MIAMI (WSVN) — A 7-month-old baby needs urgent surgery to correct a birth defect that will have an impact on her ability to live a normal life if not treated immediately.

Wideberla Pierre was born in Haiti with a large mass under her left arm and side. She was diagnosed with congenital lymphangioma, a malformation of the lymphatic vessels that produces an abnormal growth.

The infant’s mother said the cantaloupe-sized, non-cancerous tumor prevents her daughter from sitting up for very long. “This is my first child,” said Rosenie Michel through a translator. “Seeing everything that’s going on with my daughter, even when I’m trying to give her a bath, is so hard. If someone would help me, it would make me so happy.”

If the large mass is not removed in time it will prevent the infant from being able to walk, stand or even crawl. According to experts, the growth can also cause other skin problems that could lead to infection and cause severe health complications. “Burden’s on the heart, which potentially could result in heart failure, or may have basic implications as far as her pulmonary status and her breathing goes,” said Dr. Morad Askari, a plastic and reconstructive surgeon.

Wideberla’s mass was apparent since the day she was born. Michel took her daughter to the Dominican Republic so she could receive treatment. They were turned away, informing Michel her baby would die within two days.

The infant survived, thanks in part to guardian angels from the Miami Beach Community Health Center who helped ensure she was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital, so she might receive the medical treatment she needs.

Unfortunately, because Wideberla is not a U.S. resident, public funds cannot be used to pay for her surgery, which costs $95,000. “I only want what’s best for my daughter, and I hope people can help me because I can’t afford to pay for the surgery,” said Michel.

The International Kids Fund’s Wonderfund, a program of the Jackson Memorial Foundation, is calling upon the South Florida community to help raise $95,000 for her surgery. “Faith and hope,” said Miami Beach Community Health Center spokesperson Anna Pierre as she encouraged people to donate money. “I know the community will do what’s needed to help her go through this, have the surgery [so she can] walk [and] become a normal kid.”

People interested in making a donation can mail a check or money order made out to IKF’s Wonderfund with a memo indicating Wideberla’s name:

IKF’s Wonderfund

Re: Wideberla Pierre

P.O. Box 2020

Miami, FL 33101

Or by calling 1-877-453-5437

It is very important to include “Wideberla Pierre” on the check or money order in order to credit her account properly.

Donations can also be made online by visiting

(Copyright 2013 by Sunbeam Television Corp. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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