Rica Mae is my cousin, my mother’s sister’s daughter. She was a full scholar of Polytechnic University of the Philippines and an Accountancy graduate this year. Her father died some years ago and since then she has become the strength of her family. She studied very hard to maintain the scholarship because that is the only way for her to finish her studies. Although a scholar, her allowance is not enough to support her other expenses and projects. She may ask for help but she pays it back a little by doing some errands and household chores.
Fast forward to last month, she receives job offers from two companies and finally got them earlier this month. She may not talk to me about relationships but when it comes to her studies, goals and the struggles in between, I am one of the persons she will look for. Two weeks ago, I saw her face beaming with joy as she told me about her supposedly first job. She has lots of plans once she gets her first salary. But we didn’t know that she can’t even make it on her first day at work. She has dreams but staying in hospital is not one of them.
Dec 7, 2018. I received a text message from my mother saying Rica is admitted to SDS Medical Center due to stomach pain and vomiting. Initial diagnosis is dengue. I did not worry at all because I was hospitalized 17 years ago because of that reason too. I thought she will be discharged in 5 days.
Dec 10, 2018. I was shocked when her mom told me that Rica’s condition worsens. I called to talk to her. To my surprise, she looks so miserable and lose lots of weight. The happy and energetic Maemae can’t even say “Hello Ate” and suddenly screams in pain and told me that she’s already tired and can’t hold on anymore. My aunt told me that prior to her admission, they visited a clinic and said that there was a possibility that it is appendicitis. Ultrasound didn’t give much info on what is the cause of her stomach swelling.
Dec 13, 2018. My sister sent the result of her blood test. My fear intensifies ‘coz almost all results are abnormal. I erased the idea that it might be a leukemia. But hours later, her mom told me that the doctor said that she has leukemia. Nooooooo! It isn’t true! Why her? She works hard to achieve her goals. She is a good person. She has lots of dreams. Nooo! We need a second opinion or maybe third and nth opinions.
Dec 14, 2018. She was transferred to Amang Rodriguez Memorial Medical Center because SDS has no ICU. With the joint efforts of our cousins and relatives, the process speeds up and we update each other. All agreed to have a second opinion and asking friends who are doctors for their opinions too by showing Rica’s latest blood test results. Everyone is helping and in difficult times, this is one reason to smile. So Maemae, I hope you are smiling too. Everyone is doing their best to get you out of there.
Dec 15, 2018. One of our cousins is summoned by the hospital. After 8 days, we receive a bit of good news. It might not be a leukemia but maybe Thrombocytopenia. Again, everything is not confirmed. To finalize the diagnosis, Rica Mae needs to undergo bone marrow aspiration and bone biopsy.
With all the tests performed to know her exact illness and being in the SDS for 8days, we were not able to pay the remaining 40 thousand pesos and sign a promissory note. Rica needs daily blood transfusion and the hospital costs are skyrocketing not to mention the treatment after the final diagnosis.
We want Rica Mae to live a normal life, work and achieve her goals. Her family needs her. She told me many times that she wants to achieve whatever I achieved and even surpass my achievements. She has ticked many items on her list and I want to see her tick the rest of them.
We are knocking in your heart. Any donation, however small, is highly appreciated. We also need blood donors of any blood type. We ask to include her in your prayers and hopefully bring her home in time for Christmas.
Here is the link for the fundraising campaign: https://gogetfunding.com/help-rica-mae-spend-her-christmas-at-home-not-in-icu/
For blood donors, please see the images on the link for blood donation guidelines. Head on to Amang Rodriguez Memorial Medical Center and donate to Rica Mae Moraleda who is currently in ICU Charity.
Thank you everyone. God bless you all.
Update (Dec 21, 2018)
The result of the BMA and BMP is out and unfortunately, it is confirmed that Rica Mae is in the early stage of Acute Myeloid Leukemia and needs to undergo chemotherapy for 4 months and constant O+ platelet transfusion as soon as possible. The estimated cost for chemotherapy alone is 500,000 piso.