To those who contributed to the fund for pediatric liver patients, created in memory of Sir Bobby Aboitiz, we have happy news to share! Your donations helped extend the life of a little boy named Stevie “Tibay” Garcia, whose story we share with you today:
Stevie is a 2-year-old boy who, at 4 months old, was diagnosed with Biliary Atresia with Chronic Liver Cirrhosis and Hernia. His parents, Arghie Bhoi Garcia and Ruby Ann Manansala, were informed that the only way for him to survive was to undergo a liver transplant, which costs about 3-4 million pesos. For Arghie & Ruby, a tricycle driver and a sari-sari store owner, this was a monumental expense that they could not shoulder on their own.
According to Arghie & Ruby, it pained them to see their baby suffering. He said that every time Stevie’s eyes met theirs, it was as if he was telling them not to give up and to help him recover. This was why they decided to give him the nickname, “Tibay”, which means “strength” in Filipino.
Now, Tibay is at home and his health is continually improving. He is gaining weight and is finally active enough to play. His doctors report that the laboratory tests are all showing good results. After the operation, the family was left with a sizeable hospital bill. Through all your donations, along with government financial assistance, they were able cover the balance. This has allowed Tibay and his family to focus on his ongoing recovery and to continue to enjoy life to the fullest!
From Baby Tibay and his family, and from our hearts, too – We thank you for the gift you shared in memory of Sir Bobby. God Bless us all!
(Story contributed by Maria Iris V. Andrino, Executive Director, Dolores S. Aboitiz Children’s Fund, RAFI – Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc.)