Marinela's left knee was swollen and sore and she was in pain when she walked. Her parents took her to the doctor and Dr. Jundis requested they have X-rays taken. The X-rays revealed that Marinela had a bone tumor and they were advised to have a biopsy. The ability to have the biopsy did not exist locally so they traveled to the island of Cebu.
The family went to a clinic in Cebu City where Marinela was seen by Dr. Akol. After blood work, Dr. Akol referred them to Chong Hua Hospital for a biopsy. The biopsy came back as Merinela's left knee mass was consistent with osteosarcoma- high grade.
Dr. Akol advised there are two treatment options. One - chemotherapy to reduce the inflammation followed by surgery to remove the tumor and then another round of chemotherapy. Two - amputate the leg above the knee. Dr. Akol recommends option two.
Dr. Akol has agreed to perform the surgery pro bono and this includes all of the surgical costs except for the medicines required.
Chong Hua Hospital has agreed to allow Marinela to stay five days in the hospital at no cost. If the hospital stay exceeds five days the additional days will have to be paid for.
Dr. Akol advised the family will need approximately 55,000 pesos (roughly $1,100) to cover the cost of the medicines required.
The family will need funding to cover medicine, expenses during their stay in Cebu, and Merinela's post surgery expenses to include transportation for medical/physical therapy appointments, a prosthetic leg and physical therapy. The family will rent a room in a house in Cebu since that will be cheaper than staying in a hotel. The family will have food and transportation expenses as well.
I've known this family for over 10 years. They are an honest hardworking family who are having a hard time financially dealing with this. They do not have insurance or the financial resources to take care of this need. The father earns between 300 to 500 pesos ($6 to $10) per day when he works but work is not available every day.
The mother works part time when work is available.
The father has requested financial assistance from the Municipal Social Welfare & Development Office but there has been no determination as to the amount of help which may be available to the family.
I am struggling with transparency and privacy. I have a copy of the request for help from the Municipal Social Welfare & Development Office and the biopsy report from Chong Hua Hospital but I don't want to post them openly on the site because of the information contained in them but I will provide them upon request.
Any age is too young for a child to have cancer. We hope that with your help Marinela can beat cancer and have a long productive life. Any amount will help with this fight and will be most appreciated. We have opened an account in the Philippines in the family's name where all money will be transferred.
Please share with your friends.
God Bless and thanks for reading Marinela's story.
- Nelia Babaran
- Carmela Dominise
- Melinda Robinson
- Bryan Lakeland
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