Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Outreach to Donna

Northeast America was recently pummeled by Hurricane Sandy.  New York and New Jersey continue to suffer greatly.  According to Reuters:
"At least 121 people have perished in the storm, which caused an estimated $50 billion in property damage and economic losses and ranks as on of the most destructive natural disasters to hit the U.S. Northeast."
People from as far as California have left their hometowns to help those devastated by the storm.  When I hear about these acts of love & compassion, I am reminded about what ties many of us Americans together - our citizenship as Americans.    I am also reminded of how little my personal challenges in life are compared to the thousands in the Northeast.  With all of the havoc Sandy has caused, it's hard to think about others in need elsewhere.

Well, just this evening I received a message from a fellow writer/blogger, Christian Aligo, back home in the Philippines about a young lady in need.  I didn't take it seriously at first.  In fact, my knee-jerk reaction was to dismiss it because it seems like everyone is in need these days.  Then I read the post he wrote and suddenly I felt like a Californian wanting to help a New Yorker thousands of miles away.

I say this because she happens to be Igorot, and her family is from Guinzadan, Bauko, Mountain Province in the Philippines; the same place my parents and relatives are from.  I don't know her or her family, but there's that sense of citizenship that compels me to write this hoping that it will reach others who are in a position to help this young lady.

Source: Christian Lizardo Aligo Blog

The name of the young lady is Donna Canuto Cuaresma, but rather than tell you about her myself, I will share what my friend Christian Aligo wrote about her in his blog post.  It reads:
"Donna Canuto Cuaresma, 20, was once a dance trainer of the youth in Isabela, Philippines. She was also president of a religious youth organization in her community.
"Donna was an active athlete in the field of dancing while high school," added Rufina Canuto Kilip, Donna's aunt, on crowd-sourcing site Indegogo. 
However her liveliness turned gray when she was diagnosed with Stage 5 Chronic Kidney disease secondary to Lupus Nephritis, an autoimmune disease that attacks normal body tissues.  The illness has already affected her heart, lungs, and kidneys.
Donna's kidneys have deteriorated and a transplant is needed to save her life.
She is having a regular dialysis at St. John Biocare and at the Dialysis Center in Quezon City.  She also does workups for the needed transplant at the National Kidney and Transplant Institute.
According to her aunt, Donna is undergoing dialysis three times a week and each session costs P3, 400 [$82.67].  Moreover, she needs P20,500/month [$498.48] for her medicines.  For her kidney transplant, she needs at least P150,000 [$3647.41]. 
Donna's mother Maximina Babtoog Canuto-Cuaresma is originally from Bagnen and Guinsadan, Bauko, Mountain Province.  She teaches at Quezon Public High School.
"We have spent all our savings and not to mention of the number of debts we have, shared Rugina who manages the online fund-raising event.  We also solicited financial help from friends and relatives."
In an update posted November 12, rufina narrated that "Her sister is the one with her now in the hospital to look after her while it's her school semestrar break for her mom is going back to work starting today.  When Donna's sister goes back to school next week, their dad will take over to look after her."
I come to knock at the door of people with open heart to give," appeals Rufina. 
For more information, including where to send financial support, please go directly to Christian Lizardo Aligo's original blog post at:  http://goo.gl/Qy2J9

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