AUG 17, 2016 -- Hi! My name is Precious Lesko . I'm the girl in the featured video, talking about my mom's (Pilar "Peachy" Yutangco Daye) battle against Stage IV ovarian cancer.
First of all, it's really important for me to thank everyone who continues to support us so, THANK YOU SO MUCH!! If you're on this page to get updates about my mom, please don't feel obliged to donate. We are also using this as a page to help those who know and love my mom, stay updated about her health. (You can click on the link below this description to get updates emailed to you.)
Where do I start?
Growing up, my mom instilled in me the belief that I could accomplish anything I put my mind to. I still believe that. But, life throws us curveballs. Sometimes, instead of being the one who tries to help others, you're put in a position where you need to ask for help.
It's been a rough few years.
Just before Christmas 2012, my step-dad suffered a massive stroke that put him in an 8-month coma. While he was in hospital, my mom was diagnosed with rare subtype, of a rare subtype of Stage IV ovarian cancer. While she battled her illness, my husband Jason, and I, were expecting our third child. My step-dad passed away just a week after my daughter, Liberty, was born. I ended up closing my small business, taking over my mom's business and becoming her caregiver.
Since 2013, my mom has had three major surgeries, spent almost 7 weeks in radiation treatments and spent countless months recovering.
As grateful as we are for OHIP, it doesn't cover everything. It surprsises a lot of people to learn that there's a lot of things you need to pay out-of-pocket for when it comes to chronic illness.
Even though as of this month, my mom has been cancer-free for exactly one year, she continues to pay for medicine (both conventional and alternative), medical equipment, alternative healthcare professionals and probably most important, a nutrient-rich diet designed to help her keep the cancer away for good. Also, it's only been a few months since her last bout of radiation, and this time last year, she was in hospital after having surgery to remove a second tumour.
A walking miracle
My mom's prognosis was poor from the get-go. I remember the doctors saying they didn't expect her to live long and that any surgery was just designed to improve the quality of what was left of her life.
Three years later, she continues to beat the odds. But that doesn't mean the battle is over. It feels like the battle never really ends. There's secondary issues that came from the cancer: My mom has had a few strokes because of the selfish destructive tumour cells, and those strokes have led to cognitive deficits. Her memory is not the same. She's unable to work.
She helps take care our kids while my husband and I work full-time. That saves us money on child-care. But we've faced a lot of other unexpected problems, including theft and robbery, and other illnesses.
Because of everything that has happened, I, too, am now suffering from my own health issues. I'm also on medication myself.
The reality is that we went from a family of four adults and three children with the income of four adults, to a family of three adults and three children on the income of two adults.
Again, thank you and thank you!
I hope I don't come across as seeking sympathy. It really has been a tough few years. I know everyone is struggling. So many friends and family seem to be having their own trials. I'm not expecting people to put themselves in a worse position just to help us. But, every little bit does help. I'm really grateful to those of you who continue to do what you can.
Help doesn't always mean money. Thank you to those who brought me food when my mom was in the hospital, who loaned me money when I came up short for bills, and who continue to help pay for my mom's medicine. Probably equally important -- thank you to those who continue to donate toys, furniture and clothes for the kids. Every parent knows how quickly kids grow and how expensive clothes and shoes can get. I'm also grateful for the physical gifts.
The love and support is overwhelming. It will never be forgotten.