Martha Anahí

Martha Anahi Arce Leree was born on July 29, 1998.  She is now 12 years old.   She is the daughter or Ramon Arce Arce and Gloria Leree Arce.   She has 2 brotheMartha Anahirs, Ivan and Jorge. The family lives in the Sierra de San Francisco in Baja California Sur at Rancho Guadalupe. This range contains one of the greatest collections of pre-historic rock art in the world. Her father occasionally works as a guide taking visitors to the rock art sites. During the rest of the year, he tends goats and some cattle. The mountain range is extremely beautiful but very rugged. The area regularly suffers from droughts lasting up to 5 years.  Life is difficult but the mountain people persevere. They are as Harry Crosby said, The last of the Californios determined to doing the best they can to provide for their families.

We first met Martha; she could not hear or talk.  She was about 4 years old.  She suffered from a severe head infection that had to be treated with antibiotics.  She was then fitted with hearing aids.  She is now in school albeit a little behind the other children.  She can now hear and talk. A number of individuals and groups have helped Martha over the years supplying her with new hearing aids and batteries.  While being treated for her hearing, it was also discovered that she had a heart murmur.   This turned out to be an opening between the left and right upper chambers of her heart known as an Atrial Septal Defect. She was monitored for some time in hope that the opening would close naturally.   Surgery was done successfully on June 10, 2005 by a team of doctors at Centro Medico Del Prado in Tijuana.  The team was led by Dr. Abraham Rothman along with Dra. Patricia Aubanel and Dra. Azucena Murillo.

 Her family has had its share of difficulties. The oldest son, Ivan has suffered from symptoms originally believed to be similar to Guillan-Barre. This is neurological disease. Ivan was very bright and going to school but still walked with a very stilted style due to serious ankle problems. He has been receiving some treatments in La Paz for this.   An effort was made to get him seen by the Shriners in Tijuana.  They accepted him for surgery.   There were a number of problems with his paperwork that delayed him getting a passport and visa.   Finally with the help of other charitable organizations, he finally made it to the Shriners Hospital in Los Angeles.   Our thanks go out to Amigos de Los Californios who helped Ivan clear the final hurdle.   His surgery was successful and he walking virtually normally.  He participates in sports and is now going to school in San Ignacio.  

Martha’s other brother, Jorge is autistic. The boy seems alert and seems to understand some of the parent's signals and instructions. There are limited opportunities in Baja California Sur to help him. He is already 13 years old. The stress or taking care of all 3 children with problems would be enough to tax any family especially one in an isolated area such as the Sierra de San Francisco.   They have survived and beaten the odds. Both Ivan and Martha can look forward to happy and productive lives. Commitment is happy to have been able to help.

Martha and Brothers                                            Martha's Family

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