Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Help save His masterpieces
By Maria Katrina Lopez Yarza
Published: April 29, 2013
The Lord is not slow to keep His promise. He is not slow in the way some people understand it. He is patient with you. He doesn’t want anyone to be destroyed. Instead, He wants all people to turn away from their sins.” - 2 Peter 3:9
Gilda Fotunata Altez, whom everyone calls “Mommy G,” is one of the 10 finalists of the 2012 CLIS Search for Happiest Pinoy. She established “A Voice in A Storm,” a counseling advocacy group that helps married couples and families regain broken trust and respect and renew their marriage.
This advocacy aims to reach out and open hearts to those who are not understood by their loved ones whom they have hurt, including those who are poor, abandoned, helpless, and unloved.
“Each marriage and family has their own drama caused by pains due to various reasons. For as long as they are willing to understand, sacrifice and show their undying love, differences in their relationships will be worked out, and reconciliation and forgiveness would be realized,” she shares. She makes sure that God is the center of every relationship.
Mommy G is also the CEO and president of World Letters Assurance Society Inc. (WLASI), a non-government organization (NGO) that pushes for environmental protection and teaches about the ill-effects of global warming and climate change.
Last month, Mommy G and some volunteers went uphill to the mountains of Ampusongan, Kayapa, Bakun, and Benguet to hold their second “Tsinelas, Pagkain at Karunungan tungkol sa Kalikasan para sa Kabataan” outreach project spearheaded by WLASI in partnership with A Voice In the Storm.
The group was able to reach out to 600 less fortunate children and parents. It was an exhausting trip going up and down the hills of Kayapa, Benguet. “We didn’t mind the exhaustion because all our minds, bodies and hearts were all focused on bringing happiness,” Mommy G says.
They distributed food, toys, slippers, and clothes and educated them at the same time on how to save Mother Earth.
“We teach the children values formation. We also believe that keeping the environment clean and healthy must start at home. This will probably lead them to the right direction in preserving the sanctity of the family through love, respect, trust and cooperation,” she explains.
Mommy G aims to spread this advocacy not only within the country but globally as well and vows to continuously teach and encourage today’s younger generation to be stewards of the environment.
On July 27, Mommy G and other Happiest Pinoy co-finalists Marcelo Otinguey and Connie Tababa will hold the third Tsinelas, Pagkain at Karunungan project at Tubungan, Iloilo. For those who want to join or become a volunteer, you may call her at 621-6449 or 0928-2771847.
Our Mother Earth is not the only one that needs to be saved but the life of many as well. Iko Cuenco is one of those.
Six years after their daughter Ria was born, Iyna and Nikkolai were blessed with a baby boy on August 1, 2012. They named him Iko Lyle Erin Cuenco. The family was so happy with Iko’s arrival but three weeks after he was born, he got sick of jaundice. Iko’s skin and the white of his eyes were turning yellowish. After a couple of lab tests, he was immediately diagnosed with Biliary Atresia – a rare and fatal congenital liver disease in newborns where the bile duct between the liver and small intestine is blocked or absent, and is unable to function. This disease affects one in 15,000 live births and the only effective treatments are Kasai procedure (short-term treatment) and liver transplant (long-term treatment).
On his sixth week, Iko underwent Kasai procedure, an operation which attempts to reconstruct the bile duct with a loop of intestine. While it allows some children to return to normal growth and activities, most patients with the disease will still eventually need a liver transplant. Two months after Iko’s surgery, it was found out that there is an inflammation on his right abdomen due to liver complication. He was rushed to the hospital almost every week to get immediate treatment like blood transfusion, transferring of albumin and other immediate medications. At present, his immune system is getting weaker by the day and needs to undergo a liver transplant at the soonest possible time as to save his life. Iko needs to have the transplant in Chang Gung Hospital in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, where the survival rate is 97 percent. But the procedure costs about four million pesos.
According to his doctors, he needs to be operated on before he turns a year old. Seeing how Iko is fighting despite his physical appearance and weak condition, his family are motivated to keep going and help in whatever way they can. His parents recently set up a fundraising drive, selling the “SAVE a life, Save little Iko” shirt they designed themselves for R300 each. They also did a garage sale, and a house-to-house activity within their area, asking people to fill their cans and bottles with monetary donations. Their group of friends organized a benefit show for Iko last April 23 in Quezon City. This coming May 1, another show will be held at The Library Comedy Bar in Malate.
His mom Iyna also continues to pray for help. “Papa God, we thank you for Iko. We are so blessed to have a handsome, adorable and a loving baby boy. But you know his condition, you know that he is terribly ill right now. Please pour out your mercy upon him. There is nothing impossible with you.”
Those who`d like to help Iko may call Iyna Quintain at 09051718311 and visit Iko’s page on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/savelittleiko.
In the Bible, Noah was able to save to save God’s precious creations because of his faith. He trusted and listened to God without hesitation. Let us be like Noah and save God’s masterpieces. God loves everything that He has created. He always has a rescue plan, we just need to listen and trust in Him.