Monday, March 28, 2011

KCAT CAN: Breathing hope

I decided to start writing my article; I opened the MS Word and stared at the blank screen for a while; I can't think of anything to write! And then I remembered how God kept on answering my every question the past few days so I thought, maybe I could write about "God answers" and then I asked Him, "Lord, can you tell me what to write? Can you give me inspiration please? Thanks. Thanks. Mwah." (yes, including the last 3 words ;P) I decided to put-off writing for a while & check my FB instead.. What's new? Haha. ;P Amazingly, the first update on my (wall) Top News is from Jon Angelo Viado's page (managed by Tet & Joni) about their upcoming gift-giving charity event, Breathe Hope cares. After reading it, I immediately said, "Lord, thank you for giving me an answer again.."

Breathing Hope
by Maria Kathrina Lopez Yarza 
March 28, 2011

God has kept on giving me answers these past days, even if I have not really been asking. All I have been doing was to think about it and He would answer.

I told my mom that it was like God was eavesdropping on my mind. Ha ha! Then I realized that God indeed answers in various ways with what He knows is best for us. Come to think of it, we are the ones who do not notice the answers immediately.

I talked to God and told Him, “Lord, please give me an inspiration to write about.” After I logged on to Facebook, I saw the status update from Baby Jon’s page about an upcoming event. Although I already saw it few days ago, after reading it again, I thought, “Thank you Lord” because I remembered how baby Jon and his parents touched my life.

* * * *

Jon Angelo Viado (June 13, 2008 - January 31, 2011) suffered from Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) that caused cell damage in the central nervous system (both the brain and spinal cord) due inadequate oxygen, thus he was hooked to a mechanical ventilator 24/7 to help him breathe.

Aside from having HIE, Baby Jon was also diagnosed with mild cerebral palsy, Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disorder or GERD seizure disorder and he had been in and out of the hospital. But regardless of the obstacles they faced, Baby Jon’s parents, Joni and Tet, never gave up to find ways of breathing hope into Baby Jon’s fragile life.

In order to sustain Baby Jon’s never-ending medical needs and to be able to purchase his own portable mechanical ventilator, his parents came up with a fundraising campaign: Breath Hope, where they sell specially-designed cute bracelets. The “emblem” designed as breathe hope is inspired by the tracheotomy tube attached to the neck of Baby Jon allowing entry of air into Jon's lungs for him to live. Therefore, purchasing the bracelets means “you just bought his hope to breathe!”

A lot of people supported Baby Jon and his family. His fight for survival had touched so many lives from all walks of life including actress Anne Curtis, who was one of the biggest supporters of “Breath Hope” and encouraged her fans to do as well.

A lot of people were inspired by Baby Jon and how brave he was in facing challenges, especially his parents. Through them, a lot of people were able to realize that no matter how big problems may be, we can still overcome them by our faith and the support of people around us.

Daezen Timog is a high school student who used to live a happy-go-lucky kind of life and did not care about anything more than herself, but when she started supporting Jon and did volunteer work for him, she told herself, "Hey, I can do things greater than just existing!" and so, she decided to pursue Nursing in college in order to help and care for the sick.

Raianne Mata, a publishing specialist on Reuters’ Legal Department shares, “Baby Jon, the Angel-O, is God's instru-ment of love. He has shown us that indeed, God can move our seemingly insurmountable mountains. Baby Jon made me a better person and worthy to be God’s child. My helping hands got within reach more and more each day.”

Charisse Anne, who volunteered as Jon's private nurse remembers, "I've seen him in his downs and it was heart breaking, but then you'll just see that cute little boy smiling."

A lot of people claimed that through the Viado family, they learned to appreciate everything that God has given them, even the smallest things, because in His eyes, we are all equal.

I, for one, was touched by Baby Jon because despite all the painful medical procedures he had undergone, he still managed to give warm, gentle and contagious smiles. I experienced most of the things he had like Nasogastric Tube (NGT) and Suction and they were really painful. I truly admire Baby Jon for bravely overcoming them.

On January 31, 2011, everyone who knows Baby Jon was surprised to learn of his passing due to multiple complications in his health. Many people visited him and supported him until the end. Mommy Tet shared, “We did not spend for anything, not even a cent. Everything was donated by Jon’s supporters.”

Although Baby Jon’s battle ended too soon, there was no space for regret because he fought a good fight. Countless good deeds were done, friendships bloomed and the most amazing thing is, many lives have been changed for the better.

"Big Boy (Jon) had been the brother that I never had, a younger sibling that I was longing for, and now an angel that I wish would guide me in whatever I do," shares Carlos Aguinaldo, a blogger and a fan of Anne Curtis.

Even though Baby Jon, the reason why Breathe Hope existed, is already with our Creator, the sharing and caring continues. Because of the Breathe Hope project, Joni and Tet Viado learned the value of giving to charity and reaching out to those who are in need, especially in terms of medical assistance. They continue to sell the specially designed bracelets to raise money for sick children.

The two of them (Joni and Tet), together with some volunteers, personally visit sick people to extend their care and share whatever they can. They also carry along Jon’s urn and inspire people with his story and their journey with him. Let us help Breathe Hope be a source of hope to the lives of other children as well. Please support: The bracelet is available for P150.00 with different colors to choose from.

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