Maricel was born in 1990 to a very poor family in Miranda, a ﬁshing community in the southern part of Negros Occidental. At a young age, she had the misfortune of experiencing a number of deaths in her family. She and her four siblings were all affected by malnutrition to varying degrees. Her older brother Jover and sister Jocelyn died of pneumonia within a year of each other in 2000 and 2001. Of the ﬁve children, Maricel and sisters Jocy and Joan survived but Jocy developed hunched back as a result of having had tuberculosis as a child. Maricel, too, developed a hump when she was 13 most probably because of tuberculosis too. Both parents died of tuberculosis; the children’s father Joseph in 2002 and their mother Virginia in 2010.
As a child, Maricel liked Pilipino, English and Science at school, and she had wanted to become a cook in a restaurant when she grew up. When she was 16 however, after she had ﬁnished her second year in high school, she decided to quit school and work as a domestic helper in Bacolod; her father had just died and her mother struggled to support the family. She worked for the same employer in Bacolod for many years until she got sick in October 2012. She returned to Miranda to live with her sister, Jocy who took care of her and provided for her daily needs.
On November 5, 2012 Maricel was rushed to the hospital in Valladolid, because she had a high fever and she was having seizures. She had two laboratory tests and on the sixth day she had a blood transfusion. She needed money for her medication and she was advised to have follow-up check-ups in Bacolod City particularly for an open sore on the lower left side of her back. She came to the PSHF to seek our assistance and on November 29 and December 14, she had check-ups. The results showed that she had tuberculosis of the bone, speciﬁcally the spine and she will need to undergo one year of treatment. Last month, she was referred to a surgeon to have an operation to drain the pus that has been collecting in her spine.
We in the PSHF would like to assist Maricel with a grant of 30,000 pesos to cover the expenses of her operation, medication, and treatment. Maricel has experienced so much deprivation and loss in life; we are eager to give her a brighter future and the opportunity to regain her health.
Glitter H. Moreño and Lanie M. De Leon
PSHF Negros Occidental
Maricel in the small garden of PSHF Bacolod.