Surviving on empty-A A +A
By Ramon Dacawi
Saturday, August 11, 2012
AFTER figuring out the costs for the long haul, a public school teacher found herself with no choice but to go public about her grim battle against breast cancer. She’s keeping her fingers crossed Samaritans out there would respond and prop her up in her four remaining chemotherapy sessions.
Magdalena Osias, 46, will have her third of six chemo rounds this Monday, sending her husband Primo, a retired soldier, scrounging for funds to cover the cost pegged at P20,000 per session.
Her fight, began last January after the biopsy, is definitely for family. The couple has Pamela, 5, in kindergarten; Paulyn May, 14, in second year high school; Melvin Philip, 16, in senior high. Marilyn, the eldest at 18, is a sophomore in Bachelor of Science in biology at the St. Louis University.
Social worker Ana Codley wrote that the couple met in 1990 at the Philippine Military Academy where Primo was then assigned as an enlisted man. Magdalena, a native of Natonin, Mt. Province, was smitten by the soldier from neighboring Barlig town, same province, while she was teaching at the Golden Heart Pre-School inside the PMA.
After exchanging vows in 1993, they rented a house in Kias and later slowly built their own at Pinesville, Fort del Pilar where they presently reside. To build the home, both took on loans, the repayment of which continues to whittle down her teacher’s monthly pay and his pension as a retired army master sergeant.
Until cancer struck, theirs was typical of an average or normal Filipino couple quietly pursuing dreams for family, making do even with seemingly unending financial woes.
“Life for the family went on smoothly until (Magdalena) was diagnosed (for) breast cancer early this year,” Codley wrote. “She was operated on and her right breast was removed. She was strongly recommended to undergo six cycles of chemotherapy.”
As the social worker noted, Magdalena’s hospitalization, surgery and initial two cycles of chemotherapy left the couple with no choice but to publicly appeal for support.
The medical outlook is, however, good. Magdalena’s condition, diagnosed as “invasive ductal carcinoma”, is still at Stage 2-B.
Samaritans out there can ring her up at cellphone number 09057721061 or visit the family at Block 22, Loty 8, Pinesville, Fort del Pilar, Baguio City. They may see her at the Fort del Pilar Elementary School where she teaches the fifth grade kids after she has recovered from her third chemotherapy this Monday.
Meanwhile, two gentle souls who requested anonymity had responded to another mother’s call for help to sustain her twice-a-week and life-time hemodialysis treatment for kidney failure.
Renal patient Milagros Tait, 57. was ecstatic when the aid of a government official handed her P10,000 last Monday morning. The amount will be good for five dialysis sessions. Make that six, as another career official added P2,200, the cost of one session at the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center.
She and several others are due to line up among hundreds of others from various parts of the country before dawn of August 22 at the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office in Quezon City. All hope to obtain guarantee letters notifying BGHMC to charge to PCSO eight or nine sessions for each patient.
The two officials’ reaching out to Tait also gave relief to Shoshin, a small foundation in southern Germany which has been extending support to indigent patients here since 2004. Shoshin, founded by former world karate champion Julian Chees, handled the cost of Tait’s dialysis the other week and used up its remaining funds here for dialysis patients Amor Orpilla and Mary Grace Binay-an and public school teacher Elenita Soriano who is battling cancer.
Also in dire straits is Sabino Adian, a 42-year old marginal vegetable farmer who is turning blind due to complications of diabetes.
With the aid of his wife, Mary Ann, he groped his way Tuesday to the renal center of the BGHMC for his twice-a-week dialysis treatment. Originally from Bambang, Nueva Vizcaya, the couple recently moved to Baguio, taken into the house of a pastor, after Sabino was diagnosed for kidney failure, also a complication of diabetes, and needed life-time dialysis treatment.
Until last Friday morning, Sabino and Mary Ann were at a loss on how to raise P2,2000 for his next dialysis session. Hoping against hope, they went to the BGHMC anyway and sat on the waiting bench outside the dialysis room, waiting for whatever sign.
Otherwise, Sabino was determined to skip treatment and survive the week-end on empty. Many other patients in such predicament now and then pass over, sometimes with dire consequences.
Shoshin learned and texted Mary Anne to have Sabino on the line of patients scheduled to be attached to the blood- cleansing machine that afternoon.
Readers who can pool P2,200 for Sabino’s next schedule on Tuesday or Friday may ring up Mary Ann at 09397288672.
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Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on August 11, 2012.