The Mama Yangjee Medical Fund


Mama Yangjee at her home before the great Nepali earthquake of 2015

My mother-in-law, Yangjee Sherpa, is an elderly woman from the tiny village of Lukla (near Mt. Everest) in Nepal. Her home was destroyed in the second of the two deadly earthquakes that hit Nepal on April 25th and May 12th in 2015. Two other homes in our family were devastated as well. You can read more about the earthquake that devastated Lukla on the school fundraising website:

When school is in session Mama Yangjee (as she is called), works as a volunteer to cook for the 55 children that Dawa is caring for and educating as he rebuilds.


Mama Yangjee feeding the orphans and other children she and her son Dawa are taking care as the HEBS school is rebuilt.

While the HEBS school is closed for winter break, she got a special opportunity from the US government to come to stay with my wife, daughter, and me in San Diego to escape the difficult Himalayan winter in Nepal.


Mama Yangjee with her daughter and granddaughter in San Diego.

Three weeks into her visit to the States, she mentioned that while in Lukla a sore appeared on her foot from the cold and dryness. Her foot was starting to hurt. She didn’t want to inconvenience anyone, so she kept quiet for weeks in our California home until she could no longer walk.

I rushed her to the emergency room and after many tests she was sent to see Dr. Shinko Lin. Dr. Lin took a biopsy. Mama Yangjee has a large 3 cm melanoma with a depth of at least 4.5 mm. It is cancerous, advanced and will quickly spread to the rest of her body.

The doctor emphasized it was a very advanced case of this cancer and she needs surgery, a sentinel lymph node biopsy, and further oncological evaluation and care within two weeks or the results will probably be fatal.

Since Mama Yangjee is not a US citizen or resident, she does not quality for any medical insurance or assistance programs. Surgery and oncology on a cash basis is very expensive.

It has been over 3 weeks since her biopsy. Dr. Lin and I been working very hard to find highly discounted rates from local hospitals and some pro bono care from a surgeon, an oncologist and an anesthesiologist. We also have leads on discounts for other medical services and medications that she will need to save her life.

Dawa has already donated much of the family land in Nepal to build the HEBS school in Lukla. He recently sold what he could of the remaining family land for his mother’s medical care in the States. My wife and I have reached deep into our savings, but even these efforts are not enough for the remaining money that will be needed to pay for the costs of Mama Yangjee’s medical needs

Any help you could provide would be greatly appreciated. As the cancer is spreading fast, time is limited.

Contributions can be made via Cloud Forest Institute, a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation that will provide you with the paperwork needed for a tax-deductible donation. You can make a donation here


Mike Salomon
Director, SherpaCares