and impairs her development. Her first surgery in South Florida removed a 16-pound tumor located on her face, and subsequent surgeries have restored her facial features which were displaced due to the tumor.

This recent surgery will treat Marlie’s infections, which were likely caused by unsanitary conditions during last year’s hurricane season in Haiti, remove excess scar tissue and replace her facial implants.

A program of the Jackson Memorial Foundation, the International Kids Fund is dedicated to helping children throughout the world overcome serious illnesses. Since a majority of IKF’s patients are not U.S. residents and a public hospital cannot use taxpayers’ money to pay for their treatment, IKF seeks the community’s support in raising the money necessary to provide life-saving medical care to kids in need.

In partnership with Holtz’s Children Hospital of the University of Miami /Jackson Memorial Medical Center the surgeries are performed at a charitable rate. In this case, the International Kids Fund is asking for the community’s support in raising $50,000 to help cover the cost of Marlie’s procedure. The surgery will allow Marlie to continue to recover from a rare tumor that once covered her entire face.

“We knew Marlie’s case would have a long road to recovery. Since performing her first surgery several years ago, Marlie has shown great signs of improvement. However, we are committed to helping her on that road to recovery, and her upcoming surgery will just be a stop along the way,” says Dr. Jesus Gomez, oral and maxillofacial surgeon at the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Medical Center.

Marlie’s condition is very rare and has led her to live a secluded life. She does not attend school but looks forward to one day attending after her medical care has been completed. Marlie also wants to grow up to be a successful cook and artist in her hometown of Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

“It has been an amazing journey to watch Marlie grow over the past few years. She is a true source of inspiration and strength as she goes through surgeries and recovery with the hopes of one day living a normal life,” says Janelle Prieto, Director of IKF. “We are dedicated to helping her live out that dream, and hope that the community will rally behind us in helping to make that dream come true.”

How to help

Those interested in making a tax-deductible donation for Marlie can mail a check or money order payable to the International Kids Fund at the address below. Please include “Marlie Casseus” in the subject line of the check or money order in order to ensure credit to the appropriate account:

International Kids Fund
Re: Marlie Casseus
P.O. Box 2020
Miami, FL 33101
Toll Free: 1-877-IKF-KIDS (1-877-453-5437)

Donations can also be made online by visiting www.internationalkidsfund.org. For further information, potential donors also may write to info@internationalkidsfund.org.

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