Bulacan cop helps raise funds for child with cancer
MANILA, Philippines – Fellow police honored a Bulacan town cop for helping raise funds for a child afflicted with cancer.
Police Regional Office 3 (PRO3) chief Chief Superintendent Amador Corpus lauded Police Officer 1 May Liezl dela Cruz of the San Rafael police station for her compassion, after learning that she helped raise funds for the chemotherapy of 8-year-old Geanna Catan, who was diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia in December 2017.
"This is one way of our police to give back to the people especially those who are in need. PO1 Dela Cruz is a good example that the men and women in uniform here in PRO3 are not only committed in protecting our people against lawlessness but also have compassionate hearts for the needy and the sick,” Corpus said in a statement.
San Fernando City police in Pampanga recognized Dela Cruz as their "Hero of the Day."
Dela Cruz, who is also registered nurse and a mother, sold face masks in her spare time and donated her earnings to Geanna.
The policewoman found out about the child and her condition after talking to a college classmate who is under treatment for breast cancer. She sympathized with the parents of the sick child, prompting her to extend any help that she could give.
"Ang unang pumasok sa isip ko is iyong anak ko na halos same age lang din [niya]. Naisip ko na mapalad ang anak ko na healthy at 'di nagkakasakit, kung gaano kahirap sa kalooban ng isang magulang ang makita ang isang anak na nahihirapan gaya no'n.'Yun lang naging batayan ko para tumulong," Dela Cruz said.
(The first thing that came to my mind is my child who's almost the same age. I thought that my child is lucky to be healthy and not sickly, how hard it is for the parents to see their child suffering. That's my only basis for helping.)
Dela Cruz sold medical face masks for P35 each to raise funds for the child's chemotherapy. She was able to sell 12 packs for a total of P420, which Dela Cruz said is the most she could do as as she could only sell during her breaks. (READ: Biker to ride 2,200 km for kids with cancer, other chronic illnesses)
High cost of cancer treatment
Cancer treatment does not come cheap and patients and their families are grateful for whatever financial assistance they receive.
In Geanna's case, she needs to undergo 6 cycles of chemotherapy. Each cycle involves a number of sessions, each costing between P5,000 to P9,000, depending on the cost of medicine and doctor’s fees, according to Geanna's mother, Isa Catan.
Isa said her daughter is on her second cycle.
Geanna's parents expressed their appreciation for Dela Cruz in a written note that they passed to the policewoman and other supporters of the family's own fundraising effort.
“Thank you for helping us in this fundraising through buying our products #geannawillfightcancer,” the note read.
Isa said their relatives and friends have also contributed to Geanna's treatment, but the medical bills continued to pile up. In the case of her daughter, she said, the treatment of her illness takes years, and would not stop after she completes chemotherapy.
“Ang gamutan po kasi ng leukemia is two to 3 years, at sa haba ng gamutan, mauubos at mauubos. Di lang din kasi chemo sessions ang gagastusan mo pati side effects na pagdadaanan ng bata kagaya ng lagnat at iba pang mga di inaasahan,” she said in a text message to Rappler.
(The treatment for leukemia takes two to 3 years, and because of the long period of treatment, the funds would get depleted. On top of spending for the chemotherapy sessions, [we] have to spend for the side effects that the child experiences like fever and other unexpected [side effects]). – Rappler.com
If you want to help support Geanna's medical expenses, you may share or donate through the #GeannaWillFightCancer GoFundMe campaign launched by her parents. Interested donors may also purchase face masks for their fundraising here.
Ken Leonardo is a Rappler intern. He is a journalism student at the University of the Philippines.