Written By Cervin P. Bariso, Writer, Operation Blessing Philippines

There are a lot he mumbles but none are clear. Yanie Cena feels the pain as if she is also being beaten by retinoblastoma (eye cancer) like her three-year-old child, Jhay. The burden becomes heavier on her when Jhay shouts “Mama” – the only word he can say. She is the only person he could call for help, and it pierces her heart when she can only respond with a hug and a kiss.

According to Yanie, Jhay started to have a cataract on his right eye last July 2014. She was afraid when she saw the clouding in the child’s eyeball was becoming bigger. However, she could do nothing other than to meet his daily need for food.

When Yanie had the chance to consult a pediatrician, it was recommended that she go to Metro Manila, as Jhay’s serious case needed more advanced medical treatment. Yanie was determined to bring Jhay out of Mindoro and eventually return to the province with her treated child.

MD0_6603She asked for help from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), and was blessed to be given attention through the assistance of Tahan-Tahanan, a temporary shelter for children with cancer and their family or caregivers who were from the provinces and are seeking treatment in Metro Manila hospitals.

Noong una hindi ko matanggap. ‘Di ko maintindihan ang sakit na naramdaman ko. Pero ngayon okay na. Umaasa ako na si Lord ang magpapagaling sa kanya (At first, I could not believe this was happening. I could not express the pain I felt. But now I’m okay. I trust in the Lord that He will heal my child),” said Yanie, narrating how she coped with her child’s situation.

Sharing God’s Love

Jhay and Yanie were among the beneficiaries of the Holiday of Hope and Cheer (HOHC) Operation Blessing Philippines (OB) conducted for the Tahan-Tahanan families at East Avenue Medical Center last December. HOHC is OB’s way to share to children the true meaning of Christmas.

MD0_6618This particular HOHC activity was sponsored by Tala Endaya, daughter of one of OB’s managers, together with her high school friends who dream with her to have a charity when they finish studying.

When asked why she initiated such an activity for cancer patients, she said: “I want to share part of my life with them. I want to cherish this moment because it’s the time I could impart to them the love of God. These people are resilient. It feels good being with them because I see genuine love.”

“I grew up seeing my parents helping people in need. I was reminded by my Tatay who kept on telling me that your wants will all fade but the things you did for others are eternal,” continued Tala as she shared her inspirations in embarking on such an endeavor. During the activity, Tala and her friends shared a story to the cancer patients and their guardians. They also gave simple tokens to them containing fruits.

At a young age Tala and her friends know they can be champions for a great cause. Just like them, you have a wide horizon where you can pour out your blessings. Join us in spreading love through our projects! Your passion to help others is the foundation to make the initial step to inspire change. We’re hoping to also partner with you soon! Call +632 477-78-02 to 06 for more details.