Monday, February 4, 2013

KCAT CAN: Giving hope to the hopeless

Giving hope to the hopeless
by Maria Kathrina Lopez Yarza 
February 4, 2013

Just like everyone else, Angelica Sotto, 28, used to be a normal girl living a fruitful life. The Computer Engineering graduate was working and had a bright future ahead of her.

But on June 13, 2008, Angel’s life suddenly changed. On her way to work, the tricycle she was riding collided with a dump truck and crashed sideways. Angel, who was riding at the back seat of the driver, didn’t only fall on the ground but was also run over by the truck. Angel was immediately rushed to the hospital. Luckily, none of her bones were broken but the damage was severe. She needed an operation.

A few weeks after her operated legs were healed, the doctor noticed that both her toes have been affected by gangrene, and needed to be cut off to prevent it from spreading throughout her legs and feet. Angel became toe-less and is now permanently stuck on a wheelchair.

After her legs and toes were completely healed, her doctor advised her to undergo another surgery so that she could walk again. It’s been four years since she heard that possibility of being able to walk again, but she is still stuck on a wheelchair because of financial constraints. Even though she is very eager to undergo the surgery, Angel doesn’t want her family to feel pressured about the expenses. Instead, she is doing everything she can herself, to make her wish happen.

“Naglakas ako ng loob na mag-seek ng help, by raising funds para ma-operahan ako. I really want to be normal again,” shares Angel.

Angel describes herself as a disabled person. She may only be able to move with the help of her wheelchair but I believe she is more than able. She says that her weekly routine includes cooking for her family, cleaning the house, washing the dishes, and washing and ironing clothes. She is also doing freelance job as an online web researcher, earning a dollar for 15 hours of work a week. This may seem small but what she does for her family, despite her condition, makes her definitely able!

Angel needs about R35,000 for the surgery (Chopart’s Amputation) which will replace her old legs with prosthetics and allow her to live a normal life again.  You may contact Angel Sotto at 09107586833 or 09324608286.


There is a poster in our home that bears one of the famous quotations of Ralph Waldo Emerson. “You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.”

The poster was put up on our wall by my mom ever since I was young. Because I got to see it often and memorized those words, it became one of my philosophies in life; that if I want to do an act of kindness, why not do it now.

"When we help, let us not wait until someone's condition becomes worse or else our reaching out is as futile as nothing," says Arnel Alipao, a finalist in the 2012 Cebuana-Lhuillier Search for Happiest Pinoy.

It was November last year when Arnel was introduced to a young boy who was abandoned by his parents, and has been asking around for alms. Brian Lelis Perez fell from the stairs when he was a year old, and his parents had no idea about the accident until they noticed that his back was slowly deforming. Still, they did not attend to it. After some time, his mother left the family, leaving Brian to his father who later remarried. The poor boy was left under the care of his grandmother.  With  a fractured back, Brian has difficulty walking, sitting, and even lying down. This even made him stop school.

Arnel, together with the Central Student Government (CSG) officers of Caraga State University – Cabadbaran campus, are doing everything they can in order to help this poor boy and give him a better life.

Brian is a shy child and is reluctant to speak. Arnel and his friends would often visit him at home, eventually making him at ease and playful with them.

They learned that Brian was not baptized yet so the CSG facilitated his baptism in a Catholic Church. No one also knows his real birthday.

More than that, his health condition continually hampers Brian from living a better life. Aside from his fractured and deformed back, he also has dreadful wounds around his left leg that makes it even harder for him to move around. The CSG group thinks that medical assistance and treatment are what Brian needs most.

Even though they are still students who depend on their family for their living and school expenses, the CSG group is able to regularly bring Brian at the provincial hospital for medical check-up. The City Social Welfare and Development (CSWD) Office has pledged monetary assistance for his surgery, but it covers only the operation cost. The maintenance medicines and treatment will have to be shouldered by Brian's family. Hence, Arnel started the campaign “Peso per day makes Brian healthy” on Facebook that started last January 14 and will run until April 14. It’s a 91-day event that involves saving one peso each day for each participant. At the end of the campaign, a P91-donation will be collected and allotted for Brian’s treatment.

It’s not really that hard for us to save a peso each day, but for a child like Brian, it takes a lot to save even just P10 per month.

“We may not feel it, but our collective efforts for Brian in small things like saving a peso per day would spell out H-O-P-E for him,” said Arnel. If you wish to extend your help to Brian Perez, you may reach Arnel Alipao at 0948-3208375.

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