by Maria Kathrina Lopez Yarza
April 2, 2012
I feel sad whenever I see sick children. In many ways, I feel thankful because even though I am sick and weak right now, I was able to enjoy my childhood, and I was given the chance to live a normal life until I turned 22.
I feel sad because those sick kids have no idea how fun it is to have a childhood that is ‘normal’ according to how society defines it.
I could have been in their situation and I owe it to these children that I am able to count my blessings. The sight of them humbles me and stirs up the compassion within me.
I recently learned about Rhym Jhamelca Dahan’s condition and my heart broke into pieces.
Ramel and Mary Jane were blessed with a healthy baby girl on April 7, 2008. They named her Rhym Jamelca or RJ. She was not healthy. At two months, RJ would have liquids oozing out of her nose. It was discovered that RJ had a cleft palate. At four months old, RJ started having chest bone and back bone deformation.
RJ is now four years old and her family has no means to support the medical expenses that would be incurred in order to correct the deformed bone structure through orthopedic procedures. RJ suffers pain in silence, not being able to speak well. She stands barely two feet in height.
RJ is also asthmatic, and often has difficulty breathing. Her father, Ramel Dahan, works as a casual employee at a manufacturing factory in Marilao, Bulacan, while her mother, Mary Jane, stays at home and takes care of RJ and her two-year old son.
Ramel and Mary Jane could not bear to see their daughter suffer. They had tried seeking assistance, but to no avail. RJ needs to see an orthopedic doctor for diagnosis and corrective procedures. She also needs to undergo surgery for her cleft palate. RJ, I believe, deserves a normal, happy, and healthy childhood. Together with the Dahan family, I seek your help. Please extend your helping hands and generous hearts for Rhym Jamelca P. Dahan. You may send me a message for any form of assistance for RJ at email@example.com. The Dahan family currently resides at Brgy. Kaypian, San Jose del Monte, Bulacan.
Tita Aileen Viray
In 2009, my family and I went to PGH to visit Tita Aileen Viray who underwent operations for the removal of nasopharyngeal malignant tumors. I told her “You can Tita, I can, WE CAN.” And she replied, “Yes, we can do this. God is using us to be His instruments in helping others and in bringing them closer to Him. He won’t forsake us.” I agree without any shadow of a doubt.
In 2005, Tita Aileen was first diagnosed with Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma (NPC) with Intracranial Extensions, or commonly known as malignant cancer of the nasopharynx. The cancer cells were very near the brain. She underwent linear accelerator radiotherapy and concurrent chemotherapy. In 2006, she underwent cervical lymph node biopsy which revealed metastatic undifferentiated carcinoma. No further treatment was done for the funds were nil, until December 2010 when she underwent debulking and bilateral neck dissection for cervical nodal metastases. Through her strength and faith, Tita Aileen survived the ordeal. Two years later, the disease recurred.
At present, she suffers from residual and recurrent disease involving the left neck, temporal bone, and periparotid area. Tita Aileen is facing a life-threatening illness. She has been bedridden, and her condition has debilitated to the point that she cannot ingest any solid foods anymore. Her meals for sustenance are six cups of Ensure milk daily. She is currently taking pain management pills, local wound care, antibiotic coverage, and palliatic care to relieve her pains and suffering.
Tita Aileen is in dire need of two things - Ensure milk to keep her physically sustained, and financial assistance for her pain management pills and antibiotics to keep her sane from the harsh pains she suffers from.
I reach out to you to help her and to include her in your prayers. Send a message of hope and encouragement at 0920-9083284; donation in kind (Ensure milk), or financial assistance may be coursed through her son, Aaron Viray at 0906-5225443.
In the Bible, Jesus always reminds us: “Love your neighbors as you love yourself.” Our Lord does not only refer to the people who live within our reach, but to all mankind, anywhere and everywhere, and even to our enemies. Aside from being responsible beings to ourselves, we also have a responsibility towards one another, bearing each other’s burdens, offering prayers of hope, strength, and faith to the needy, and relieving the pains and sufferings of those who are in pain.
“And if you do this, you will live,” said Jesus Christ.
And that is the reason why it feels so good to help others.
My compassion for sick children has greatly influenced my decision to hold gift-giving events during my birthdays. This started six years ago. Since then, we have given happiness to sick children at the Pedia Charity Wards, Pedia ICU, and the Neurosurgery and Spine Surgery Wards of the Philippine General Hospital (PGH). Please visit my website I AM KCAT for more details of the upcoming gift-giving event.
As I write this article, I think about what compassion is about. Not limited to sick and disabled children, but to everyone who is sick and feels hopelessness, my heart reaches out to them, and I would want them to know that for as long as there is life pulsating in our weak and ailing bodies, there is always hope. I am a living testimony to that. And I share the strength, the faith, and the undying hope to you.
† Tita Aileen Sempio-Viray (pictured on the right) passed way on July 28, 202. Rest in Peace Tita Aileen. †