[et_pb_section admin_label=”section”]
[et_pb_row admin_label=”row”]
[et_pb_column type=”4_4″]
[et_pb_text admin_label=”Text”]
(from left to right:  Liloan Vice Mayor Thelma Jordan, Amaya Aboitiz-Fansler, Mrs Marian C. Aboitiz, Liloan Christina C. Frasco, and CPA Commissioner Duke Frasco)

The Municipality of Liloan gave a posthumous award to Sir Roberto “Bobby” Aboitiz through a solemn ceremony held at the office of Mayor Christina C. Frasco last September 29, 2017.  The Mayor conferred upon Sir Bobby the title of ADOPTED SON OF LILOAN, and presented to him the Key to Liloan which was accepted by his wife Mrs Marian Aboitiz and daughter  Amaya Aboitiz-Fansler.

“Since childhood, Tito Bobby has had a deep connection with Liloan and has contributed greatly to its development through the years in the fields of education, health and community development, with his philanthropic work with the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Inc. (RAFI)”, Mayor Frasco said.

Also present during the conferment was CPA Commissioner Duke Frasco, who had this to say, “Tito Bobby dedicated his life to Cebu, whose vision and guiding principle for Mega Cebu and the Our Cebu Program was an inspiration in Liloan’s formation and strengthening of its multi-awarded Purok System that has positively transformed communities and ensured inclusive development.”

In her acceptance message, Mrs Marian Aboitiz recounted the many happy memories they spent as a family in the town of Liloan, along with the Aboitiz-Moraza family, for more than 40 years.  The symbolic Key of Liloan that she received featured sand from the beaches of Liloan encased in glass, a fitting reminder of the precious memories of the man who loved Cebu, Sir Bobby Aboitiz.
[/et_pb_text]
[/et_pb_column]
[/et_pb_row]
[/et_pb_section]

The Board of Trustees of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI) announces the appointment of Dominica “Domi” Chua as President and Chief Operating Officer (COO) of RAFI effective immediately.

The Board decision was announced first to the team leaders of RAFI last September 22 by Jon Ramon Aboitiz who took over the leadership of the organization in May of this year.  He remains to be Chairman and shall likewise assume the role of Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

Domi is an exemplary team leader for RAFI who has served with distinction, dedication and passion throughout the years. It is indeed appropriate that she now be appointed as President to continue to excel and carry forward the vision and mission of RAFI.  I can only imagine how proud and pleased my grandfather, father and Bobby are about this new development and am sure they are applauding the choice of our new President,” Jon Ramon said.

Domi Chua joined RAFI in 1975 and served as its Finance officer from 1983 to 1994.  She became COO in 1995 until this new appointment.  Through four decades, she has been involved in the full range of foundation activities and has represented RAFI in numerous civil society and governmental councils.

I am humbled by the trust that the RAFI Board of Trustees has given to me.  I have to admit that I consider RAFI as my life’s mission, having worked here for more than 40 years now.  We celebrated our 50th anniversary last year, a testimony of our founders’ passion to help the least fortunate in society.  As we move towards the next 50 years, I shall continue to serve this organization with even more fervor in order to create a happy and livable communities.” 

RAFI pursues initiatives towards elevating lives through a comprehensive approach that champions best practices in community development in five focus areas—integrated development, micro-finance and entrepreneurship, culture and heritage, leadership and citizenship, and education.

Dr. Maria Suga Dioko is a Pediatric Hematologist in Cebu Velez General Hospital. She is a volunteer consultant of our Kapwa Ko Mahal Ko program that extends medical assistance for the treatment and medication of children with cancer. Let’s read on as she answers some of our questions about this disease.

 Dr. Maria Suga Dioko / Doctor / Cancer / Kapwa Ko Mahal Ko (KKMK) / Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI)

  1. What are the most crucial factors for survival for cancer patients?

Leukemias constitute around 80% of childhood cancers (will check exact stat later). And of the leukemias, acute lymphocytic leukemia constitute 85%.  ALL is one of the first cancers that was proven to be curable with chemotherapy. For ALL, the most important factor that would determine the survival is the treatment protocol. But compliance to the treatment protocol is also affected by several factors. In our country, as with all the other developing countries, the most important factor that would affect this is educational level of the parents/caregivers. This educational status is not related to the degree attained but to the acceptance of the parents to the treatment. Economic status is also important but this factor was offset with the support of the different foundations and also with the improved philhealth coverage for childhood cancers.  There are many patients, whose money is not an issue, however they are not amenable to chemotherapy, so they resort to alternative treatment. Alternative treatment has never been proven to cure any type of cancer. Those who claimed to have been cured because of herbal medications are all hearsays. I would always tell my patients (their caregivers) that I would stop practising medicine and become an apprentice to the albularyo if ever I see a diagnosed patient who got cured (not just in remission) with leukemia without chemotherapy.

 

  1. If patients are diagnosed with cancer, how soon should they get treatment? What would happen if they could not raise necessary funds for the treatment?

Cancer in any form is an emergency. The sooner the treatment is initiated, the better the chance for survival.

 

  1. Are the treatments and procedures needed available in Cebu already? How much would it cost and how long is the treatments?

In the ideal situation, to accurately predict the prognosis and to tailor the treatment protocol that will be used for the patient, the diagnostic tests such as flow cytometry and cytogenetics, are not available in Cebu. We need to send them to Manila. However, for the simple and typical cases of ALL, especially if the patient cannot afford, we do not need these sophisticated tests. And for these patients, (I’m speaking for myself here since most of my patients belong to the low socio-economic status), I use the clinical criteria to predict the prognosis and to tailor the treatment protocol. For example, one of the “bad” prognostic factors for ALL is the WBC count. If the patient has a WBC count of more than 50,000/cumm, I would give more intensive intrathecal chemotherapy and higher doses of high dose methotrexate in the consolidation phase.

Cancer Surivor Kids / Kapwa Ko Mahal Ko (KKMK) / Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI)

URGENT CALL FOR HELP:The reality is that there are still more children who are in dire need of treatment.  Further heeding the call of urgency, President and Chair of the RAFI, Jon Ramon Aboitiz, is targeting to raise an additional P6 million more (on top of the initial grant indicated in the MOA) to cater  to the 20-30 children who are on the waitlist, P3 Million of which will be coming from him and his family.  The goal now is to raise the other 3 Million pesos.  This is our call.

Today , children with cancer are increasing everyday. If these children do not get the necessary treatment, they will NOT SURVIVE. 

Treatment Package

The “Pangga-a sab Ko” Project provides treatment for children afflicted with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL), broken down as follows:

The project also conducts at least two (2) psychosocial activities for their patient beneficiaries yearly, during birthdays and christmas celebrations.  These include therapeutic games which help reduce symptoms of psychological stress,  distress, posttraumatic stress and anxiety and help the children and their families live normal lives again.

 

How you can help

Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc (RAFI) believes a world without childhood cancer is possible .  Today, with your help, more children will be successfully treated. Be a LifeSaver.

Help us bring joy to children.

If you have any inquiries on how to help, please send us a message or you can contact us through our office or social media pages.

Charry Mae “Chacha” Balacquit was 16 and in her 4th year in high school in Jimilian, Loboc, Bohol when her journey with cancer started.  In one of their regular rehearsals with the Loboc Youth Ambassador Band, she noticed lymph nodes in the lower part of her face that were unnaturally big.   She asked her mother to have it removed since it was starting to hurt as it grew bigger.  They went to a hospital where she was diagnosed to have tuberculosis.  She was given medications but instead of getting better, she grew weaker. That was when she was referred to a doctor in Cebu to further study her case.

While in Cebu under the care of Dra. Ma. Suga Dioko of Velez Hospital, she underwent a bone marrow biopsy in January of 2010.  The results were bleak, Chacha had Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL), and needed to undergo treatment immediately. Financially hard-up, they approached organizations for support but were rejected simply because of the notion that cancer was incurable and that it was futile to help her.

Her relatives however came to her assistance and supported the first phase of her treatment, while at the same time continuing to look for more organizations that might be willing to help them. They learned about Kapwa Ko, Mahal Ko (KKMK), and that it supports children with cancer, and Chacha was able to enroll in the program, and the rest is history.

Last 2013, she finished her treatment, with regular check-ups to monitor her health.  All throughout the treatment, she continued studying and finished a degree in Bachelor of Science in Business Administration Major in Finance.  She now works as a data encoder in Cebu City.

“It’s normal to feel down when you are diagnosed with leukemia, especially at a very young age,” says Chacha.  “But during those times, I chose to be positive for I knew that negativity would kill me.  It also helped that my parents didn’t make me feel that I was sick.  I am very thankful for their support all throughout the treatment. Prayers also helped me during those times.”  Aside from her parents, Chacha also had support from her relatives, classmates, and teachers.

When asked what she can advise those who are going thru the same ordeal, Chacha has this to say, “Be strong and always pray to God. Choose to be happy every day because waking up is already a blessing. Consider every single day a blessing!”

“Sometimes, superheroes reside in the hearts of small children fighting big battles.”

 

URGENT CALL FOR HELP:The reality is that there are still more children who are in dire need of treatment.  Further heeding the call of urgency, President and Chair of the RAFI, Jon Ramon Aboitiz, is targeting to raise an additional P6 million more (on top of the initial grant indicated in the MOA) to cater  to the 20-30 children who are on the waitlist, P3 Million of which will be coming from him and his family.  The goal now is to raise the other 3 Million pesos.  This is our call.

Today , children with cancer are increasing everyday. If these children do not get the necessary treatment, they will NOT SURVIVE. 

Treatment Package

The “Pangga-a sab Ko” Project provides treatment for children afflicted with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL), broken down as follows:

The project also conducts at least two (2) psychosocial activities for their patient beneficiaries yearly, during birthdays and christmas celebrations.  These include therapeutic games which help reduce symptoms of psychological stress,  distress, posttraumatic stress and anxiety and help the children and their families live normal lives again.

How you can help

Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc (RAFI) believes a world without childhood cancer is possible .  Today, with your help, more children will be successfully treated. Be a LifeSaver.

Help us bring joy to children.

If you have any inquiries on how to help, please send us a message or you can contact us through our offices or social media pages.

 

THE STARK REALITY:Cancer ranks the 3rd out of the ten leading causes of death annually, and affects all gender and age groups including children. The most common, compromising 47.8% of all childhood cancers is leukemia, which may either be acute or chronic .  Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL)is one of the most curable cancers but can progress quickly if untreated.  The good news is that  survival rates are now at an all-time high, with more than 95% of children with ALL attaining remission when treatment protocol is administered regularly.

Treatment may take months or even years, which is usually by a combination of the different modalities of treatment (surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy).  The cost is definitely a challenge especially for those who do not have the financial means to pay for the treatment ranging from P5,000 – 30,000 a month.Some are able to start the treatment but cannot complete it due to budget constraints.

According to Dr. Jose Antonio S. Quitevis who practices Pediatrics and specializes in Hematology and Oncology from the Department of Pediatric, Cebu Doctors University (CDU) Hospital, children with cancer are increasing everyday.  Patients who achieve complete remission (disappearance of signs and symptoms of cancer) within 4 – 5 weeks of starting treatment tend to have a better prognosis than those who take longer, so time is of the essence.  If these children do not get the treatment, they will NOT SURVIVE.

PANGGA-A SAB KO:Kapwa Ko Mahal Ko (KKMK) has a project called  “Pangga-a Sab Ko”that supports 30 children (aged 0-17) with cancer in a year with about  20- 30 children more on the waitlist. As much as they would want to cater to all, their funds and their capacity limits them. The children put on the waitlist are referred to radio stations and newspapers to do “panawagan”.

SOME RAY OF HOPE:It is for this very reason that the Dolores Aboitiz Children’s Fund (DACF)of theRamon Aboitiz Foundation Inc (RAFI) and KKMKjoined hands once againthrough a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signed last August 31, 2017 to give these disadvantaged children access to treatment so that they may get a new chance at life. This renewed partnership will be funding 35 children over and above the usual 30 children capacity, increasing the beneficiaries to 65.  In its previous partnership (2010 – 2016), 31 children are now CANCER-FREE while 7 are currently undergoing chemotherapy.These children are now in school living normal lives. As per KMKK records, many of them are even consistent honor students in their respective schools.

Cancer Survivor Kids of the Kapwa Ko Mahal Ko (KKMK) Program in partnership with Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI)

URGENT CALL FOR HELP:The reality is that there are still more children who are in dire need of treatment.  Further heeding the call of urgency, President and Chair of the RAFI, Jon Ramon Aboitiz, is targeting to raise an additional P6 million more (on top of the initial grant indicated in the MOA) to cater  to the 20-30 children who are on the waitlist, P3 Million of which will be coming from him and his family.  The goal now is to raise the other 3 Million pesos.  This is our call.

Today , children with cancer are increasing everyday. If these children do not get the necessary treatment, they will NOT SURVIVE. 

Treatment Package

The “Pangga-a sab Ko” Project provides treatment for children afflicted with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL), broken down as follows:

The project also conducts at least two (2) psychosocial activities for their patient beneficiaries yearly, during birthdays and christmas celebrations.  These include therapeutic games which help reduce symptoms of psychological stress,  distress, posttraumatic stress and anxiety and help the children and their families live normal lives again.

 

How you can help

Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc (RAFI) believes a world without childhood cancer is possible .  Today, with your help, more children will be successfully treated. Be a LifeSaver.

Help us bring joy to children.

If you have any inquiries on how to help, please send us a message or you can contact us through our office or social media pages.

(Seated from left to right) Maria Iris Andrino, Executive Director of the Dolores Aboitiz Children’s Fund of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation (RAFI);  Jon Ramon Aboitiz, Chairman and President of RAFI, Cebu City Councilor Margot Osmena, President of Kapwa ko, Mahal ko (KKMK), and Lolita Y. Baguio, Office Manager of KKMK.  Standing behind are the team leaders of RAFI.
To elevate the quality of lives of children particularly those who are suffering from cancer, the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. Dolores Aboitiz Children’s Fund (RAFI-DACF) and the Kapwa Ko, Mahal Ko (KKMK) entered into an agreement to extend medical assistance for the treatment/medication of children with cancer.

Chairman and President of RAFI, Jon Ramon Aboitiz together with the President of KKMK Board of Trustees Margarita V. Osmeña signed the Memorandum of Agreement last August 31 at the Eduardo Aboitiz Development Studies Center to upscale and increase the reach of Kapwa Ko, Mahal Ko Panggaa Sab Ko Program. The project will be funding 35 children, which is over and above the usual 30 children capacity, making the KKMK beneficiaries to 65 children in total.

“I am very happy to be able to do this since we are not just talking about numbers here or statistics.  These are lives! What is more important than a child’s life. No one would ever want to associate cancer with children. With our initiative today, I believe we will be helping many of these young suffering kids have a chance in life,” said Margarita V. Osmeña.

RAFI DACF and KKMK already had a partnership before wherein they had helped 31 children survive from cancer. These children are now in school living normal lives. As per KMKK records, many of them are even consistent honor students in their respective schools.

With this new partnership, the two institutions hope to be able to give children diagnosed with cancer the support they need to battle against the disease and to live their lives to the fullest.