A very big thank you to all of you who have supported us in this difficult time, whether through your contributions through GoFundMe or other means, and various gestures of support to Dione and our family.
I'm ending this GoFundMe campaign today, 19 March, because Dione has decided to open his own online campaign directly in the Philippines, and through which it is easier to donate in the local currency. Details of that campaign can be seen on his Facebook page.
I have asked the administrators of GoFundMe page, however, to keep this campaign visible for those who would like to help share Dione's story, but with donations turned off.
Once again, a heartfelt thanks to all of you. We will always remember your generosity and kindness.
I started this campaign in behalf of my brother Dione Baracol, who was diagnosed with aggressive non-Hodgkins B-cell lymphoma on 1 February 2018, and urgently requires chemotherapy. Lymphoma is a type of blood cancer that affects the immune system.
Following a hospitalization in December 2017 for gastrointenstinal complaints, the doctors found a mass in his colon. Just soon after the new year, he underwent an 8-hour operation to remove a very large tumor in this area. Due to complications, he had to go through 2 more surgeries a few days after the first one.
The biopsy results showed his tumor to be malignant. He was told that he needed 8 cycles of chemotherapy with 5 drugs that would cost about 3,200 euros or about US$4,000 per cycle at 21-day intervals. Administration of the chemo would be free and but the main drug (Rituximab 500mg x 2 vials per session) is not. He is due for his first cycle this March and will be able to get his dose as soon as he is able to secure the needed drugs.
The procedures and medical expenses he went through drained the family's resources despite help from donor institutions, relatives and close friends. This means, with the cost of chemotherapy being exceedingly high, and having no insurance to cover the treatment,
he simply has no means to finance it. The absence in the Philippines (where Dione lives) of social welfare protection which enables access to essential medicines and care reduces people with extreme medical needs like him, to find their own sources and ways to pay for their treatment.
The big challenge now is whether he will be able to raise enough funds for the entire chemo treatment. Through this GoFundMe campaign, the family hopes to be able to gather financial support to help Dione begin the therapy in March.
His sudden illness is still a shock to the family, and his 3 teenage children are only starting to deal with the shock of seeing their father so changed between one day and the next... from what the photo below shows, to what he is these days (see main photo).
It is going to be a difficult struggle ahead for Dione, but he keeps a positive frame of mind.
Please help Dione pay for his chemo cycles by contributing to this fund. Your contribution will go a long way in helping him get through this very crucial phase. Many thanks in advance for your kindness and generosity.
Please help this campaign by sharing the link on your Facebook page and other social networks. We will post an update on him from time to time.
As he goes through his therapies, we will be adjusting the target amount of the fund, to reflect actual remaining costs for which the kind support of friends and others will be needed.
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- Zoltan Donko
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