ALMOST quietly but consistently, a small foundation established in 2004 by an Igorot expatriate in southern Germany, has been reaching out to the sick and needy, mostly kidney patients continuously being pressed to sustain their twice- or thrice-a-week hemodialysis treatment to survive.

"I've been asked repeatedly how many of those we've been helping have been freed of their disease, and it's difficult to answer, given that hemodialysis treatment is for a life-time," Julian Chees, a former world karate champion and head of Shoshin Kinderhilfe Foundation, said.

"Still, it's more difficult to limit our support only to patients suffering from early stages of cancer and other ailments that can be cured after sometime, as those undergoing hemodialysis need help with greater urgency than those afflicted with other ailments," he said.

From January last year to April this year, Julian Chees-Shoshin Kinderhilfe sent a total of PP380,193.26 that was disbursed to kidney and other patients in Baguio and other parts of the Cordillera.

Among those supported by the fund within that 16-month period were dialysis patients Marilou Matias of Villasis, Pangasinan, Jocelyn Laigo of Burgos, La Union, Sharon Dalida of Ambiong, La Trinidad, Benguet; James Belinan of Kapangan, Benguet; Ferdinande Dumol of Banaue, Ifugao; Russell Solinto of Camp 6, Tuba, Benguet; Leah Lyn Talangan of Talubin, Bontoc, Mt. Province; Shaly Cris Banas of Ilocos Sur; Jennier Payoyo of Palawan; Edward Magat, Belinda Allosa; Quakelyn Lisayen, Amor Orpilla, Grace Bango; Mary Grace Binay-an; Edwin Bagano; Agustin Gayao; Norman Balog-ang; Nancy Ayson; Chester Raga; Robert Nabus; and Leonard Nalos.

Bulk of the support to them was for payment their four-hour dialysis session at the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center, with the rest for the cost of blood transfusion or injections to avoid complications.

Serving 192 end-stage kidney patients as of last week, the BGHMC has drawn the most number because it charges the lowest, pegged at P2,200 per treatment session.

Other patients helped through the fund include heart patient Irene Farocanag (P10,000 worth of medicines), 15-year old Arabella Maranes who is fighting Ewing’s sarcoma (P12,500); toddler Dhea Rose Kitongan who is suffering from hydrocephaly (P22,250) cancer patient Adonis Togana (P5,500), former boxer Jerry Uyan who was crippled due to a fall and his wife who was suffering from breast cancer (P12,000); heart patient Crisly Anayasan; and baby Christine Joy Mat-ag for her surgery for hydrocephaly (P6,000).

In previous years, Shoshin had expended some P3 million for indigent patients and other needy people, among them Cherry Anne Realina, a 15-year old girl who was orphaned when her father Andres, a security guard at the Busol Watershed, was killed by a tree that fell at the height of a typhoon in 2010.

Shoshin, roughly translated “Beginner’s Mind”, is also the name of the traditional karate school Chees put up when he retired from the German national team in 1993, the year he topped the kata event in the World Shotokan Championships in Saarsbrucken, Germany.

Only last December, Chees, a native of Maligcong, Bontoc, Mt. Province and the only non-German by birth to have been drafted into the German national traditional karate team, headed a three-man relief mission that distributed about P1 million in cash and rice to residents of Dumalag and Tapaz towns in Capiz Province which were devastated by super-typhoon Yolanda (Hainan).

The relief effort was triggered by Chees’ appeal to his fans, friends and martial arts students who responded, after which the mission arranged with linemen of the Benguet Electric Cooperative who were fielded to help restore Capiz’s electric system.

Coming home from the out-reach, he coursed P100,000 to the typhoon relief operation of the Baguio Midland Courier. (Ramon Dacawi)