I am the one on the picture. My name is Carlos Manuel Riofrío and I am 13 years old. I’m here to tell you my story…

I live with my family in Divino Niño, a small rural area of the Yamana parish, in the Paltas canton, Loja province, very close to the border with Peru. Some years ago to reach Quito by bus, it used to take more than 16 hours. Now the roads are better and the trip takes 12 hours.

Mom was pregnant with my sister Maribel when Dad died. I was only 4 years old, but I still understood what the pain was because of Mom’s tears. We are eight brothers and sisters: Angel of 19, Mauricio of 17, María del Carmen of 12 and Maribel of 9 years. Before us, my mother had two other children: Luis Ramiro, who is now 30 years old and Alexandra, 26 years old. They no longer live with us.

When Dad died, we did not know what his illness was, but  few months later, when my sister Karina also became ill, the doctors in Quito told us that in our blood was running a congenital disease causing Chronical Renal Failure, which means an irreversible and progressive loss of our renal function.

At our age, without proper treatment, we may need dialysis and, ultimately, a kidney transplant. This happened to Karina who, despite the treatments she received, died at the age of 15. My sister Alexandra says that she died because she was late for a dialysis session. That is why we should never neglect the recommendations of doctors.

Also my sister María del Carmen receives help from Fundación Nahuel. In the past my brothers Angel, Mauricio and Maribel had problems with kidney stones, and now they are healthy.

On the other hand, my little sister María del Carmen and I cannot say the same thing. Renal insufficiency and medicines have produced on us some undesirable effects, including an irreversible process of deafness.

Doctors are confident that we should not resort to dialysis and that we will gradually improving our quality of life.

I always tell my sister to be confident and to have hope. We must trust in the Nahuel program of Small Emerging Grants, PAE and in the donations that people with a good heart can do.

Since the death of Papa and Karina, I am afraid to dream, but I know I cannot lose hope. My little sisters ask me many things and I tell them not to worry, that we will all be well. That I will be a teacher of mathematics at school and that we will not have needs, although the truth is that sometimes Mom cannot give us all the school supplies that we are asked.

Fortunately we also have the support of Fundación Nahuel, through its scholarship program.

The truth is that we would like to have a better life, to be healthy and to be able to help our mother. Now we get very tired when we do something but we know that Nahuel is doing everything for our health and will not abandon us.

Life is beautiful and we love our friends in Yamana. We will never leave them. We want to thank the Foundation and all the friends who give us a hand. We will never disappoint you!