Monday, February 28, 2011

KCAT CAN: Hear me with your heart

"I am knocking at the doors of your hearts to hear me with your hearts and support me by purchasing the products that I sell. Please visit and order at my online store:"

Hear me with your heart
by Maria Kathrina Lopez Yarza
February 28, 2011

Neurofibromatosisis a continuing battle, not knowing when an aggressive tumor will strike.

There are multiple tumors in some parts of my body, although most are inactive and do not cause any grave harm. I have fully accepted my health condition; but it does not mean that I will just endure it with passivity and do nothing about it. I am always hoping and praying that these tumors will continue to behave well and do no more harm to me anymore. If any need arises where I have to undergo surgery to remove a harmful tumor, then without any hesitation and without fear, I will concede and put my trust in God.

My CT scan on March 2010 showed hyperostosis — an abnormal thickening of soft tissues on my right sphenoid bone and lateral orbital wall. A noticeable protrusion of my right eye started to develop. 

According to my neurosurgeon and ophthalmologist, a soft mass or tumor (meningioma) in my head is stimulating the bone to overgrow and is pushing my eye out. My doctor’s initial suggestion was for me to undergo a partial tarsorrhaphy, a procedure that would hold my eyelids together in order to avoid too much exposure for my eye; but after my next check-up, my doctor noticed that my eye bulged out again, so he removed the option of tarsorrhaphy and advised me to see my neurosurgeon instead.

My recent CT scan done on February 17, 2011 showed increasing hyperostosis that is pushing my right eye to budge out. But still, I thank God that the tumors are relatively unchanged based on the prior study, meaning that they are sleeping, not aggressive, and I am really praying hard for them to just continue having a good good sleep. In order to prevent the further bulging of my eye, I need to undergo a head surgery to remove the abnormal mass and bone to allow my right eye to fall back into its rightful place.

We all know that being sick requires a lot of money for medication. My family does not have sufficient funds to sustain all my needs, having to cope with the daily sustenance of the family and other expenses that a simple and normal family needs to settle. I cannot solicit money forever. I feel guilty for asking someone’s hard-earned money without giving back anything in return. This is the reason why I started doing my fund drive. I decided to sell shirts with my personal design printed on it. I believe that God has shown me the way.

I have continued with my fund drive, designing, selling, using all of my God-given talents, and using all of my heart to create, to inspire, and to live. I do not lose hope for I know that God will always provide. God will lead my way for as long as I hold on and do not stop taking the brave steps.

I am currently doing a fund-raising campaign entitled “EYE CAN” to seek support for my upcoming head surgery on April. I cannot do it alone. My family cannot do it alone. I need all the kindness and help that would be so generously given in order to save my right eye.

I am knocking at the doors of your hearts to hear me with your hearts and support me by purchasing the products that I sell. Please visit and order at my online store:

I have recently launched a new shirt design which was inspired by the kindhearted people who helped us in my hEAR Campaign for my Cochlear Implantation in 2007.

While my new shirt design was still being manufactured by the supplier, and while everyone, including me, was anticipating the release of the new shirts, I told God, “Lord, I wish you could give me a booth where I could sell my products.” The next day, my prayer was answered! Ms. Hazel Tan and Ms. Froilyn Lunaria, the moderators of Ed Soc (Education Scociety) at St. Scholastica’s College, Manila, who I did not know yet at the time, e-mailed me the next day and invited me to set up a booth at their school activity to sell my items.

Moreover, I was also invited to render a motivational speech to let the students know that having a disability does not mean that you have to be handicapped and won't be able to do anything more. It is a good opportunity to share my story with more people. It was a double blessing.

And then, amazingly, another blessing came. God’s answers were not finished yet. In the afternoon of the same day, a group of people from our parish headed by Fr. Dante Valero, the assistant parish priest, paid me a visit. They wanted to extend their help by allowing me to put up a booth for my fund drive at the parish on the third Sunday of each month. I was also asked to do a brief talk during the Holy Mass for the Persons with Disability. This will enable me to share my journey, my perspectives, my hope, and my inspiration to people who are sick like me, be it physically or spiritually. I am so glad and so thankful that I can still render help to others even though I myself need help as well.

During the first day of my fund drive at St. Scholastica’s College, my heart was touched by some elementary students. My mom told me all about their words and gestures of kindness and generosity. 
Many of them asked, “How can we help?” Another girl said: “I won’t buy anything but I would like to donate and give her my money.” I was so deeply moved. I saw in their eyes and expressions that they wanted to help even though they knew that they could not do much greater than what they can offer. Life is beautiful, isn’t it? I feel so well loved by these little girls. Little girls I saw for the first time.

Even if one, two, some, or all senses and faculties fail to function, the heart still beats. Even if the eyes are blind, the heart still can see and feel through the love. Even if the ears fail to listen, the heart can still hear the whisperings of love. It is the heart that must be open at all times, to give love and to receive love. All we have to do is listen with our hearts.

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