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Stand Up for Life
Friday, January 14, 2011
(This corner is meant for all the NGOs out there which rarely make the headlines)
IT'S New Year again! Whenever a new year comes wishes also echo in the air.
For single women, one wish that will never be missed would be to be blessed with lifetime partner who'll be loyal, faithful, loving, and caring every minute everyday until our last breath together.
Sounds corny for some and impossible to many but as long as we live and hope, a wishful thought could become a reality.
If there's one love story that I admire most, that is the story of my good friend Dory Espiritu who is now in her twilight years.
I met Dory when she appeared as guest in my then talk show program "Oh Really" at MSC TV. She is a survivor of breast cancer but now she's facing a new battle, surviving a renal failure. From all these trials in her life that include of not being blessed with a child still her husband Ike Espiritu was always there by her side.
But this isn't about Ike. This is about Dory's labor of love - a group dedicated to bringing hope to hundreds of sufferers out there.
Labor of Hope Foundation founder Dory said the pain and agony of suffering a kidney failure is a woe. But she is not the type of woman who is going to give up. She bravely said she will stand up and will continue to serve the needy in Baguio and Benguet most especially the deprived children who are hoping for better life with good values as their guide.
She was then on vacation in the U.S. where she worked for more than three decades as a nurse when she learned about her new illness. In one event that she attended there, she suddenly fainted and when she came back to her senses she was already in a hospital.
Despite being sick she and her husband Ike, decided to go back home in Baguio City if I'm not mistaken just two years back. She went for three times a week and 3 to four hours dialysis per session at SLU hospital. The practical treatment for renal failure is painful she said and expensive too. If not for her US Healthcare, she will not be able to sustain her therapy. This kind of problem she said including the need for healthcare program should be given priority by the government to help those who cannot afford to go to the hospital.
While the treatment is doing her good, admittedly she is no longer as strong as before to be able to give full attention to her foundation which she started with the full and endless support of Ike. That's the reason why she tapped her friend Isabel Lagman to lead Labor of Love. With Isabel, Dory is confident the foundation she founded will continue to soar high in fulfilling its mission.
Labor of Love is a small group of retired ladies mostly nurses who volunteered to assist the Operation Canadian Rainbow, Canadian Health Team that performed a cleft palate surgery at Benguet General Hospital in year 2002. The group wanted to continue what they started so they put up their own Health Mission and named themselves the Ladies Outreach Brigade in 2003. In October of the same year, they changed their name to Ladies Outreach Labor of Love Foundation, Inc. In 2007, the many news regarding the corruption and dishonesty in the country prompted this group to change gear and focus its mission for the young generation. Today, their mission is to teach & strengthen family values, reach out to young children and their mothers, and teach good character and values. Joining Lagman as officers of Labor of Love are Emilia B. Hamada as Vice President, Juanita D. Ibis, Secretary; Marjorie P. Pelaez, Assistant Secretary; Adeline O. Lumbian, Treasurer, and Vernacita K. Occidental, Assistant Treasurer.
Dory and Ike relationship may not always be a bed of roses but what matters most is that they were able to hurdle all the test of time. Last November they went back in the US for Dory's treatment but expected to come back home on February to witness the 2011 Panagbenga celebration.
Let's hope for the best this New Year!
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on January 15, 2011.