Aeza likes to cook and dreams of becoming a chef someday. She was of elementary school age when she first learned how to cook. When she was in high school, her teacher signed her up in a cooking competition in school and she finished in first place! The contest was held in the village square and the school put up cooking paraphernalia for each of the contestants. Aeza and her competitors cooked in front of an audience, and after half an hour, she presented her chicken curry which won her first prize.
Sadly, Aeza has a disorder; she has amenorrhea. Ten years ago, she had her first and only monthly period in her life. At first, her mother Dolores thought that she would be like their relative who did not have her monthly period until she was 18. Aeza however is 20 now. In June last year, she suddenly began experiencing intense abdominal pains and lost her appetite. It was like the end of the world for her, she later told me. Fortunately her mother thought of giving her a home remedy; a herbal drink made up mostly of lemon grass and this helped diminish her agony. Later on, her sister took her to an alternative medicine doctor who prescribed a herbal supplement for her. That was when things started to take a turn for the better.
Now 23, Aeza is taking on a new lease on life and is eager to pursue her dream again. Incidentally, the PSHF came to know about her through her younger sister Alfreda (17) whom we helped eight years ago. Alfreda was diagnosed with a rheumatic heart disease but has now recovered. It was during her older sister’s moments of distress that Alfreda remembered the PSHF and did not hesitate to contact us.
Aeza’s medical treatment (herbal as well as medical prescriptions, xrays, laboratory tests) has amounted to 13,000 pesos ($315). Dolores, her mother, is a mere sugarcane farm worker and there is no way that she could raise this amount of money. Aside from paying for her medical bills, the PSHF would also like to help Aeza enroll in a vocational school to take a three-month culinary course which will equip her to work in a restaurant or hotel someday. The tuition fee, uniforms, lodging and pocket money will amount to a further 13,000 pesos. Aeza will be most happy when she learns that she will be able to achieve her dream after all.
Bernadette G. Togado
PSHF Negros Occidental
Dolores (mother) and Aeza Roylan outside the PSHF office in Bacolod.