by Maria Kathrina Lopez Yarza
January 17, 2011
Whenever someone tells me that he or she admires my skills in raising funds to sustain my medical needs, and asks me how I do it, I answer with these simple words: "If you are willing to be helped, you will receive help; and for as long as you sincerely ask, you will be helped."
Help does not only come through financial assistance. There are a lot of ways with which one person can help another person. Besides, people need people. Man can live for himself, but never by himself.
I have met people who needed funds to sustain their medical needs. Some of them would say, “Buti ka pa ang daming tumutulong sa iyo." Blessings come from the Heavens. They are each and every good thing that comes from God, a part of His grace to mankind. God sends down His angels to aid and rescue mortals caught in dire circumstances.
Some may come as spiritual messengers in human disguises. Moreover, God also uses mortals as instruments to bring down His graces so as to prove to men that He is alive and that He listens to and answers our prayers. God's special provisions never run out. He is ever willing to give generously, more and beyond what an earthly father would give to his own children.
I have received an abundance of blessings, not necessarily in monetary or material forms. People are blessings. You are a blessing, just as I am a blessing. The “spices of life” called problems may be deemed as blessings in disguise, depending on how one looks at them. It is through the difficult circumstances and the sufferings that we had faced and overcome that we are made stronger at heart and wiser in mind. We are able to share in their pains, and offer our help without hesitations because we were once in the same painful and difficult predicaments.
Paying it forward
Blessings are meant to be shared. Just as I am blessed, I must pay it forward. I may not be capable of sharing by financial means; nevertheless, I use my abilities to extend help where help is needed, and encourage others to do the same. I recently met someone who needs help. Her name is Karen.
Karen Ann Bernal or Kaye is 28 years old and was diagnosed in February 2006 with end stage renal disease or known as chronic kidney disease. She has been undergoing hemodialysis for almost four years now. She was advised by her doctor to have her dialysis thrice in a week, but due to lack of funds, it is done twice a week instead. She graduated at PSBA with a degree in Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. She was not able to find employment after graduation because her disease weakened her. Due to her condition, she needed to stay in Quezon City, distant from her family, for it is where she goes for her treatments. Her husband Leo and her six-year old son Karl stay in their hometown at San Miguel, Catanduanes. Leo is a minumum wage earner in their municipality and regularly sends Karen money for her medical treatments. The money has not been enough despite living on a tightened budget.
In one of our conversations, Karen shares: “Nahihirapan na rin katawan ko sa dialysis. Gusto ko na mapalitan ang kidneys ko para mahinto na ang dialysis. Kung magpapatransplant ako, hindi talaga kakayanin ang gastos. Umaasa pa rin ako na mabigyan ng pagkakataon madagdagan ang buhay ko. Gusto kong makita ang paglaki ng anak ko para maenjoy ko pa ang maging isang ina sa anak ko. Miss na miss ko na ang anak ko.”
Karen admits to having fears and worries each time her schedule for dialysis nears; but she does not give up because she believes in the hands of God that will provide.
If you want to extend any form of assistance to Karen, you may send her an email at email@example.com. You may also send in your donations to her savings account at the Bank of the Philippine Islands, Account Name: Karen Ann Bernal; Account Number: 4439093825 - SM North Edsa, Quezon City Branch.
God has graciously given us talents and blessings. How and what we do with these talents and blessings define our spiritual character and our right relations with God and with our fellowmen. In Matthew 7: 7, Jesus said: “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you." How well and how patiently we ask, seek and knock at Heaven's door when we are in need. How well then are we in giving of ourselves and in opening our doors for those who come in need?
I also asked her to compose a letter appealing for help so that I could post it and others as well and disseminate it..
Here's Karen's letter:
Ako po si Karen ann T. Bernal 28 years old taga 338 Chico St. Landing Limay Bataan, asawa ni Leo Nilo Bernal 34 years old, meron po kami isang anak si Karl Lawrence T. Bernal 6ears old na isang grade 1. Ako po ay isang dialysis patient sa dahilang ang kidneys ko po ay lumiit at hindi na po nagpa-function. Nadiagnosed po ako last 2006 na halos ikaguho na ng mundo ko dahil kidney transplant lang daw po ang tanging solusyon para daw po humaba ang buhay ko.
Kasalukuyan po ako nagdidialysis na advise ng doctor at kailangan daw po 3x a week na ginagawa ko na lamang po na dalawang beses dahil hindi po talaga namin kayang sustentuhan ang gastos. Ang gastos po sa dialysis ay kung kani-kanino na lang po ako namamalimos. Ang asawa ko po ay sang ordinaryong empleyado lamang ng munisipyo ng San Miguel Catanduanes (LGU) Talagang di po talaga kakayanin halos wala na nga rin po sinasahod ang asawa ko dahil naubos na sa loan para lang maipadialysis po ako. Lahat ng mga kamag-anak ko po nilapitan ko na rin. Yung iba nga napipikon na rin kakahingi ko.
Napakahirap po talaga, nahihirapan na rin katawan ko sa dialysis gusto ko at na talagang mapalitan ang kidnneys ko para mahinto na ang dialysis at gusto ko po makita ang paglaki ng aking anak. Di ko na po alam kung paano pa ang gagawin ko dahil kung magpapatransplant po ako ay hindi talaga kakayanin dahil pagpapa-transplant ay nanngangailangan ng malaking halaga lalo na yung maintenance pagkatapos.
Umaasa pa rin ako na mabigyan ng pagkakataon madagdagan ang buhay ko dahil gusto kong makita ang paglaki ng anak ko para maenjoy ko pa ang maging isang ina sa anak ko. Miss na miss ko na ang anak ko. Hindi ko nap o siya maasikaso at maalagaan ngayon kaya ang sarili ko na lang po muna ngayon ang iniintindi ko. Pinaubaya ko muna ang pag aalaga sa mother-in-law ko, sila ng asawa ko muna taking good care of my one and only son. Nandoon sila sa Bicol at kasalukuyan nadito ako sa Quezon city for my treatment. Gnagamit ko lang po ang addres na bataan dahil nanjan po nakatira ang mama ko at dyan po ako inabot ng sakit kong ito.
Umaasa po akong inyong matutulungan Salamat po.
Lubos na gumagalang,
KAREN ANN TORRENUEVA BERNAL
Here's also a copy of her medical abstract:
If you have a money to share, you can send in your donations at her savings account:
Bank of the Philippine Islands
ACOUNT Number: 4439093825
ACCOUNT NAME: karen Ann Bernal
Bank Branch: SM North Edsa, Quezon City
You may contact Karen at: 09196103464
with her husband Leo Bernal