Tuesday, April 2, 2013

KCAT CAN: Knocking on the hearts of others

Knocking on the hearts of others
By Maria Kathrina Lopez Yarza
April 1, 2013

Back in 2007, while I was browsing through the internet, I found an implant device that could help me hear the world again. I was so excited and sad at the same time because it costs a million pesos. We just couldn’t afford it.

But I didn’t let that matter disappoint me, instead I kept on thinking of ways to raise the money we need. I kept thinking and praying for days until I went in front of the computer, started creating a design and decided to print it on a shirt. The design was composed of two outlines of ears overlapping each other, which is actually the shape of a heart when folded into two. 

Finally, I thought of selling T-shirts as my fundraising campaign and called it “help my ear hEAR. I didn’t want to keep soliciting and asking for someone’s hard-earned money without giving something in return. The fund drive was a success! We were able to gain a lot of support, raised enough money, met new friends and I was able to hear – only environmental sounds, but that’s better than not hearing anything at all, right?

In 2011, I launched another shirt design during my “Eye Can Campaign.” That time, we were raising money for a tumor excision which was causing my right ear to bulge out. The design was a heart but the other half is an outline of the ear from my previous design along with the words, “hEAR me with your heart.” Even if all our senses fail to function − eyes turn blind and ears fail to listen − the heart will still listen, see and beat. With that, I knocked at the doors of everyone’s hearts and I was accommodated. I was able to raise more than what we needed. Not only were we able to sustain my other medical needs but because we were so blessed, I was also able to be a blessing to others.

Since my hEAR campaign, I am continuously doing fund drives to sustain my never-ending medical needs, which includes regular cranial MRI/CT scan to monitor my brain tumors, therapies for my rehabilitation, expensive maintenance medicines for my eyes and anti-seizure medication. Neurofibromatosis is a continuing battle, not knowing when symptoms or an aggressive tumor will strike.

It’s been a while since my previous fund drives and I’m a bit worried of the continuously decreasing funds because of my constant medical needs. I know God will provide as long as we are doing the best that we can. So I am doing what I’m good at. I am launching six different shirt designs to replenish the old stocks we have and get my fund drive going.

Thanks to my mom who manually cuts the designs and prints it on the shirts with the help of his brother, Tito Jun and my cousins, Cathy and Moises. Her other brother, Tito Jim and Maro helps in buying the supplies. My sister, dad and my GYA Peeps friends act as my salespersons and endorsers to their friends and colleagues. It is a group effort but my family and I cannot do it alone. I need your kindness and generosity once again.

Every design I make doesn’t only come from my God-given talent but also from my sincere desire to share my heart and strong faith in God to others.


Everything that happens has a reason. Everything that goes on in your life depends on you. Most of the things that happen in our lives are a result of the choices we make. If you want to be happy, then choose to be happy by doing something to make it happen. It’s as simple as that. Most people would think that it is easier said than done, but it would be less hard if we try. It all depends on you.

I CAN’T BUT I CAN… DEFINITELY! Being able to accept my disease doesn’t mean I’ll just let it be and do nothing about it. I am still doing my best to get better and fully recover. I cannot do a lot of things but that will not stop me from doing the things that I CAN! I focus on the things that I can still do, and I realized that I can still do a lot.

LIVE AND BELIEVE. If you really want something, you have to work hard on it. And as long as it is for you, and you believe that it can happen, you will surely get it. While there’s life, there’s hope, and while there is hope, there is life.

LIVE FOR THE MOMENT. The past is over and the future has yet to come, so why worry? We should just focus on the present because today will be tomorrow’s yesterday. So now is the time to do what you have to do and cherish what you have.

LIFE MUST GO ON. Because of my current condition, my world may seem to turn upside-down. But I don’t believe so. My life just cart-wheeled and I am standing confidently again after turning around. I still have my life and I’m still myself despite everything. Just because we stumbled some hurdles in life doesn’t mean that time needs to slow down and wait for us. It won’t so we have to move forward with it no matter what.

I AM… Each one of us is wonderfully made by God. All of us are special in different ways and no one should feel worthless and insignificant. Start by recognizing all of your positive qualities. With confidence, tell yourself, “I am happy. I am blessed. I am loved. I am amazing. I am strong. I am unique.”

Most of my close friends call me Tack, which is Kcat in reverse that is why each design I make is called “art ah TACK.” Once again, I am knocking on your hearts to support my fund drive and help me achieve a better life. You can check my online store at and check out on Facebook for updates. For orders and inquiries, you may contact me at 09063360757 or 09235219600.

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