Monday, March 31, 2014

KCAT CAN: The best way to fight life’s battles

The best way to fight life’s battles

In our Neurofibromatosis group page on Facebook, one of our NF friends posted, “Sadya bang ganon…? Tayong mga maysakit parang bawal magalit at bawal gumawa ng kasalanan? Dapat alam kung ano ang tama at alin ang mali? Kailangang magpaka-bato pagdating sa love dahil sa takot na baka di tayo sapat.”

I immediately disagreed with two letters, “NO!” Then, I later explained, “Hindi maiiwasang magpaka-emo minsan, pero don’t take everything seriously nalang and choose to laugh at it than be sad about it. Mahirap? Pero hindi impossible.”

This got me in deep thinking. I am the kind of person who knows what to take seriously and what not to. That’s why I have control over my emotions. Like what I often say, it may be hard, but it is never impossible to try doing something you haven’t done before.

But I didn’t just magically end up becoming the person that I am today. I also dealt with different kinds of pain and hardships, and I chose to fight and win over these battles instead of letting it defeat me and become just a mere victim.

I still get surprised whenever I think about everything I went through from the time I was born until this day. But I have found out that in the end, it all depends on our faith − faith in ourselves, faith in humanity and a stronger faith in God.

This is how I think, but how about those who don’t have the same outlook as mine? If I, who has a lot of limitations, can do it, then I believe that other people can win their battles, too. Kung kaya ko, kaya mo rin!

I talked to my friend Armin about that “FB post” and he explained that sometimes people get confused and tend to forget that they’re still human beings despite the condition that they’re in. Just because we are able to fight our sickness/condition does not mean that we don’t have any weaknesses anymore. Just because we are already used to physical pain does not mean we are numb enough to feel emotional pain.

“Tayo ay tao pa rin. Maaring tayo’y lumalaban ng buong tapang sa ating karamdaman o kapansanan pero hindi pa rin tayo si Superman o Wonderwoman na may superpowers,” Armin added.

As for love, American author Leo Buscaglia wrote, “To love others you must first love yourself.” Romantic love? That’s not the only kind of love there is. Apart from love from our parents, there is also God’s unconditional love that is always with us. I may sound bitter to some, but a lot of people will agree with me when I say that the best love I have is this on-going love between God and me.


Armin introduced me to Aida Guisdan who despite her disability is able to maintain a very a strong and positive attitude towards life. Aida has a six-year-old nephew named Shawn Guisdan. He is a shy but jolly kid who loves to play and attend school just like most kids in his neighborhood in Baguio City. Every day, Shawn hikes down from the mountain where he lives to attend school. Later on, it became too exhausting for him due to his weakening condition.

Shawn was diagnosed with a congenital heart disease (CHD). He was born with a severed artery and later developed a malignant mass. His CHD is called Tetralogy of Fallot (TOF) with mild cases of tricuspid regurgitation, aortic regurgitation and major aortopulmonary collaterals. TOF affects the structure of the heart and the flow of blood to the heart and around the body.

Shawn needs to undergo a heart surgery which costs about Php200,000. Although the Department of Social Welfare and Development and the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office have pledged to shoulder 25 percent of the said amount, the remaining 75 percent is still too much for a family that barely gets by. They still could not afford it.

With our help, we could give Shawn the chance to run, play and explore life just like any other kid. Whatever help we could extend to Shawn’s family will really mean a lot.

(For donations to Shawn Guisdan, call his father Tracy at 0907-9413562 or his aunt Aida at 0930-3709219.)

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