Leukemia-Stricken Kids Lean on Donors’ Shoulders
May 9, 2015
Members of the Baguio chapter of the Veterans of Foreign Wars are shoulder to shoulder with a five-year old girl in her protracted battle against acute lymphocytic leukemia, a cancer that does not take on victims of its size.
Thanks to the veterans’ instant pass-the hat during their induction of officers last April 16, Mordayne Naslangan, a farmer couple from Sinto, Bauko, Mt. Province is assured of her eighth chemotherapy session on May 18 at the Baguio General Hospital here.
“We will need about P5,000 for the laboratory and drugs needed for her treatment that day, and we were praying that we would receive response to our plea for fund support before that day,” the girl’s mother, Domarlyn said last Wednesday.
Under financial stress after her eldest of three children pulled through seven chemo sessions, Domarlyn expressed relief when told the veterans led by out-going and incoming post commanders Larry Senato and Willy Totanes will shoulder the amount.
Bob Aliping, a member of the veterans group, mostly retirees from the United States Navy, triggered the spontaneous fund drive when he offered a copy of his “Boba Songs”, a collection of his original folk and country compositions, saying any amount in exchange would be used for a medical mission.
Aliping earlier distributed his CD to fellow expatriates in San Diego, California, collecting $1,300 for Quakelyn Lisayen, a 24-year old former rescue volunteer working out an organ transplant for kidney failure.
Out-going post commander Larry Senato took the drift, contributing $100. Incoming commander Willy Totanes matched the amount. The members took on for a total of P25,400 that Aliping said would prop up financially distressed patients.
Of the fund, P4,139.28 was used last Tuesday to purchase insulin and medicines for Helen Ballesteros-Vicente, a 61-year old widow with nine children and no means of income who has been suffering from diabetes for 19 years now.
Vicente, who lost her husband to kidney ailment, and one of her sons, a paraplegic, were taken in by another widow and friend, Maria Paz “Datsu” Infante- Molintas in the latter’s home in Tubao, La Union. Molintas herself single-handedly raised her four sons when her husband, Mike, a pony boy at the Wright Park, died in 1997.
Another beneficiary of the veterans’ fund was a 31-year old former security guard who is trying to cope with mental illness, busying himself selling “balut” here after spending two years at the National Mental Hospital in Mandaluyong.
“When my condition improved, I was allowed to go home from Mandaluyong,” he explained last week, adding he needed some clothes to be presentable while moving around peddling duck eggs.
A volunteer led him to a “wagwagan” shop and later to a department store, later giving him what was left of the P500 budget from the veteran’ fund.
There are other generous souls out there, five of whom pooled P27,000 for 18- month old Raciala Chloe Pa-ay who, like Mordayne, is also battling leukemia.
Days after the baby’s mother, Ginalyn, made an appeal through the local weeklies, an anonymous donor met her at the Baguio Cathedral and handed over P10,000. A government official matched the amount while a certain Peter and another contributed P1,000 each before Ramon Tagle added P5,000./Ramon Dacawi.