Saturday, July 29, 2006

WANTED: People who will help Kate!

Before my miscarriage, I had spotting for several days. During that time, I kept praying for God to spare my baby's life.

But towards the end and despite my inner fears about what I was going to pray for, I went ahead and asked God "please let my baby live... give her to me whatever her condition may be, no matter how IMPERFECT she may be... I will accept her any way she is... deformed, abnormal, retarded, mongoloid....."

I was scared while I prayed, knowing the difficulties that will lie ahead if God were to answer my prayers. But I still went on and prayed and prayed and prayed.....

But God did not want me to take that road. He was leading me to another.

Then I met Kate ... an imperfect baby. She has Down Syndrome and she has a very sick heart.

Had God answered my pleas, my baby could have been one much like Kate.

The struggles of Kate's mother and father, and their desperate efforts to find help inorder to save her life, would have been mine and Nonoy's struggles.

Is it still surprising why I want to help this baby?

I can help by giving financial aid. But I am not rich. If I were one, I would not be asking for aid from various people anymore. I would just say "schedule the surgery! I will take care of everything!"

Oh God! How I wish I could say that to Kate's mother and see joy and hope coming back into her eyes!

But I can only give what little I have, and it is but a drop, an insignificant addition that will not take us any nearer to the amount that is needed for the surgery!

So I got busy writing letters, particularly to MOTHERS who have lost their own children, and who have founded charitable foundations or who have embarked in worthy causes, in remembrance of their lost ones.

I am hoping that having known the pain that comes from losing a beloved child, they will be moved into helping Kate, not only because they are mothers themselves, but also because they will have compassion and will want to spare Kate's mother from the same pain... should God forbid, Kate be lost to her.

These mothers belong to a very select club. There are very strict requirements for membership. Not even the wealthiest will be accepted without the necessary qualifications!

I wish the members of this club will close ranks against Kate's mother ... ban her from the club at all cost ... DON'T EVER ACCEPT HER AS MEMBER! Do not let her in.....

You see, Kate's mother will have to lose Kate to become a member.

Qualification: know the excruciating pain of losing a beloved child. After that, you will qualify. No other requirements needed.

I hope with all my heart that no other mother, or father, or brother or sister will ever qualify again for such groups as the Compassionate Friends and INA (Inang Naulila sa Anak).

First, I wrote to Noemi Lardizabal-Dado, who lost her beautiful son Luijoe six years ago. Her pain led her into helping others. She co-founded Compassionate Friends Philippines, a grief support group for newly bereaved parents and siblings. She led me to Mrs. Gina de Venecia and Mrs. Cathy Guballa of Migi's Corner.

I wrote to Senator Pia Cayetano who founded Gabriel's Symphony in remembrance of her son. The Foundation helps children with cleft palate and also other children with special needs.

I also wrote to Cathy Guballa who lost her son, Migi, from the same ailment that Kate has - Tetralogy of Fallot. Migi succumbed due to complications during surgery.

This is the exactly the reason why Kate's need for surgery is EXTREMELY URGENT. The older she gets, the higher the pressures in her heart's arteries would become. Correspondingly, the risk that she would succumb to the same complications that Migi probably had, would also rise.

I sent a similar letter to Give a Life Foundation in the US. It is a long shot, but who knows?

Finally, I wrote to Mrs. Gina de Venecia. I was told that she is a philanthropist. She also lost a young daughter, KC. She founded INA (Inang Naulila sa Anak) Foundation, and like Compassionate Friends, they extend emotional support to grieving mothers.

All my hopes and everything that I feel for Kate are expressed in that letter. May I post a copy of that letter here:

Dear Ma’am Gina,

I am writing to you because I need to appeal to your heart as a mother. A baby will die if she does not get a much-needed surgery as soon as possible.

Your name was mentioned to me as somebody who will not turn your back on people who are in dire need of help, particularly a helpless baby. So I got in touched with Noemi Dado, hoping that she might know of a way to contact you. She gave me your office number and that was how I got your email address.

Please spare me a moment of your time. Let me tell you about a little baby named Kate.

She is 7 months old and she has a congenital heart disease known as Tetralogy of Fallot. It basically means that she 4 defects in her heart namely: pulmonary stenosis or atresia, dextroposition of the aorta, ventricular septal defect and right ventricular hypertrophy.

It is the same ailment Migi Guballa (Migi’s Corner) had. I understand he died due to complications while in the operating table.

In layman terms, it is a critical condition of the heart wherein not only one, but both valves of the chambers of the heart have defects which causes reduced oxygenation to the blood. This condition causes the heart to work harder, eventually and inevitably leading to heart failure and worse, death.

Kate was already seen by Dr. Amatong, a well-known Pediatric Cardiologist in Perpetual Succor Hospital in Cebu City. The doctor advised immediate open heart surgery in order to save baby Kate's life.

Ideally, the defects should have been corrected right after she was born. The longer the surgery is delayed, the riskier it is for Kate. This is because arterial pressures (the pressures in the heart) continue to rise as time passes, and once it reaches a certain level, which is very high, it would be too late for the baby. Surgery would be impossible by then.

Her parents need to raise from P400,000.00 to P500,000.00 for the operation. They can raise that by saving up, but it might be too late by then. Baby Kate’s need for surgery is VERY URGENT.

They tried to enter her as a charity patient at the Philippine Heart Center but Baby Kate was rejected. Would you like to know why? She has Down syndrome. Kate is a mongoloid baby.


I lost a child too, and that was why I found the Compassionate Friends. I was revolted at the injustice that is being heaped upon this helpless child. She has been dealt with one cruel blow after another, and on top of that, to be rejected because she is not what is considered a “normal child”?

My heart is crying for her and that is the reason why I am writing to you now, in the hope that BY TELLING YOU ABOUT KATE, you might be able to help me help her.

I was given to understand that even with the surgery, Kate might still not live beyond the age of 15 years because of her special condition. This was probably the reason children like Kate are not accepted into the Philippine Heart Center’s charity program.

We have also heard of comments like letting nature take its course, about everything being part of God’s will.

I lost a much prayed-for child, so every life is precious to me, as I suppose, it is to you Ma’am. Kate’s life is precious, no matter how imperfect she may be. She has a family who loves her just as much as we love our own healthy, perfect and normal children!

Kate deserves to live, just like any human being … just like any of God’s creations!

Silliman University (in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental) High School Batch ‘84 is helping Kate because her mother, Dinnah Guevarra Lozada, was our former classmate. Collectively and individually, old classmates and batchmates (mostly US-based and Canada-based) have been donating and soliciting from friends, family and co-workers, but the money raised so far is still a long way from the amount needed. So far, we have only been able to raise P150,000.00.

The fund-raising campaign within SUHS Batch ’84 was initiated by our classmate, Dra. Joan Davis delos Santos. She is a pediatrician based in Quezon City.

Another classmate who has been of considerable help to Kate was Lily Anne Nichols. Single-handedly, she raised more than P35,000.00 from donations given by her friends, family and colleagues.

The baby’s local pediatrician, Dra. Glenda N. Nuico, has kindly consented to the mention of her name in my endeavors to find help for Kate. She will welcome your queries should you be interested to learn more. Her clinic is in Silliman University Medical Center, Dumaguete City. Her clinic hours are from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm. She can be reached in this number: SUMC TRUNKLINE: (035) 225-0841 local 125.

Ma’am, should you find in your heart the desire to help this baby in any way you can, I beg you, please do! Should you be willing to give financial aid, here is the bank account that was opened for Kate:

Metrobank – Dgte. Branch
Account Name : Dinnah Guevarra Lozada in trust for KATE GUEVARRA LOZADA
Account Number: 110-311059581-7

However, our times now being fraught with unscrupulous people on constant look-out for quick money, may I humbly ask you to verify about Kate first. That is why I have furnished you with the names and means to contact credible people who will be able to tell you more about this baby.

Kate desperately needs help. I would hate to think that whatever potential aid coming from you would be lost because of suspicion that this letter could be just another elaborate scam.

PLEASE HELP US HELP KATE. Whatever little amount you can spare will help her get a chance to live longer. We cannot just abandon her and let nature take its course! She is a human being and she deserves to live as much as we do! She too has a family who loves her as much as we love our own children.

Please help us do something right for this helpless little child. One bad thing after another has been happening to her even before she was born. Let us do something right for her. Let her feel, somehow, that her life is not just one big tragedy for all.

Thank you so much. May God bless you and your family and all your endeavors always.

Very respectfully yours,

OLGA LUCIA A. UY (SUHS Class of 1984)

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