This proposal is written for Maria Mae Corciega, a two months old baby who is suffering from an inborn matured teratoma - a germ cell tumor that is the size of her head.
Maria Mae is the youngest child in a family of four children; the oldest is nine years old. Her parents are Maria (30), a homemaker, and Metodio (37), who drives a “trisikad”, a bicycle having a sidecar used to carry two passengers. A ten-hour working day would give him an average income of 85 pesos, which covers three rice meals, dried ﬁsh, sometimes with noodles or eggs. Home of the family is a one-room native house in Tubigon, a town in the northern part of Bohol island.
When Maria Mae was delivered, their doctor in one of the clinics in Tubigon told the couple that she needed to have further examination by a CT scan. They did not have money for this, so neighbors told them to ask for assistance through a local radio station, DYRD. They went to the radio station in the ﬁrst week of November and were able to have 6,000 pesos in donations from different people, enough to cover the cost of the CT scan. The diagnosis was a matured teratoma - a large encapsulated tumor that sometimes develops in females - and they were told that an urgent operation must be performed to remove the teratoma because it can become malignant. They were referred to a specialist in Vicente Sotto hospital in Cebu City, and the cost of the surgical procedure is 60,000 pesos.
With no other options, the couple resorted again to the DYRD radio station, asking for ﬁnancial help on the air. Ireen Ingles, our Bohol coordinator, heard this case in the evening of 28th December and it was still being broadcast the following morning. She felt the urgency of this situation and arranged to met the couple at the radio station. The last day of the call was in midafternoon on December 30, and by this time the funds raised amounted to 23,000 pesos (¥46,000). What was most noticeable was that most of the donors were people in the rank-and-ﬁle positions, such as security guards, gardeners, housemaids, and tricycle drivers.
Since the two days of baby Corciega’s fund raising was enough to pay only part of the cost for the medical surgery, PSHF is giving the couple 32,000 pesos and the rest will be requested from the PCSO - a charity ofﬁce that gives donations of 10,000 pesos (¥20,000)per recipient. Now that funds are available, Maria and Metodio are preparing to take Maria Mae to Cebu on the 2nd of January. The baby will then undergo a series of laboratory tests to determine her physical condition and to be able to set the date for her surgery.
When I saw Maria Mae, she did not seem bothered by her tumor, but for me it was already of a quite alarming size. What is more critical is that it can be malignant or cancerous if nothing is done about the baby’s condition. The Corciega family was in the ofﬁce when our founder, Richard Foster, arrived from Cebu, and we asked him whether we can help her with a grant; we were delighted when he approved. We look forward to seeing Maria Mae after the surgery, as we are sure that when the tumor is gone, she willlead a healthy and normal life in 2011 and onward.
Analyn T. Gallibot
This was taken when Maria Mae was only 2 months old before the tumor was removed.
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