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Third chemo up for mother of four

As in her second chemotherapy session, Veronica Sallayao-Bitaga, a 56-year old mother of four from Pucsusan Barangay here, has to depend on Samaritans for her third treatment set on June 6 at the SLU Hospital of the Sacred Heart here.
A couple recently called up her daughter, Verolyn, asking that they meet at the city social welfare and development office at Upper Session Road. There, the pair handed her P20,000 for her mother’s treatment.
They declined to be identified, saying they just wanted to help.
Earlier, St. Joseph Church at Pacdal, through Fr. Filemon William, contributed P20,000, Another anonymous donor delivered P5,000 while Veronica was in the hospital for her second session. Still another advised that an equal amount be picked up inside a restaurant along Session Rd., Baguio’s main street.
Veronica, a native of Buguias, Benguet, pulled through her second chemo session last May 11, thanks to pooled support of P10,000 from karate teacher Julian Chees of Shoshin Foundation based in southern Germany; P5,000 from the medical fund of Senator Francisco Pangilinan; P9,000 from Pucsusan residents led by punong barangay Bon Mendoza; and P1,000 each from a vehicle shop owner and a donor from Kabayan, Benguet.
Veronica’s family had been drained by a series of surgeries she underwent over the years and just before her first chemotherapy last April.
She had gone under the knife for the removal of her ovaries due to tumor, appendix and gall bladder, aside from a Caesarian section when she delivered her twins – Elizabeth and Elvira . Surgeons opened her up again after the cancer diagnosis last February.
“She cried when the biopsy results came,” recalled her husband, Eduardo, a construction worker, “We were then given three treatment courses to choose from, and we picked the middle one in terms of costs.
The treatment protocol is pegged at P51,839 per session, excluding other medicines and hospitalization.
Social worker Myrna Valencerina, who prepared the social case study report, recommended that Verolyn be endorsed for a scholarship to enable her to continue her studies while the family figures out how to sustain her mother’s treatment.
Donors may ring up Eduardo’s number -0930590593 or visit the family at No. 5t0, Purok 3, Pucsusan, Baguio City.
Another woman grappling with the big C, 53-year old solo parent Amparo Rivera, recently returned home to Baguio from a 25-day radiation therapy for cancer of the cervix at the Lung Center in Quezon City.
Donors again led by Shoshin Foundation and the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office bankrolled her treatment while a Cordilleran manning a small eatery along East Avenue, Quezon City, provided her free board and lodging.
Rivera, a house caretaker with five children, had earlier undergone chemotherapy. Lack of finances delayed her radiation treatment, resulting in the advance of her illness from stage II to stage III.
Her son Ricky, a utility worker in a medical clinic here, was told his mother now needs to undergo four sessions of brachytherapy, pegged at P100,000.
Samaritans may call Ricky’s number – 09057159419.
Still another cancer victim, public high school teacher Adonis Togana, had just undergone flap surgery for relapsed skin and muscle cancer at the Obietas Clinic in San Juan, Metro-Manila and was into his last three chemotherapy sessions last week.
“I expect to be home in Baguio by Monday,” texted the 45-year old teacher of the Pines City National High School who was sidelined since he was diagnosed for “squamous cell carcinoma” in 2008.
It’s also a long haul for this father of two who lost his wife, fellow teacher Maria, and their baby in childbirth in 2005. He was told his infected leg might have to be amputated.
Adonis can be contacted through cell phone number 09291577446. – Ramon Dacawi.

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